Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blue November

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and seeing all of the type 1 diabetes awareness posts and facebook updates this past week has been amazing. 

I have been doing my own facebook "daily facts" and have found myself thinking that what I am putting on facebook each day really does not even touch the surface of what we deal with.  It makes me want to do more.  But really... how much more?  And more importantly... HOW?  What is the best, most effective way to reach people and get our message across? 

I think of November as Blue November.  Much like October has nationally become Pink October.  But in November you don't walk into a grocery store and see a huge display that is full of blue products promoting diabetes awareness and fund raising for JDRF and the ADA.  You don't go to your favorite sandwich place only to find that all the chips are in blue bags and the drink cups have blue circles all over them.  You don't drive down the street and see bill boards with kids, teens and adults living with this disease.   You don't turn on the TV and see commercials with stars pimping out blue clothes or football teams changing the color of their socks to blue.  I could go on and on.  Really, in my opinion all the pink in October has really gotten out of hand.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It even borders on making me angry.

But what I have to ask myself... forcing myself to be honest... is WHY does it make me angry?  Is it because I feel like by seeing pink every time I turn around that the breast cancer message is being forced on me?  That it has reached proportions of absurdity?  That it has become the latest fad and that seeing football players and TV stars promoting it is absurd, especially since most of them probably don't even KNOW someone who has been affected by breast cancer?  Or is it because I knew... I KNEW... that come November we would NOT be seeing blue every time we turned around.  And because I want our message out there like that too?  I want people to stop and think. about the 40 that will be diagnosed that day.  I want people to know about the 1 in 20 that will die from low blood sugar or other complications of this horrible disease.  I want people to not give me a blank stare and ask "Oh, is type 1 the BAD kind of diabetes?"  or "Oh, but all he has to do is eat healthy and exercise and he will get rid of it, right?"

Sugar Daddy is REALLY against the whole Pink October movement.  More so than I.  And the question that I posed to him last month was, "What if it was me?  What if I had breast cancer?"  Would we feel the same way?  I just don't know.  Because when I see the BLUE displays at the grocery store in my head instead of the pink ones, I think, "Wow... wouldn't that be cool?"  And that is just the awareness side of it... not to mention the money that would be raised for research to bring  us quicker the amazing technology that will give us the artificial pancreas... and the research that will eventually bring us to the day when we can say, "We now have a CURE!"

What I do know is that even if we never reach the level of Pink October (and I am not totally sure we should!), what can we do to make Blue November more recognized?  What can we do to get out there MORE and let people know our message? 

I know this post is a little scattered.  And that's OK... because that is how my thoughts on this are.  Scattered.  Conflicting.  Confused.  Envious.  Determined.

Forever and always DETERMINED. 


  1. I get it Donna. I want a BLUE November too!

  2. I don't think it's scattered at all -- I think it is great. I couldn't agree more with every sentiment. And . . . I even thought the same thing as you --- what if it were me? What if I had breast cancer? Would I then be less angry about all of the freaking pink? Would I be as passionate about pink as I am blue? I honestly don't know.

  3. my mother-in-law and aunt survived breast cancer...they both HATE all the pink and were annoyed beyond end when everybody wanted to get them breast cancer stuff while they were battling the darn cancer. I did hear a study once that it is believed that because it's a "mother's" cancer it gets more money, because there are so many survivors left to share their story and renewed strength it gets more is a disease that isn't as confusing in terms of "did they cause it?"
    I feel awful that November can't be more celebrated as a blue month here in our home as it is also Pancreatic cancer month, a purple color for remembering the 95% who don't survive that cancer. A month where I am still in shock that my tough retired colonel father-in-law is no longer with us. A month that I remember that pancreatic cancer only gets 1% of all the funding from NIH for cancer research, you know which one gets the most?!
    But darn it for diabetes being named just that, which always makes people wonder "isn't it cured by insulin? diet? exercise?" I also think because of organizations like JDRF and ADA it makes it harder, too...these two groups don't work together, can't even agree on the color until recently.
    I would love for diabetes to get more funding, maybe not JDRF or ADA, but research as a whole through a national recognized effort. I'd love to see blue ribbons all over the place for sure :)