When I first came down with cancer and began the chemo routine, I never thought twice about the color pink. Now I notice every woman who comes into the chemo lab decked out in a pink hat with matching pink scarf.
I understand that the color pink has come to designate those with breast cancer, which leaves out men for the most part. But today I wonder whether pink is confined to breast cancer. Do some of those women running around with pink hats have colon cancer? Or lung cancer?
Certainly pink is confined to women, as real men dont wear pink, though some may disagree, and I respect them for it. I am one who chooses not to wear pink. So where does that leave me and all those other men with cancer? Maybe theres a color out there that we can commandeer.
But for now were stuck with the color pink as a general indicator of cancer. Its not unlike the word gay, which at one time was defined simply as happy but today indicates sexual preference. Pink used to be well, pink. But I wonder whether some women have deserted the color for fear that they will be mistaken as victims of this lousy disease.
And just why does anyone with cancer wear pink to begin with? I understand the importance of capturing the attention of people who can and will support the fight against the disease, and a pink hat is a good way to do that. But has the fight against cancer eliminated pink from many womens wardrobes? Does anyone care?
The majority of women with cancer do not wear pink attire, at least based on my anecdotal research at the cancer center. Probably thats because they dont want to announce to the world that they are carrying the disease. So why do others choose to sport the color?
Well, here I sit, on a beautiful Monday morning, looking forward to Thanksgiving and snow and wondering whether there exists an easy answer to the question of women with cancer wearing pink.
I suppose there are a few women out there who would like the world to know that they have cancer and feel pity for them, but certainly that is not a large percentage.
Maybe we guys could start wearing black, though thats a bit morbid. Maybe green? Nah, too widespread. Mauve? Too out of style. So what are we men left with?
Cancer, thats what. Colorless, depressing cancer, and all the pink in the world wont make it go away, though it might raise a lot of money for the fight, and it certainly doesnt hurt anything unless of course youre a Mary Kay rep.
Brad Bradberry is the former publisher of Evergreen Newspapers.