Day 3: Dress in Blue Day

why-blue-stickers

*Disclaimer…this post is not intended to offend anyone, or to minimalize the affects of other cancers.

Today is “Dress in Blue Day”! My family and I try to wear as much blue as possible throughout March, but today the blue-wearers unite!

Our youngest child was only 16 months old when I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Colors are among the first academic skills that you just naturally begin to teach your children. What color is the grass? What color is the car? What color is the sky? Thankfully, his preschool teacher knew us (and my story) very well, so she was not so surprised at his color recognition – red, orange, yellow, green, purple and koh-yo-wecktal blue!

Beginning with the first week of my diagnosis, I begin overloading our house and closets with cobalt or colorectal blue. Why was blue so important so quickly? Because it wasn’t pink. As a young woman, I felt like I was well prepared for breast and cervical cancer prevention. I did the self-checks and scheduled my annual exam religiously. I knew my family history of breast cancer and even found a small benign lump before our daughter was born.

At 32, I felt like I was doing my part to stay healthy and catch cancer early. When I found out I had colorectal cancer, I’ll admit I was a little bitter. Ok, maybe a lot bitter. I couldn’t grasp how I could have been diagnosed with a cancer that really wasn’t even on my radar. As a woman, my health concerns were covered by a sea of pink ribbons and didn’t do me any good. Yeah – there was some bitterness there.

There is no denying that the breast cancer awareness machine has done a great job and women everywhere better understand their risks.  But it’s the younger women, like me, who overlook other cancers because we wear “pink”-colored glasses. We do our part to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. I bought everything from coffee mugs to groceries because of that pink ribbon and a blue ribbon slapped me on the rear!

I know that I am still at risk for breast cancer, but I wish as a young mother I would have known that I was also at risk for colorectal cancer. Because of friends and family diagnosed with breast cancer, I still support their cause, but I sometimes feel like our cancer research and awareness funds have left young people in the dark with their focus. The pink ribbon campaign has made taking about tatas comfortable, but there is still a stigma associated with many other cancers – including colorectal cancer.

Wear your blue today and help raise awareness! Young people all over are at a higher risk of colorectal cancers today than ever before. We have to take off our “pink”-colored glasses. The world has to know that colorectal cancer is one the rise – especially in young people.

http://wivb.com/2017/03/01/colorectal-cancer-incidents-on-the-rise-in-young-people/“If you compare someone who was born in 1990 to somebody who was born in 1950, the risk of colon cancer has doubled and the risk of rectal cancer has quadrupled.”

 

 

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