October - when deer archery season opens in Illinois, October, when we are working hard putting all the finishing touches on our decoys, blinds, and boats in readiness for waterfowl season opener in November. October, drenched in pink and breast cancer awareness.
Now I am all about the opening day of archery season - and being neck deep in decoys and reeds and rushes in prep for waterfowl season, but I am increasingly finding the whole paint the town pink campaigns difficult to tolerate.
Perhaps I should back up and explain - I am well aware of breast cancer. It killed my sister, maimed my other sister, and caused me to end up filleted like a catfish. I don't need a pink ribbon, or shotgun, or label, or pink anything to remind me. I am angered by the number of firms who slap a pink ribbon on a product with the vague assertion that " a percentage of proceeds go to breast cancer awareness and research"
Where exactly do those proceeds go? How much exactly is that firm donating?
It seems to me, that slapping a pink ribbon on something is no nothing more than a marketing tactic for many firms.
I don't want to take away from those that do make a real difference - organizations like the Pink Whistle Society - the ones that are transparent and very clear about how much money goes where and why. But I am just not enthused about pink and October first this year.
You see my winter hunting seasons will not be happening this year, and I am little miffed and perhaps even a bit pouty about it. In a matter of one afternoon visiting the assorted doctors and technicians and hospitals this week we discovered that one of the implants that was us used as part of my reconstructive surgery after my mastectomies (yes plural ) has failed. In a nutshell, that means both implants will need to be removed, the reconstruction redone, and new ones placed.
That's a big surgery. That means no hunting this year. Dammitt.
That means all this October Breast Cancer Awareness stuff is going to really be sticking in my craw. Trust me.. I am aware right now..very aware!
What I'd like to see these pink ribbon bandits do instead of slapping a pink ribbon on a product is is slap a guide to breast self exam on their products, put a list of signs and symptoms that should send a gal scurrying off to her to her doctor for a closer look. A list of resources for low income and rural women.
Why can't we do that instead of proclaiming it "Booberday" or some equally offensive thing? If it is truly about education and awareness then lets educate - lets make young women aware that breast cancer happens before 40 (the American Cancer Societies age that we should begin mammograms) let's talk prevention and early detection.
Lets start asking for funding for the non insured and under insured who are fighting breast cancer.
It should be criminal that in a country such as ours women still die from breast cancer due to the lack of funds for diagnosis and treatment. Yes there are programs to assist - but how many low income or uninsured women are aware of these?
Yep - I'm cranky as October approaches. No hunting season this year and way too much pink in my face.