Monday, October 7, 2013


I LOVE Hockey.  I enjoy the game so much that I will go to the home games of the NY Islanders.  I am a Ranger fan.  If you know hockey and you understand the rivalry, you will understand that it is sacrilege for me to cheer for the Islanders.

If you don't like sports, don't watch hockey, could care less about any of this, stick with me.  There is a point.

Yesterday, was the first Sunday of the pinking of the NFL.  On Friday afternoon, Jezebel printed an article titled The NFL's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Is Still A Sham.  I concur.  I have neither the time nor the patience to hunt down the numbers but the Jezebel article does a good job of laying out the details.

Don't get me wrong.  I happen to like football, too.  Seeing a freakin' pink ribbon on the field?  Not so much.  A Crucial Catch, the NFL campaign, is all about "catching it early."  Who'd like to step up and talk about the effectiveness of their early detection?  I'm not slamming early detection.  I'm simply saying that breast cancer is a far more complicated issue than early detection.  Sports on Earth suggests there are questionable motives at work and raises similar questions in a column titled Pink Shaded Marketing.

Beyond that, pink gloves, shoes, ribbons on caps?  What exactly are we doing??  Basically, the NFL is thumbing its nose at those diagnosed with any other type of cancer.  For an entire month, THE ENTIRE DAMN MONTH, pink will be clashing with the normal team colors.  Monday night football, Thursday night football and of course, all day and night on Sunday.  If I've counted correctly, that's thirteen football days of Breast Cancer.  Front and center.

I'd love to know how this is saving lives through research or supporting those who can't afford their treatment or providing assistance with the mundane day to day like meals, transportation, grocery shopping.  If at least one of those categories is not being significantly impacted by this pink crap, I have words far stronger than sham or questionable motives I'd like to use, but I will refrain.

Those of us diagnosed with this disease are not seeking this attention.  Yes, we are aware that breast cancer gets all the attention.  Many of us want to crawl into a hole until mid November.  It's dismissive of every other type of cancer.  We know this.  Most of us know this.  It is presumed that any time a woman shares a cancer diagnosis, "Breast cancer, right?" The NFL does it bigger and better than anyone else.  It's on a grand scale before a ginormous audience.

On Saturday evening, I was almost apprehensive about going to the NY Islander hockey season opener.  I am so conditioned to this nonsense, I expected to find a pink party inside the arena.  Not a trace.  Indeed, as I was browsing for information about the NHL, I learned a new word.  A better word.


You know what October is for the National Hockey League?  It's Hockey Fights Cancer month.  The league makes donations to organizations and each team makes donations within their own communities.  The NY Islanders will have one game specifically devoted to breast cancer patients, just ONE.

Me?  I like to follow the money.  I only looked at the Islanders and this year, three of the four organizations they have chosen to support are benefitting children with cancer.  Yes, the fourth one is a local breast cancer organization (whose goal is funding research) but the point?  The league as a whole supports other types of cancers and each team chooses within their own communities.

Oh.  And they've been quietly doing this since 1998.  No ribbons, no blinding colors, no exclusion of any population.  It's the cancer community.  Period.

Frankly, as a supposed recipient of all of this good will, maybe, just maybe, I'd like to skip a day or two of being reminded of breast cancer all day, every day and no matter where I turn.  Maybe, just maybe, I'd like to just have my morning reminder in the shower and be done with it for the remainder of the day.

HOctober.  I like the sound.  And have I mentioned, I LOVE hockey.

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  1. reason number 98094850938098 that i love you. xoxo, heidi

  2. After the doctor gave us my biopsy results, we debated when to tell our little girl I had advanced breast cancer. Then I noticed that night's Ottawa Senators game was a Hockey Fights Cancer game. It was perfect (well, as good as it would get).

    She got into her jammies before the game and I sat with her upstairs in the rocker...rocking her world. Then we dried the tears and went down to the family room to watch our favourite Sens fight cancer, with us cuddled together on the couch. It seemed easier to handle with our team behind us.

    ~Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

  3. Got me in just a few sentences, you've painted such a powerful picture.

    Sending you, Jim and your baby girl so much love....




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