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Pink is my favorite color but only in October

By Melissa Summers

A friend called this week to let me know she’d found a lump in her breast and it concerned her doctor. She’s going this week for a mammogram to get a better look at it and in the mean time I am attempting to not totally freak out. I am trying not to freak out because friends are supposed to be calm voices of reason in times like this. Friends aren’t supposed to add to the anxiety someone feels when the word cancer is thrown around in relation to one’s breasts. This is only going marginally well. I’m not oozing my anxiety onto her but there is a ball of swirling anxiety in my stomach.
Ironically and aptly October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. My friends and I were talking about breast exams and two of them said they always forget to do breast exams. I was utterly shocked. I can’t keep my hands off mine! I do self exams without really thinking about it in the shower. My mother survived breast cancer so I’ve always believed I’d eventually get it. Maybe that’s why I’m so breast conscious. But promise me you’ll try to feel yourself up at least once a month. You can download a Breast Self Exam card at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation website. Early detection is so important.

Also important is raising money for research and a cure and October is an easy month to do it.
ProFlowers has a ‘Pink Ribbon Collection‘ where 10% of the purchase price goes to the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation. I’m particularly fond of the orchid.
M&M’s are being sold in a ‘Promise Blend’ made up of dark pink and white M&M’s, with the breast cancer ribbon on the front and ‘For the Cure’. The dark pink and white candies can also be imprinted with your own custom message to honor someone you love.
Kitchenaid has a couple ways to support breast cancer research. The suggest ‘Cooking For The Cure‘, hosting a dinner party and collecting donations for the Susan G Komen Cancer Foundation at the same time. Alternately, you can buy pink small appliances and kitchen gear which, when registered, generate a donation to the Susan G Komen Cancer Foundation.
If you buy Quilted Northern toilet paper, you can also help raise money for cancer research. By registering a product code or mailing in a UPC code, each code is a 50 cent donation to the Susan G Komen Cancer Foundation.
Have you heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes. They’re just about the cutest little things you can put in your mouth. October 1-14 all proceeds from the sale of their strawberry cupcakes to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
The Spoon Sisters have a large selection of products which raise up to 10% of the purchase price to the Komen Cancer Foundation. I love this tonal melamine bowl set, the manufacturer donates 5% to the foundation and Spoon Sisters donates 10% of the retail price as well.
Sephora and Bare Escentuals are selling this set of Rose Radiance All-Over Face Color, Rose Radiance Lip Gloss, plus a Heavenly Face Brush. A portion of the sale price goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. They’re also offering this Smashbox set with proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Coalition and this pocket brush with $1 from each sale going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Wacoal is hosting Fit For the Cure events. For every woman who participates in a bra fitting at a Wacoal fit event, the company will donate $2 to the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation. Find an event near you by entering your zip code at the bottom of the page. Not only will you help support cancer research, you’ll get the right bra and that can change your entire outlook.
A lot of breast cancer jewelry is a little garish for my taste. I like to subtly nod at the causes I choose to support, not scream about it. This Laura Gibson bracelet is something I’d wear, it’s with freshwater cultured pearls, rose quartz, pink tourmaline, white crystal and a small pink breast cancer charm. 10% of the purchase price goes to the Susan G Komen Foundation.
What have I missed, what ways do you support cancer research, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Published October 2, 2007. Last updated July 16, 2018.
Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Meghan

    October 2, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Our office is participating in Lee National Denim Day on Oct 5, which is this coming Friday. A $5 donation means you can wear jeans and a pink top to work for the day. All of the publicity materials are available for download on their website (so it’s not too late to sign up, even if you don’t get the promotional packet in time) including handouts, posters and donation receipts.

  • Laurie

    October 2, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I read your blog all the time, but have always been just a lurker (sorry!). This post struck a cord with me and I had to respond.
    I found a lump on 9/3/07. On 9/7 I was diagnosed with breast cancer (and completely blown away!) and on the 13th had a lumpectomy. I will be starting chemo on 10/12 which will be followed by radiation and hormonal treatments (the prognosis is great!).
    My life has completely changed in just a few weeks, but I’m doing surpisingly well. Thankfully, I have amazing friends & family who I honestly believe this is harder on. I feel that watching someone you love go through something this traumatic is more difficult than having to deal with it yourself and this is why I’m writing to you now. As a friend, it’s so okay to freak out. And if your relationship is like what I have with my friends, you can freak out together if she is diagnosed. If she’s like me, she’ll be able to tell if you’re not being honest and that just sucks. It feels isolating and lonely. I love it when my girlfriends share their fears with me. We’re all afraid, but we’ll get through it…together.
    I’m sorry that you have to deal with this, but I can assure you if the worse case scenerio happens, you’ll get through it and you’ll find strength that you never knew you had.
    I will keep you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers and will be sending constant healing thoughts her way!!
    Best of luck!

  • Maiken

    October 2, 2007 at 11:31 am

    My aunt has been recovering from breast cancer, and it has never been more real now that I see how she continues to fight. I realize how important it is to be proactive. I also realize how important she is to me so I squeeze in time to e-mail or call so I don’t have the regret of losing her and not letting her know I love her.

  • Kayla

    October 2, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    If you use MSN messenger, put *komen in your “display name” and every text ad you see at the bottom of the messenger will have the ad revenue donated to the Susan Komen Foundation. There are other charities available too.

  • ie

    October 2, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    I click once a day at this site:
    They fund mammograms for those who can’t afford it/don’t have health insurance.

  • Molly

    October 2, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Barbara Ehrenreich, herself a breast cancer survivor, wrote a very interesting essay about her experience of the breast cancer awareness industry called “Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch.” Breast Cancer Action’s site also has the transcript of Ehrenreich’s speech at BCA’s 2002 Town Meeting. She has some interesting things to say about all those pink ribbons.

  • Katrina

    October 2, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I second IE’s link to the breast cancer site. Its a great free way to do a little something every day.
    I found a lump in my breast this summer, and went in to get it checked august 1st, 7 days before my 29th birthday.
    I spent most of August a nervous wreck going to Drs appointments, mamograms (twice), sonograms of the breasts (twice), appointments with surgeons, and a needle biopsy of the lump.
    Thankfully in the end it was determined to be a fibroedema, but its still scary as hell to find something like that.
    My Dr asked if I do self exams regularly, and I admitted ‘not as often as I should, but yes’ and she said that I’m doing better than most women. That suprised me. Every woman should be aware of how each of her breasts feels, and how they change from week to week in our cycle. At ANY age.

  • tana

    October 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Target is selling pink Dyson vacuums! $40.00 of each one sold goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. is a Google search page that somehow gathers donations from Google when you use it. The funds are also going to the BCRF.


    October 2, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Great post. Awareness always means education.
    Remember though that breast cancer does NOT have to have a lump!!!