Sunday, October 17, 2010

Acorns Everywhere

Ah Autumn is upon us:  pumpkins and colorful mums abound; Halloween stores have popped up in practically every vacant commercial space, it is still dark when I get up to run in the morning, and the acorns are falling.  Everywhere.  No exaggeration - the Newark Star Ledger even included a piece about the proliferation of acorns fall 2010 has brought and the positive side of their increased numbers. (They aid in reforestation efforts; who knew?)

October is half way over and the stores near us have begun pushing holiday merchandise in earnest.  Only two more weeks of "pink power" remain for which I am thankful. I am saying this even though I will always remember the significance of October in my treatment two years ago as the month within which I finished chemo, I admit I am suffering pink fatigue.  I have been posting a daily "pink item" on my Facebook page and believe me, there is no lack of things to post.

I had the honor this past week of attending a lecture by Dr. Susan Love - one of the leaders of breast cancer research and the creator of the Army of Women.  The Army of Women was created to bring together one million people, men, women, cancer survivors, etc. into a pool that researchers can access virally and quickly to conduct studies that in the past may have taken five years just to complete a co-hort to test.  Yes, the Internet is not all for evil!  If you have not joined, please consider doing so - you do not need to do anything except review the studies that are e-mailed to you.  You may or may not fit the profile of the type of participant needed but you might just know someone who does.  Dr. Love is not out to cure breast cancer; she wants to find its cause so we can stop it and no longer need to search for a cure.  Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?  Check it out and please become one in million!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just a bit of Pixie dust

Yes, Halloween is only two weeks way (how can that be???!!!) but my friend Jess and I were not having a dress rehearsal.  Our attire was in celebration of running the inaugural Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon - an event that started at 10pm, brought you through Disney's Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios before ending in Epcot during their food and wine festival.  I never had had so much fun during a race - I may just have to don my Tinkerbell outfit for all future events!  I guess it was the wings that elicited so many comments; that made folks want to grab a photo with me - well that or the fact that a 42 year old woman was running around Disneyworld in the middle of the night dressed like Tinkerbell...  hmm... like I said, I truly enjoyed myself as Disney really knows how to host an event - music, well tended hydration stations and of course  - having Mickey himself kick-off the race - made for  a great event.  Jess looked great in her Minnie gear - so glad I have friends who can embrace a bit of wackiness now and then!

It has been a while since I have written.  The days are quickly growing shorter, so much so that I am typing this as I wait for daylight so I can get out and run.  October not only brings shorter days and Halloween, it also brings breast cancer awareness month.  Seems everything is pink and it leaves me strangely unsettled.  Are we losing or gaining focus by branding every consumer item with a pink ribbon? And I mean everything - I have been posting a daily photo on my Facebook page of things that have been "pinked" - from your checkcard to Brillo pads - that pink ribbon is everywhere.

So as a breast cancer survivor I try to do my part.  I participated in the NYC Komen Race for the Cure.  I am organizing a "pink" bake sale at work.  I implore my friends and family to be vigilant in getting their mammograms.  However I have a problem with buying wine or potato chips that have a pink ribbon on them.  It just seems, well, wrong.  No, the idea of Sutter Home or Frito-Lay donating money does not seem wrong to me - I guess it is just the positioning.  Or is it the Komen organization I should direct my concern to?  Can I blame them for wanting to get their branding out there and having more money funneled to the cause?  No, I can't.  I admit I did benefit from Komen research funding.  I also admit I think it is great to bring such awareness to the cause - even if the pink chin straps and cleats that the NFL donned was a bit of a stretch.  I  worry that there is so much of it that eventually people will no longer see beyond the "pink" and forget how many are impacted by this disease.  I hope that one day there will be no need for pink M&Ms other than Easter; that wearing all pink in October is nothing more than a fashion faux pas and that we can all say - "remember that nasty thing called breast cancer, glad we do not have to deal with that anymore"... until then I will support the cause as best I can and try to not to get so worked up over seeing even dog food "pinkified"!