Thursday, October 1, 2015


Today is the start of it.  Well actually, I have seen the pink trickling through the stores over the past week or so and it has slowly been making me more and more sick.  The past few years have definitely been a roller coaster ride and I guess I have not really had a chance to sort through all of my emotions and everything I have gone through.  Needless to say, seeing pink ribbons on everything kind of makes me disgusted at the fact that so many companies are profiting from cancer.  While most of them say a "portion of the proceeds go to breast cancer research"....How much? A few cents?

I'm pissed.  Every single stand that I see with pink ribbons, I want buy all of it, take it to a field and burn it to ashes, but then they would get a few cents to "research" a cure.  I guess part of the reason why I am so angry is that breast cancer, all these pink ribbons everywhere, walks, pink cell phone covers, shirts, decals, pink ribbon bagels (seriously?), hair ties, pants, soup, underwear, tutus, sweatshirts, stickers won't bring back any of the women that I know that have recently passed away from this terrible disease.

NONE of these will help anyone who has gone through this...You know what helped me through my breast cancer? The people I met that went through the same diagnosis, my friends, family, coworkers and the doctors who specialize in this.  You know what else helped, my positivity.

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography

Not one time was I like, "Oh thank you pink ribbon, you took my fears and pain away."

While the idea of the pink ribbon, and raising awareness for this type of cancer, along with other cancers and their ribbons probably started out in a noble manner, but has snowballed into what I feel is a deep pink ocean filled with money hungry sharks.

I hate pink.  I rarely wear it and frankly it is just not my thing, never has.  I occasionally wear something "pink-ish" but I do not want what I went through to be associated with that color.  While the people that go through cancer are beautiful and have demonstrated a strength that cannot be compared, cancer is neither.  Cancer brings fears into your world that you never thought you were experience.  Cancer brings pains into your world that you never thought you would feel.  Being faced with the fact that you may or may not survive is a scary thing to realize.

This is cancer.  It strips you of your hair, your dignity, parts of your body that you weren't ready to give up just yet.  It strips you down to someone you don't even recognize when you look in the mirror.

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography

I feel like breast cancer is portrayed as this easy process filled with sparkles and glitter, when in actuality it is filled with chemotherapy and surgeries.

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography
breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography, aurora west allis, chemo, chemotherapy, adriamycin

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography, surgeries, bilateral mastectomy

First family photo because of breast cancer:

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography, pgd testing, natera, lfs, li fraumeni

And you know what I say to breast cancer and all of those money hungry sharks:

breast cancer, chemotherapy, chemo, surgery, cancer, pink ribbon, pinktober, breast cancer walks, watrous photography

 Pinktober and all of those pink ribbons has ruined my favorite month....  I think I just need more time to decompress...
To the ladies and gents out there that take solace in the ribbon, just please, please, please do your research as to what organizations donate how much to research and advancements.


  1. Greed is very ugly. The Foundation and cause that you so blatantly disrespect most likely had a large part in saving your life.

    “From 1944 to 1954, only 25.1% of women diagnosed with any stage breast cancer survived for 10 years after diagnosis. Thanks to new treatments and research, 76.5% of woman diagnosed with breast cancer were alive 10 years after diagnosis during the years 1995 to 2004. The study results were presented at the 2010 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium.”

    My grandmother, my aunt, my cousin all had breast cancer. They all fought your battle. My mother had breast cancer AND leukemia. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she continues to fight -- not only for her own life but for other’s lives as well. Mom was diagnosed TWENTY THREE YEARS ago. She is grateful to be alive and to have the opportunity to raise money for these organizations which continue to bring awareness to breast cancer, help the underserved get mammography screenings, help those with families to make sure children are cared for during a Mom’s treatment, and countless other services that are offered AS WELL AS to raise money to research the drugs and treatments which will save millions of lives.

    YES, these types of foundations have expenses too. Not all money donated CAN be used directly for patients but let’s be grateful for what they HAVE done for us. Greed is very ugly.

    My mother will be 75 in a couple months and she, with my father by her side, raise money and participate in breast cancer walks whenever they can to give back and show their appreciation. You had benefits and many generous donations offered to you to help you during your battle. Have you expressed your gratitude to those who helped you? How much have YOU given back Emily? Greed is very ugly.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I am sick and tired of seeing women and men being diagnosed with not only this terrible disease but so many others. I am sick and tired of seeing this disease strip people of their health, hair, breasts, be covered in scars and have parts of their bodies removed they did not want to have removed, but chose to because they are just trying to survive. I will gladly be greedy if it is to express my anger towards people profiting off of cancer.

      I did not directly gear my opinion towards any specific foundation, and for you to assume that I meant my blog post towards any individual group is offensive.

      My sister did throw a benefit for me before I started chemo and I did express my gratitude towards everyone who came, donated and supported my husband and I through my fight against breast cancer. You must not have been at the benefit to see how much I showed my appreciation to everyone. To say that I am greedy is obviously an opinion coming from someone who does not know who I am.

      Since I have been done with my treatment I have been paying it forward and helping out people who need it, so to assume that I am not is obviously an ignorant statement on your part. You must have stopped reading, because this post was about MY experience and MY opinion, and while these foundations are great at raising awareness, we need a cure. We all deal with cancer differently and you are completely entitled to your opinion.

      To the anonymous person who so tastefully called me greedy numerous times in this comment, I will pray that you never have to deal with the emotional and physical pain this disease causes. While you had family members go through it, who are a group of very strong women, it is easy to pass judgment on someone who experienced it first hand, having not physically experiencing it yourself. Having pink everything shoved down your throat for an entire month is sickening.

      If you find solace in the ribbon, then so be it. I was not saying there is anything wrong with the ribbon itself, but when companies slap it on their product and say a portion of the proceeds will go for research. Where does the money go? How much? There are many AMAZING foundations out there.

      I pray that you never have to deal with breast cancer first hand.

      This comment sounds like a troll, who do you work for? I will gladly have a conversation with you.

      Emily C

    2. Hi Emily:

      We received the communication below from my employer Intranet and thought of you. As I don’t have Facebook anymore I thought I would send it through your blog so all could see and possibly be a part of raising money for the research and hopefully elimination someday of this disease that affects both men and women. As I was doing this I happened upon your Pink comments and your reply to an anonymous contributor. Please realize that everyone in your life and more are sorry you are going through this ordeal and are praying for you. I am sure this person who obviously has been following your blog and your comments as well.

      As I know your comments throughout and picture with the middle finger at salute was initially intended towards the cancer in the beginning but was redirected to organizations who feel they are doing this with the best intent as so many know of one or more people that have or are going through this.

      It obviously hit a very personal nerve to someone who has been through this ordeal with people very close to them and may have benefited from the money raised through different organizations to help find and fight for a cure.

      Yes you are correct in saying that if you haven’t experienced this personally you cannot fully understand what it is like. When the cancer diagnoses (“You Have Cancer”) are brought forward it not only affects the person directly affected but also the entire family…. Parents, siblings, spouses, children in much the same way. To say this has no effect on Chad, your mother and siblings would be an understatement. They experience the same feelings of fear, anger, hate etc.

      As social media is a very powerful tool of communication we need to be mindful or our “reactions”. Sometime it is better to just write it down privately, process it, get the stress out, delete. Stress and anger can sometimes be more detrimental than helpful. We “love you Emily” and wish nothing more than the best outcome for you in all this.

      I hope people reach out and consider this as they walk through Bon-Ton organizations and others that really have only the best intentions in finding a cure. Please note that it states the proceeds from this “Pink Shop“ is split between MCW and four other Cancer facilities in the United States. I hope it includes the one treating you.

      October 1 - October 31, 2015; in stores and online

      Visit and shop Boston Store's "Pink Shop" in stores and online from October 1 - 31 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Specially-selected "pink" items will be available for purchase.

      Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., parent company of Boston Store, will make a donation toward breast cancer research for each item purchased.

      Additionally, as part of the Charge Against Breast Cancer promotion, Bon-Ton will make a donation to breast cancer research each time you use your Boston Store credit card.

      The proceeds from the "Pink Shop" and Charge Against Breast Cancer promotions are split evenly among the MCW Cancer Center and four other cancer facilities in the United States.

      To date, MCW has received nearly $800,000 for breast cancer research from Bon-Ton Stores.

    3. Pam! I have learned that you can't please everyone, and I know that the family was affected by my diagnosis, and almost feel worse since there was nothing they could really do.

      I am pleased that Boston Store/Bon Ton are doing that and putting the funds towards the MCW and other cancer facilities. I have transferred most of my care to Froedtert and the MCW for my Li Fraumeni diagnosis along with my long list of cancer screening procedures I need to go through. My blog post did not directly say any individual group, so for people to assume I meant one or another is kind of mind boggling. I opted to NOT and to just advise people to keep their eyes/minds open to what groups push forward what amounts from donations because some are better than others. I also have to say that the American Cancer Society does amazing things for people not only going through Breast Cancer, but any form of cancer. They offer gift certificates for wigs, gas cards, as well as help with lodging etc. They were a great foundation I went to during my treatment. Also Pink Ribbon Riders was fabulous. Highly recommend those two. And I cannot thank you enough Pam for sharing the information about Bon Ton and their Pink Shop!!

      Hope you are doing fabulous!

  2. There hadn't been a single point, in this blog post, that I saw Greed.

    All I see is a young woman, that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, wishing there was more direct profit toward curing cancer...

    Moreover, calling people names is ugly. Coming to a woman's blog, and trying to belittle her for her feelings is ugly.

    Please, don't pretend to know what she is going through, because your mother (and other family) had been diagnosed years and years ago.

    Compassion gets you further in life...always remember that.

  3. So well written Emily, as always. For what my opinion is worth, which isn't very much, greed is not a word I word ever associate with you. Row x

    1. Row! Your opinion means a lot!! You are one of the toughest ladies!! The ONLY reason why I'm greedy is because I want a cure for cancer NOW! Not just breast cancer, but all cancer. It is disgusting. xoxo