Pinktober is upon us in full glory. We packed up our beach attire and headed to the uber-pink hotel, the Don Cesar on St Pete Beach in Florida. At the crack of dawn we assembled, nearly 200 survivors and families, to meet the camera crew of GMA (Good Morning America). Our mission? Inspire the couch potatoes of America to be as committed to life as all of these beautiful ladies and a gentleman. Yes, men do get breast cancer. But most of the men here experienced an even greater disruption to their life - feeling helpless to fix their loved ones.
So many lessons and observations compacted into the early hours of PINK sunrise, beach balls, GMA T-shirts, heartfelt signs for the world. What stood out for me is the age old inequality. These ladies found their way to be seen and heard, yet all that was aired is the cheering to prompt signs dictated by the Directors calling in from New York. They were permitted onto the beach property, but not welcomed to celebrate the day there without being a guest of the fine establishment. At $7/bottle for fancy Fiji water, all enjoyed the experience but some went home dehydrated by noon. Many have put every last dime into their treatments. Those who did not have the money put everything in the hands of God, and Praise The Lord they were here smiling and thriving. They went home with more new friends, having made yet another amazing memory. Pictures and social media now carry their words that would never be heard on TV the day the greatest nation in the world closed the doors of their Government offices.
As a lifelong camera-phobic, I took up amateur photography to assure that I remain behind the lens and not in the public eye. Pinktober on GMA was no different. I stood behind the camera crew on the beach, in the dark shooting with only my iPhone, to capture my 93 year Young Survivor Mom in Law. The silhouette of the crew against the luminescent pink ladies flashed another cliche. Cancer has put them in the spotlight. Like it or not, there is no hiding from the reality of the diagnosis. Only this small group opted to show up for big publicity. The majority of us living with the awareness of cancer as a possibility want it to go away. Normalcy is a dream now. Many ladies who grew up loving Princess Pink now resent that it symbolizes a dis-ease and serves as a constant reminder of what they want to forget.
Cancer's positive impact
In my work with Kolbe Instinctive assessments, I had a remarkably low ratio of Cancer Thrivers showing up as "In Transition". I had expected the opposite. Conative transition is a normal state we all experience at some time, losing touch with who we are instinctively, often during stressful life events. Cancer diagnosis is a wake up call that shakes lives up. There is no longer room for tolerance of the toxic situations you may have been living in. You become clear and strong on who you are and now live a very deliberate life. Poor relationships are corrected or dissolved, at work and home. Past indiscretions and unjust events are forgiven in yourself and others. It is the only way to assure recovery. Release something BIG that is not serving you. Shift. Do we dare consider our Cancer as a gift? OK, that is too much, but let it be released and never seen again. Re-use the pink bow on your holiday gifts, for many years to come. And when our end time comes, allow it to arrive with grace and not regrets.
Writing to you, knowing how unique our viewpoints may be. When resisting, ask yourself "What Else is Possible?". My experience and personal truth in any moment is just that - mine for you to consider. All Things are Possible - ATAP