Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Re-Embracing October

Ari and I at her first hockey game
I am back from my hiatus from all discussions pink.

As readers of my blog know, the first half of October was unbearable for me with pink all over, as well as reminders of pink everywhere.

Then a sea change happened.

I decided to reclaim and re-embrace October and not think so hard about pink. For the second half of October I ignored it, in fact.

Do you think she's having fun?

This doesn't mean I buried my head in the sand and lived in a world of denial. This doesn't mean I approved of big corporations' unscrupulous pinkwashing and not sending the financial proceeds to where they belong -- toward research. This does not mean that my awesome fellow bloggers' concerted efforts did not make an impact on the world at large. 

But what was right for me was that re-embracing October meant my refusal to get caught up in all that pink. Instead, I went forward and was grateful for all the things I must never take for granted:

My daughter and taking her to her first hockey game.
My friends and family.
My cats.
Oil painting.
The beautiful month October really is.
And promoting my book, Calling the Shots: Coaching Your Way Through the Medical System, which hasn't even been published yet.

Now for the last point: On October 27, 2011, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by NBC's Dr. Sandy Goldberg and radio personality Scott MacKay on Live! with Dr. Sandy. Our discussion focused on what my book is all about -- patient self-advocacy, whatever the medical condition. This was the topic at hand, and I actually got to read excerpts from my book for the first time in the public arena!

It was an exciting moment for me, one that I embraced wholeheartedly, and one that I will always remember. And, most importantly, I hope the people who were listening came away with information that could help them advocate for their own medical needs. That is the point of my book, after all, to coach others through a bureaucratic, often-impersonal medical system.

Dr. Sandy Goldberg is also the Founder and Chairman of A Silver Lining Foundation, which helps uninsured and underinsured women and men in the Chicago area obtain screening and, if necessary, treatment for breast cancer free-of-charge. She is one of the warmest, kindest, giving, caring people I've come to know. She has devoted her life's work to helping others.

I simply can't say enough good things about her.

I consider myself fortunate to have reveled in the last half of October.

Of course, I am glad November is finally here.

For even more information on Dr. Goldberg's organization, see There is a Silver Lining in Your Medical Care.

I'm writing a book titled Calling the Shots: Coaching Your Way Through the Medical System.  I am a professional writer and have published numerous academic and magazine articles, as well as an essay on my breast cancer experience in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer by LaChance Publishing. I can be contacted at and


  1. Good for you for re-embracing October! I'm glad you chose to not get caught up in the pink, but instead enjoyed your daughter, family, friends, cats, painting and the beauty of October. Oh, and the book promotion!! Talk about taking control of the month! What better way than promoting your book? Congrats on the interview and exposure. How exciting! And I'm glad November is here too!

  2. Beth, how exciting about the book promo! So happy for you. How is the writing going, by the way?

    You and I have been on the same wavelength, as have been many of us, with regard to October this year. There was just nothing healing for me or meaningful to getting on with my life in Pinktober this year. A lot of us seem to have spent it steadfastly ignoring all the pink crap.

    Everything you did was much more important. And TGI November!


  3. Nancy,

    Thank you, as always, for your support. Yes, the book promo was exciting and made me feel as you say like I was "taking control of the month." It helped me cope with October a lot more.

  4. Hi Kathi,

    Yes, we definitely have been on the same wavelength regarding Pinktober. It was really getting to me for awhile.

    Thank you for your support with the book. The book itself is done, as is the query letter. I'm working on the book proposal and YIKES! It is very difficult. Then to find a publisher. But it is exciting!!

  5. Love the pics of you & your daughter! A much better way to spend your time than being overwhelmed by the pinkness.