March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Blue is the color that was chosen for the awareness ribbon. Today, March 1st, is "Dress In Blue Day".
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web site pertaining to this specific awareness campaign:
"Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. If everyone who is 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.
Of course, I support the push for people to get screened. Early detection is the key.
So sad and so tragic is the fact that my son was 34 when he was diagnosed. He had no symptoms and no family history and therefore no reason to even consider a colonoscopy. Should the recommended age for a colonoscopy be lowered? I'm sure the insurance companies would balk at that. I suppose the question of where the line should be drawn is a difficult one. I don't know what the answer is.
When my son Joe was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in January 2010, I turned to the web for answers, but mostly for glimmers of hope. When I googled "survivor's of stage IV colon cancer", I happened on one of the most encouraging websites "Colon Cancer Alliance".
An inspiring area of the site is the "Personal Stories" section.
I browsed through their products and ordered the blue bracelets, and the star lapel pins.
When I think back to that time I realize how desperate I was for, well a miracle, I suppose. Now, I also realize that in my state of shock and stupor, I actually thought that by wearing the bracelet and lapel pin, somehow Joe would get better.
I have such mixed feelings about any of the disease awareness campaigns. I am mainly cynical about the millions and millions of dollar donations raised by hundreds and perhaps even thousands of separate and different organizations. I often wonder, what if all of these separate organizations pooled their resources, wouldn't that be better?
I suppose if I decide to even get dressed today, I might consider wearing blue. My blue makes me sad and it makes me angry, and it brings with it the bitter taste of the evil that is cancer. The evil that took away a father, a husband, a brother, a friend and our son.
Today, my blue will be worn for my son James. Go get your colonoscopy! My blue will be worn for my aunt Dolores. Go get your colonoscopy!
My blue will be worn for you. Go get your colonoscopy!
But mainly my blue, though, will be worn in memory of my Joe. I miss him so much.