Friday, March 1, 2013

Today I Am Blue For My Son Joseph Christopher

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.


  1. I didn't wear blue (wasn't aware...) but I hear you on the need for screenings. Hugs to you today, Lynda (and, of course, on next Tuesday).

  2. Having just had a cancerous skin growth removed, and living with Annie, who is battling kidney cancer, I hear your plea, loud and clearly. I'll wear blue, but I would also wear a pink and purple polka-dot outfit, if I thought it would help. I am sorry for your loss, Lynda, and I know that time has not made it any easier. I can only imagine the pain you must feel. So, blue on blue it is, along with my "Kidney cancer awareness" badge... If it feels good, do it!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story, as painful as it may have been for you. You can never remind people enough to get their screenings in my opinion.

  4. All the best to you Lynda. I think the more the word gets out to remind people to get tested the better. Your son would be so proud of you spreading the word. That is a beautiful picture of the two of you. The love you share is so apparent.