It's that time of year again- deep joy

Well, it’s started. Hardly into the begining of September and the Pinkness has begun. Opened an apparently innocent e mail from a friend yesterday which ended with sophisticated graphics concerning ribbon ( pink flashing) and a plea for those of us who need to be saved from bc. Give me strength. I konw it is well meant, but why can’t people understand that sometimes we need a break- from it all?

I was on holiday last week and prior to going, had bought a beach chair from Sainsbury’s Homebase. Went down to beach with family, looking forward to the day and then unwrapped the chair - inside of which was an information leaflet from Marie Curie- warning of the dangers of sitting in the sun. Do they know not what they do? I know they do a fantastic job , but why do cancer charities insist on infiltrating your life when you have not invited them to intrude?

I was diagnosed in October a couple of years ago and was told by the nurses that October is the worst time to be confronted with your diagnosis as everything is shouting out about the “street cred” of b.c. I hated it then and I hate it now.

Having said all this, I shall continue to rise above all the October hype and refrain from pressing the "send " button to well meaning friends who think that I am representative of a good, and oh so fluffy cause.


Hi Janeyb
I do know what you mean BUT I have told this story before. My GP misdiagnosed me and flippantly told me if she thought it was BC she would have me seen within a week and pursued an appt for family history clinic which i had waited 6months for, (it came the day before my BC surgery incidentely.)
I picked up a ASDA mag for Oct and yes it was all about the pink fluffy stuff etc but also advice on warning signs. One was any change of shape in the breast and the importance of having it checked at a hosp. Different GP referred me and DX 2 weeks after. I always think but for that magazine and the pink fluffy stuff i could be dead now.

I do feel so much of the ‘pink stuff’ minimises this absolutely awful disease though. At the moment so many friends and neighbours around me have cancer 2 are terminal and i am not in a party mood for Oct i must admit. Struggling to cope with each day if i am honest and the fear of it coming back. So i will just wear my lovely pink flower badge which i like as usual this Oct and donate money to BCC and Marie Curie without all the parties.


Hi all,
Janeyb - I think the answer to your question is that cancer prevention is better than cancer cure, so why shouldn’t Marie Curie warn about the dangers of melanoma? I’m just back from California where it’s a serious issue, and in Australia a very serious issue. I know, I know, sometimes everywhere you look there’s cancer cancer cancer and it’s sometimes overpowering, but there’s a big education issue with the general public.

And just because we’ve got cancer doesn’t mean we need to be wrapped in cotton wool. Chuck the leaflet in the bin next time and remember it’s not aimed at you personally.

I do agree there’s an argument about the “fluffiness” of fundraising efforts, though. It IS an awful disease, and to see BC marketed as something pink and fluffy sticks in the throat. On the other hand, fundraising for research and for other forms of help (like this site, for example) is critically important. As is providing routes for our friends and families to feel they’re doing their bit.

As for me, I’ll be aiming to do a couple of sponsored runs by next summer. Something to aim for.

And if I can kick cancer in the teeth then the colour of my T-shirt won’t bother me at all.


I’m 2 years down the line in October and I’m planning to go away for a few days. I remember when I was diagnosed, saying to my surgeon that you couldn’t get away from it being October. Thing is, is there a good month to be diagnosed with this?

I had loads of those American BC emails last year with burning candles for BC “victims” - I actually hate that term because as far as I’m concerned I’m no victim, just an ordinary 40 something woman who happened to find out she had BC one day.

Hi Janey,

Have a look at ‘Think Before you Pink’


Hi Jenny and Cherub

Just had a look at the ‘think before you pink’ site - it’s excellent and highlights very effectively the hypocrisy of many organisations purporting to be part of the campaign against breast cancer.

I also really liked a quote in one of their links - ‘Let me die of anything but suffocation by the pink sticky sentimentalism embodied in that teddy bear’ (or ribbon?)

Also agree wholeheartedly with Cherub - have never felt a victim, only someone who was told they had something they had to get on and deal with - shit happens! I got particularly fed up with people telling me (in a very well-meant way) how ‘brave’ I was being. I wasn’t being brave…because I wasn’t scared, but not sure that will strike a chord with many on here?

Lizzie x

ps I was diagnosed in Feb this year, so this October will be the first ‘period of pinkness’ I’ll have to go through having joined the very exclusive club! I can’t wait!!

I work for Asda and have always took part in fund raising events over the years,I have sat in a bath of pink blancmange,took part in sponsored car drives and walks,bought merchandise,so how shocked was I when “it happened to me”.Yes my attitude has changed this year,but I know that the fund raising we do is beneficial and again the magazine gives info.I am not happy with some of the products we sell and that is more apparent to me now.I will continue to support the Tickled Pink Campaign,but hope that I can speak to the relevant people to voice opinions I have read on this site.

Hi Maryfrod

Thanks for offering to take things forward through your work.

I don’t mean to denigrate the fundraising which is done and the positive aspects of the campaign - I have also taken part in sponsored walks and fun runs (and haven’t stopped - I managed a 12 mile midnight walk 3 months after a mastectomy and diep reconstruction)

However, it’s the sentimentality of some of the campaigns which I find hard to take as well as manufacturers and organisations supporting the fight against breast cancer whilst continuing to make a profit from carcinogenic products - so anything you can do to help here would be great.


This is the thing - if you say you don’t like these campaigns it’s like being stuck betweena rock and a hard place as they raise and awful lot of money.

For the record I felt the same as Fizzie, I even asked my surgeon the week after diagnosis if I was supposed to be terrified because I wasn’t. His reply was it was better to let others around me be terrified. I don’t really think I have a fear of death - lost my mum suddenly nearly 30 years ago, and I was with my dad at the end. It took all the mystery away for me.

I was talking to my OH about the whole *pink* thing yesterday. It is the pink that bothers me and I couldn’t quite work out why but he hit the nail on the head. It’s a fun and frivolous colour… as he said you wouldn’t paint the walls of a funeral home pink would you. No I really wouldn’t. I personally would like there to be more emphasis on the health side of it, sponsored walks etc sure but maybe it’s time for a colour change. How about red. it’s like pink, but a warning colour and less girly. I’m sure the men with BC would appreciate that. Red ribbon anyone… or is that already gone?

Just to be clear I know the real issue here isn’t the colour. it’s just the straw that breaks the camels back to me. I’ll be doing rads for most of october so it’ll never be far from my mind anyway but not looking forward to it for sure.

I’ve read this year’s woman and home and good housekeeping (somewhat un-feminist titles for these mags which probably go back to the 19 c) . This year they seem to be better than before - I think last year or the year before good housekeeping had bare bosomed women showing how much their breasts had been enhanced by breast cancer. This year there was only one woman saying how much better her life is post cancer so that’s fewer than usual. However, they never interview anyone who says cancer is a bad deal - a sentiment no magazine can cope with.


Just had a look through the thread and have to say I really dont mind the whole pink thing. Alas red ribbon has gone , AIDS.(They get one day 1st Dec) I also think that the whole October thing is a fantastic way to raise money for the much need research and support that has so far helped me have the best available treatment known for my dx and has improved the survival rate for so many of us. I wear my pink and fluffy things with pride that I contribute to the cause.


I’m thinking of wearing my pink ribbon pin with a piece of black ribbon attached. If people ask, I will explain that it is in memory of those who have died from breast cancer.

good idea Mrs Blue

I think you can get ready made black edged ribbons in the US.

Rasing money is not synonymous with using that money wisely: for example if its raising money to pay lots of adminisdtrators to spend their whole time fundraising for next year’s Pink Octovber what’s the point.

Give your money direct, cut out the pinkalicious parties, the silly hats, the pink brollies, pink saucepans and pink teddy bears. Pink stinks.

Oh how much better has the AIDS campaign in the west (not in Africa though) been at stabilising AIDS than has been the pink breast cancer campaigning in making any significant difference to the numbers who die.


Hello Ladies

Me myself as a breast cancer surviving young male would love to see a blue ribbon for male awareness as all i see is pink pink pink!!!

I dont mind it though but there should be at least a little blue in them and the only thing im annoyed at is there is a poster in a local shop in southend with a pink ribbon and writing saying " its a girl thing"!!!

Well being diagnosed as the youngest man in britain to get it i know it aint just a girl thing!!

Nicky xx

I can’t stand the pink thing. I totally agree with Jane, giving direct is definitely the way to go, exactly how much does get spent on the administrating of these irritatingly pink events. Personally I find the whole thing inexcusable. In Sheffield, the whole of Ecclesall Road is flagged up with pink bunting. It’s more like high camp than anything serious.
Raise money sure but as a 34 yr old struggling with secondaries I find the whole pink flag waving extremely sick.

Nicky, tear that poster down! It’s the last thing you need, much sympathy!

Kara xx

I like to support things that benefit all cancer patients, so I donate every year to my local Maggies Centre, plus MacMillan and Cancer Research . I also donate to Action on Dementia as my dad passed away after a 3 year battle with this 12 months before I was diagnosed.

It’s all very well saying give your money direct, but the Pink events gather in money from lots of people who wouldn’t otherwise donate.

I was at a Pink Evening last weekend - the same event last year raised over £2,000 which went directly to the local hospital’s breast care centre, and there was someone from that centre there last weekend to tell us what last year’s money was spent on, and what they hoped to buy this year. So the Pink events can do a lot of good, and they also do a good job of raising awareness.