As I wiped the residue from the corner of my eyes one morning I felt different. Somewhere in the depths of my soul I felt an inexplicable tingling sensation that was incessantly thumping. I drank a glass of water and peered out my window overlooking Lake Michigan. As I watched the unforgiving Chicago wind make ripples in a vast sea of blue I saw an over exaggerated reflection stare back at me. The grandeur image piercingly staring me in the eyes shared some phenotypical similarities with me. As I gazed longer at this ghastly apparition I began to see small images of women. The women were a motley crew; they were different ages and different backgrounds. I became frightened and began to frantically throw water on my face to ensure that I was not dreaming. Yet, even in my quest to get rid of these images I couldn’t help but hear these gossamers cry for help. Frightened and unsure of what was going on, I rushed from the mirror back to window to look out at Lake Michigan only to find that the water was some faint red color. Soon I began to realize that these women were trying to tell me something. For some reason their message was unintelligible to me. Feeling slightly delusional, I chose to return to my slumber to sleep off this strange episode that had occurred. I thought by closing my eyes I could escape the subliminal messages that were bombarding me for attention.
Finally after a long and pleasant respite, I woke up feeling refreshed and confident that my visions were merely a dream. So I got dressed and began to start my day. Yet, something still seemed different. I looked in my closet and all my red shirts seemed to be faded so much that they looked pink. What was going on? The amalgamtion of red and white began to consume my pupils. Scared and confused, I tried to make sense of what was going on, but still couldn’t wrap my head around it.
I went on Facebook to talk to some my friends and see if any of them had experienced what I was going through. Maybe the dining halls had served some bad food that was making people delirious. To my chagrin I didn’t find any Facebook statuses about magic meat and pink colors. What I did find was many provocative statuses by my female friends. Statuses such as: “ I like it on the floor”, “ I like it on the bed”, and “I like it on top of the dresser”. Why were all my female friends posting risqué statuses and why was everything turning pink? I quickly googled the issue to find out that these statuses were not about what I thought, but rather about promoting awareness about breast cancer. These women were merely talking about where they liked to place their purses in their rooms. I felt bad that the only thing that was able to trigger any kind of curiousity about this issue were suggestive statuses. As I began to read the harrowing stories of many women who lost their lives to this scary disease I started to feel terrible about not listening to the ghosts that appeared in my mirror. Why was I so quick to push aside these subliminal messages? It took provocative and risqué Facebook statuses from my friends to shed light on a serious issue that me and many other men have been ignoring.
16% of all females worldwide have had some bout with breast cancer. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman’s life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%). According to the American cancer society About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2010. Moreover, About 39,840 women will die from breast cancer.
Although this disease does not affect men at the same rate that it affects women, it claims the lives of many of our loved ones. Every women that succumbs to this illness is someone’s wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, or friend. It is important that we stand as allies in this quest to fight this disease. I encourage everyone to think pink and stand united to fight breast cancer, not just during Breast Cancer Awareness month, but all year.