Dress in Blue Day, Friday, March 2

IMG_0216[1]Will you wear something blue tomorrow? If not a whole outfit, perhaps a blue blouse, a pair of blue earrings or a blue bracelet? Why, you ask? Because Friday, March 2 is the Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Dress in Blue Day, designed to raise awareness for colon cancer. It’s also a major kickoff for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during March.

As women, we’re all aware of the dangers of breast cancer. Many of us have donated money, walked in marches, and worn pink during the month of October. But colon cancer? Not so much. Once we reach the age of 40, we’re pretty good about getting our yearly mammograms. But when we reach the age of 50, we’re a lot less pro-active about getting our first colonoscopy. Believe me, I know all too well.

Some longtime AAR readers and staff know my personal history with these diseases. But if you’re new to AAR, or don’t know, I should say that I’m a survivor of both breast cancer (nearly 12 years) and colon cancer (3 years next month). So I really have nothing against the efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer. I’m just hoping for a little more awareness for colon cancer.

It may seem like a silly thing, to wear something blue for one day. In fact, I used to think it was silly to wear pink; never did it on a regular basis until this past October when I decided to wear pink every day. I don’t own a lot of pink clothing, so most days I just wore some pink jewelry.

A funny thing happened in October. I found myself touching that pink jewelry each day more than I ever normally touch my jewelry. And when I did, I found myself thinking about breast cancer a bit more. And yes, I then found myself actually looking for more information on the web about breast cancer, and having conversations with people about breast cancer awareness month. At the end of the month, when I took off my pink bracelet for the last time, I felt a bit more empowered and knowledgeable.

So you can bet that during March I will be wearing something blue, be it a sweater, a blouse, a suit, or a piece of jewelry, each and every day. And I’m going to make it my personal mission to tell some of my friends and colleagues just why I’m wearing blue.

Now many people think of colon cancer as an old person’s disease. After all, 50 is the age generally recommended for your first colonoscopy. But if your 50th birthday is a long way off, what about your parents, your aunts and uncles, or your grandparents? Raising awareness might just help them as well. Want to know more about colon cancer for yourself or your loved ones? Some excellent information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at the American Cancer Society.

Will you wear something blue?

– LinnieGayl

11 thoughts on “Dress in Blue Day, Friday, March 2

  1. DabneyAAR

    Thanks for this. I turned 50 this year and trudged off to the internist to get that baseline colonoscopy. It’s not especially fun and several people I know commiserated with me over the prep. I didn’t care about the unpleasant prep. I just cared about the results and was relieved when I got a clean bill of health.

    A study just came out that validates the effectiveness of colonoscopy. Here’s a quote from a recent New York Times article:

    “In patients tracked for as long as 20 years, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in those who had the test and whose doctors removed precancerous growths, known as adenomatous polyps, researchers reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    So, I will wear blue tomorrow and I will push my friends and family to, at 50, get colonoscopies!

  2. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

    I’m very happy you got a colonoscopy, Dabney. The prep is annoying, but it really doesn’t matter. As you said, it’s the results that matter. And I’m very glad your results were excellent. And thank you for the quote from the NY Times.

  3. LeeB.

    I plan on wearing blue tomorrow LinnieGayl. Thanks for a thoughtful blog. It may be a cliche, but it is true that if you have your health, you have everything. And taking care of your health sometimes does include having uncomfortable exams.

  4. maggie b.

    I am so glad you told us about this LinnieGayl. I didn’t know tomorrow was the day. I’ll wear something blue!

  5. Tee

    Even if you only convince one person to get that exam, you have accomplished much, LinnieGayl. And I saw the same article that Dabney did regarding early tests. I’ve mentioned this before, but my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in the advanced stage. The first thing the surgeon said following surgery was that if the growth was removed while it was still a polyp years ago, there would have been no cancer. That almost sounds too easy, yet many people get fixated on the prep, which isn’t fun; but everything is done the next day and you get to eat anything you want. It’s so worth it.

  6. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

    Thanks, Tee. While I’m not looking forward to my three-year colonoscopy next spring, I’m keeping exactly what you said in mind. If they find any polyps and remove them, the cancer won’t start.

  7. Leigh

    Thanks for the thoughful post LinnieGayl. I will just be at home, and not really out, unless I go grocery shopping. Wish I had a pin or something that people could see.

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