pink October

Hello
I’ve just read the October issue of Good Housekeeping which make the disease sound like some kind of rite of passage - a nasty blip from which women emerge victorious with a new appreciation of life. I had treatment for the disease last year and my sister died of it in 2003 - and I just cannot relate to the relentlessly chirpy tone. Why can’t magazines be realistic about the disease instead of trivialising it? Do the ends justify the means? Should people like myself shut up and just be glad that punters are buying pink bras and ducks from Asda and writing pink articles in magazines? If it generates funds and increases awareness, is that OK? I just feel alienated from the whole pink jamboree. I was diagnosed during October and found the whole pink thing unbearable.

xx P

Hi P,

Nothing to add,except I couldn’t agree with you more!

Little H x

I think we all dread October more than any other time on the calender.
‘Think before you pink’
Love Debsxxx

Me also. I am afraid I don’t like it much either. I am happy that they raise money for charity and raise awareness. But are people really aware of what BC means. I agree with yut debs “Think before you pink”…and to help? “Have a drink before you sink!” Pink is not for me. LOve Val xx

having read a lot of recent posts on this forum I am certainly now very aware of the pinky frilly gloss associated with bc- I guess thinking of the real implications of cancer just aint pretty and people don’t want to face up to the reality…to be frank,before my own diagnosis,I’d’ve been the same. Awareness and money raising is great but a bit of reality needs to be shown too.

Had a quick look at Good Housekeeping’s “pink October pages” in a newsagent, and was struck by the articles stopping short of mentioning secondary BC (I have liver & bone mets). Their reality is not my reality – “pink stinks”.
Marilyn x

Even if people do not go on to develop secondaries, do the media not realise that having cancer changes your life? I for one have lost my sense of security for ever and the side effects of some of the treatments can go on for years…

GRRRRR!

When I was first diagnosed with mets, I was stage 4 from the start, I used to get very upset I was going to die of a disease which is now so trivialised by ‘‘Tickled Pink’’ merchandise.
Now I’m resigned to the pink…I don’t like it and I don’t know why the breast cancer charities can’t see there are many more thoughtful ways to raise money. I just don’t see how this latest BCC campaign, (all those happy happy faces) pinkfridays.org.uk will help others understand what it’s really like to be given a breast cancer diagnosis. Perhaps it doesn’t matter and it’s just about raising money…sad if true.
Blackheath I’m so sorry to read of the loss of your sister…xx

I usually like Good Housekeeping, but the BC feature this month annoyed me because of Trisha Goddard being in it. I really like Diana Moran though and find it heartening that she has managed 23 years post diagnosis and is about to turn 70.

Its just about balance isn’t it. I guess it raises awareness, but of what? I’ve been as uneducated as most people before I was diagnosed, but if the media are going to sell mags on the back of it, they should at least give the full story.
Monica

We call it pissed of with pink month in our house! I was diagnosed last sept and my kids had to go to school in oct were they had dress in pink day to most kids it was a dressup day,my 3 kids got quite upset about this.
A couple students in my school raised 270 pounds for bcc because they wanted to do something that would benefit me and others in the same boat.

Does anyone else find the concept of “Pink Fridays” a bit patronising? “Get together with your favourite people and raise money for people affected by breast cancer”. Ah bless, poor things! Will we be receiving food parcels next??

Geraldine

Geraldine, I agree the website page irritates the heck out of me.

Basically, it whether the end justifies the means in terms of how much money can be raised. For those who think that whatever brings in the money can’t be bad, then Pink Friday etc is very successful. For others who would like a more serious approach to fund raising, then the whole concept is dreadful.

With campaigns like Comic Relief and Children in Need, the fun and light heartedness is always equalled by the reality of the situation, where people can see exactly why their money is needed. It is a great pity that Pink October could not use the same model for fund raising; having a great time raising money, but also ensuring people understand why the money is being raised. I don’t believe the British Public is so fickle and crass that they wouldn’t be bothered to participate if time was given to reflect on the reality.

I am newly diagnosed and bought GH as I’m keen to read anything I can about others who have had this rotten disease. I think for me it is wanting to know that people do come through the other side, The green Goddess for example now 70 and diagnosed at 49, although of course sadly this is not the reality for everyone. I am a subscriber to Prima and last October they ran a more realistic pink October issue with ladies who had poor prognosis with bc and even showed a lady baring her masectomy scar. I must confess though I found this hard to read even though I hadn’t got bc myself. This October’s Prima has “ten things you didn’t know about chemo”

Chris

Hi…

This is so unlike me… (real life shrinking violet that i am…) but i posted a comment on Claudia Sylvester’s blog this morning… for those of you that don’t know she is the QVC presenter who hosts the big Breast Cancer Care event each October, saying how difficult it is for the people on here with secondary cancer that they seem to get so little mention during such events etc…

blogs.qvcuk.com/claudia_sylvester/2009/09/qvc-and-breast-cancer-cares-10-year-partnership.html#more

She has replied saying she is sorry to hear that is the case and wants to look into it all more and discuss it with the team… I don’t know what if anything will come of all this (particulary for this year given the event will be so soon…). I’m very aware that at present I don’t have secondaries and don’t want to muscle in speaking on behalf of the people from the secondaries forum etc…

So I don’t know if anyone else also wants to leave her a message…

Theresa

Hi Theresa!..I just read the reply you received from Claudia Sylvester on her blog. I do have secondaries but I’m pretty sure I’d still feel the same about (some) of the pink marketing and merchandise if I’d been diagnosed with primary bc.
I don’t understand why BCC are so silent when it comes to threads such as these…after reading your posting I wonder if BCC will approach QVC seeing as they are the charity who will benefit…perhaps they already have? …and why is there no information about cancer itself, living with it, dying from it on the BCC Pink Friday’s website?
I completely understand newly diagnosed people do not want to be scared witless. If a fund raising campaign was all gloom some might feel too disheartend to contribute, I completely understand this view. But it’s odd that a huge campaign seems to be so reluctant to disclose how many thousands of us lose our life to breast cancer each year. So much for raising awareness if it’s a limited ‘good news’ only awareness. So many of us with mets/secondaries temper our posts here so as not to distress, alarm others…me included. But I lost a good friend just a few days ago. Some long time forum users knew her too. She left a young daughter and all the pink froth is particularly grating at the moment.
Take Care…x

Just saw this thread and hope you don’t mind me adding my comments. I was diagnosed with Primary in 1997 and Secondaries in 2004.
It makes me so mad at this time of year when magazines promote this “pink week” and celebrities who have “battled” the disease tell their story. It makes it all sound so easy. Bet their not having to fight to get Benefits as there is no salary coming in and a mortgage to pay. They should be more honest about the horrible reality of getting a Breast Cancer Diagnosis, coping with surgery and chemo and then trying to get your life back to normal again ( is it ever).
I also get annoyed at the fancy pink bras advertised. What about us poor women that have had mastectomies and cannot wear fancy bras like that. What about sellng something nice for us.
Sorry - not usually a moany person.

Murray Lindo, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, has asked that the following is posted on his behalf.

Dear All

I have been reading your online conversation and would like to offer a response.

We recognise that there is a proportion of the community that does not like the ‘pink frills’ of October, but equally we know that there is a large proportion of the community to whom this aspect of fundraising is important and useful. Our fundraisers include people who have had a primary diagnosis of breast cancer and those with a secondary diagnosis as well.

Ultimately, we must choose whether to make the most of the opportunities we have to raise funds, or massively reduce the money we raise in October, which is half our income. We don’t take this choice lightly or without regret where there is negative impact on any individual we are seeking to support.

Our communications teams have been working hard to bring about a balanced range of media coverage during Breast Cancer Awereness Month and have had some success in the last couple of years in working with journalists to feature stories that reflect a range of experience, including those of women with a secondary diagnosis. However we do see that there is more scope to highlight the impact of a beast cancer diagnosis throughout our fundraising work. With this in mind, we plan to increase consultation with people who have had a breast cancer diagnosis as well as our supporters in order to improve the materials and messages we use. The team is currently looking at the Pink Fridays site to make sure that it provides a clear pathway to our support services for anybody who needs it and that we include some insight into the experience of people who have received a diagnoses of breast cancer. We hope to develop this content within the next few days.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts it is always helpful for us to hear feedback.

Best wishes

Murray Lindo
Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Thanks for the reply Murray.