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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just in Time For October

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.


  1. Amen!  xoxoxo

  2. Amen, and thank you!

  3. So glad you asked if I thought you should do this! As always ... well done. I saw a pink ribbon on a dude at Staples today, on his apron. What next?

  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm fairly certain that there cannot be a man, woman or child in this country who is not "aware" of breast cancer by now. While it's good to keep it out there in a reasonable way, I have felt that for the past few years it's become nothing more than the latest marketing ploy to sell products. It's frankly quite disgusting in numerous ways. 

    Imagine using "prostate cancer awareness" to sell things like candy and clothing? Imagine people's reaction to selling cereal or pudding for " liver cancer." 

    We're all aware. That pink ribbon is the new "green." We got it. Enough already. 

    And thank you for being woman enough to say it. Someone needed to! 


  5. Thank you for speaking your mind on this subject. Bravo. Ps-I'm sorry you are unable to hunt this winter. I know that feeling and it's certainly not a good one. your outdoor sisters are all here for you.

  6. Bummer to hear about your situation, Gretchen, but damn that was a fine diatribe!  And dead on!  The merchandising of this kind of thing really gets the cynic in me fired up. 

    Hope all goes well, and I suppose it's little consolation that there will be turkeys in the spring.  Or, let's find you a place to hunt some hogs. 

  7. Jody - Thanks for all of your support and friendship! I knew we were on the same page with this!

  8. No problem Ms. Deb - your Pink Whistle Society is one organization that I see actually making a difference and being out there in the trenches supporting women and men battling not only just breast cancer - but any cancer!

  9. As always Barb - thank you much for you support, occasional foot in the fanny and friendship - You are a blessing to me!

  10. Owl - Thank you for your response! Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet and have been known to open mouth and step off the cliff so to speak - (Not that you'd know anything about how those things happen) - But sometimes one just has to stand up and holler a little. Thanks again for understanding where I'm coming from!

  11. Britney - Bless your heart - it's that outdoor sisterhood that keeps me going lots of days! I am so blessed - and well heck - it's only one season and no body said anything about not using my cameras ! :)

  12. Thanks Phillip - and well heck - it is only one season and who knows I might actually get some really good images, maybe learn to use video, who knows - this might actually be a good opportunity for me to broaden my horizons :) Now about that hog hunting... you know..I've never been..GASP! And I'm sure this just gives me a very good excuse for investing in a crossbow ;)