Whatever Wednesday: Five million reasons to hate pink

This post has been mulling in my head for the past week and a half.

Before I get started, let me say that I have lost several family members to cancer, including an Aunt to Breast Cancer when I was a mere five years old. In fact, it was her death that would be the first of many. I lost a second cousin to cancer, a Great Aunt, two Grandmothers and Grandfather, and I lost a very dear first cousin to suicide when it was discovered his Hodgkins lymphoma had returned. While I have not battled cancer myself, I have known all too well the heartache and power with which it heartlessly rips through families.

Pink sucks. It’s sucked since I was about seven. My parents decided to repaint my room and, in a stroke of brilliance, decided to let me pick the color. At the time, I was mad about pink. I chose a hot pink. They tried to talk me out of it by telling me my WHOLE room would be that color. But, as the insistent child, up it went. You know how hard it is to not look at the bottle of Pepto Bismol on the antacid aisle at the pharmacy? Imagine a WHOLE room lined with those bottles. Yeap. That? Was my childhood bedroom. It left me scarred for life. In fact, I am convinced having girls and having pink explode all over my life is some sort of cruel cosmic joke.

That bedroom was in New Jersey. I spent the better part of my childhood there. My first grandmother died on Thanksgiving Day, 1988. I remember our parents shuffling all of us into their bedroom to sit us down on their bed as they told us she had lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer. At first I blinked, then I wept, wailed, and then? Then I had to suck it up to go to our OTHER grandparent’s house for Thanksgiving festivities.

The following year, our other grandmother was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. She lost her battle not long after her diagnosis if memory serves correctly. We had moved to Virginia. One night, I screamed, cried, and wailed to God. I didn’t understand why He had to take both of my grandmothers so close together. I begged him for her to heal. I begged Him to let us keep her. I can still feel those tears on my cheek, the screams as they wrenched from deep within me and swirled upwards through my throat and out of my lips up to God.

I was in New Jersey with my father when she passed away. My Grandfather (the one married to my grandmother who died from Ovarian Cancer), let me stay up late that night. I watched Arsenio Hall for the first time. I was barely a teenager.

Somehow I managed to get through the next few years without experiencing another death. And then. Then.


On March 15, 1998, my dad’s father lost his battle with the same cancer his wife had battled – Colon. Just 19 days prior, my other grandfather had died from complications with Diabetes and Myasthenia Gravis. I had nothing to give. I had panic attacks for the first time in my life. I was physically wracked with grief and would literally wail and thrash myself to a blackout or sleep for months. I had no normal left.

My cousin’s suicide was not long before the deaths of my grandfathers. I had never known someone who had killed themselves before my cousin. I felt angry. I felt left behind. But at the same time, I understood. I knew he felt trapped, scared, and had no desire to fight back against a disease he had already fought so vigorously. The battle had been lost before it even started. I forgave him.

But I have digressed.

Two weekends ago, on Sunday Night Football, the Giants were playing. As a huge Giants fan, I turned on the game.

And there… there on the FOOTBALL Field….

was PINK.

Not on the cheerleaders. ON THE PLAYERS.


What the eff???

Eli? Pink? For real? How much of a bump in pay did they give you to put that crap on???

I am so sorry, but Pink should be the LAST color I see on the football field.

The football field is for men. Muscled men who tackle each other effortlessly yet violently to the ground. Men who throw the pigskin across several yards in search of a touchdown. Mud covered men, manly men. NOT men who wear pink. Those men? Belong on the golf course. NOT on the gridiron.

Want to know how much the NFL spent on “pinking” up the players?


That’s right. FIVE MILLLION Dollars. Just so we would see the color pink and gain some “breast cancer” awareness. (Yanno, just in case we missed the giant Pepto Bismol bottle of pink which has splattered over every single last product Americans buy these days)

Five Million dollars spent on chin straps, shoes, gloves but NOT on actual research.

Five Million dollars to spread the cancer of Pink to the one sacred place American men had left. Do you seriously think American men are going to see their favorite players in pink and then go home to remind their wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, etc, to feel their boobies because they might get cancer? Or do you think it will make THEM think twice about getting breast cancer themselves? NO.

(It’s been pointed out to me that the gear the players are wearing will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and Team Charities. Which makes it a little more bearable but I still maintain my original viewpoint which is that PINK has no place on the football field)

What about all the other products carrying pink? Chips. EGGS. Yes, EGGS, Apparel, anything you can possibly imagine. And this one really takes the cake – Purina Cat Chow Cat Nap for the Cure. Seriously??? REALLY??????

What if you spent the money you pay out for a $70 water bottle DIRECTLY on research? What could we do then?

What about all the other types of cancer out there? Are we forgetting them? Remember all those relatives I lost to cancer? Only ONE of them succumbed to Breast Cancer. Where’s the Ovarian Cancer ribbon? The Colon Cancer ribbon? Or Hodgkins Lymphoma ribbon?

Here’s something else to think about – it’s totally cool to “Walk for the Cure” and have team names like “Save the Ta-Ta’s” but heaven forbid we try to “Walk for Breastfeedng” with team names like “Eat from the Ta-Ta’s” as women tromped through the streets whilst nursing their wee babes? Can you IMAGINE the uproar??

Why is it only okay to talk about breasts if they have cancer or are being sexualized?

What’s wrong with us?

What’s wrong with us that we can’t even donate to a good cause without expecting something in return? Has American society become that gluttonous? That callous and numb? What happened to good old-fashioned caring? For the good of it?

When the hell did it become necessary to pink-wash American products?

You know it’s only a matter of time before we’re drinking out of beer bottles shaped like boobs (okay, so the men would like that), while dressed head to toe in pink, living in pink houses, driving pink cars, and watching Pink-tinted TV’s, right?

It’s a Pink world. We just live here.


Is the new cancer.

And it’s terminal.


(If you MUST go Pink, please check out Think Before You Pink Postcards. At LEAST try be responsible about it)




Breast Cancer, Diabetes screening worth it; Postpartum Depression screening not

Earlier this week, I wrote about UK researchers concluding that Postpartum Depression screening was just not cost effective.

Since then, a couple of other studies regarding screening for other conditions have been released.

It seems that screening for Diabetes in primary care qualifies as cost-effective.

And screening for Breast Cancer saves lives despite the habitual over-diagnosis. For every misdiagnosed case, two lives are saved. In fact, the researchers for this study state that approximately 6 women are misdiagnosed and undergo unnecessary treatment for cancer they may never have developed as a result of a false positive at the screening level. In case you were wondering, these researchers are UK based as well.

Hey. Wait.

The researchers from the UK cited over-diagnosis  as one of the reasons formal screening for Postpartum Depression was not cost effective.

And being misdiagnosed with Postpartum Depression does not lead to expensive radiation treatment or other damaging exposures including surgery. At very worst, you may receive a script for an anti-depressant or a referral to a counselor for some talk therapy.

What the….

So lemme get this straight.

Pumping a woman full of radiation and chemotherapy is hunky dory and cost effective EVEN if she doesn’t need it.

But a quick questionnaire to check on mom’s mental health is NOT?

On what planet does this even BEGIN to make sense??

Let’s also discuss this little nugget. For both the Diabetes and Breast Cancer studies, ACTUAL records were used. The Postpartum Study was compromised of 92 “hypothetical” cases.

When did we stop rating the study of actual records? When did researchers stop including the actual risks and ripples of Postpartum Depression? A woman without Postpartum Depression or who is successfully diagnosed, treated, and recovering is more likely to breastfeed in my opinion. And if she’s nursing, she’s protecting herself and her child from – guess what – Diabetes AND Cancer.

So you really want to practice cost-effective healthcare?

SCREEN women after birth. Ensure their stability, support, and positive outcome with life as a new mom. Encourage them to participate in health practices for themselves and their children. Enabling women to make healthier choices reduces the risk of other issues down the road. Screening saves lives when it comes to Postpartum Mood Disorders. It saves mothers, children, and families. It’s not something you skip over because it’s simply not “cost-effective.” Skip screening and cost will simply shift elsewhere – to diabetes care, cancer care, future mental health care for mom or kids, broken families, etc.

It is simply not acceptable to allow new mothers to continue to suffer. Not acceptable at all.