30. “Pink Ribbon Blues” – A Poem

I was inspired by the Pink Ribbon Blues Poetry Jam this summer. If you haven’t read the winning poems, check them out. They were chosen by popular vote and over 250 people participated in the voting. None of my own poems were included, but I did write poems during the jam. It seemed only right. As an avid researcher and writer, it was fun for me to use words in a new and creative way. After the contest, a friend of mine announced a poetry contest to our book club. I wondered… “should I?” I’d written poems in my life but usually kept them to myself. I never considered entering them into a contest. I decided to give it a try. I re-worked one of the poems I’d written during the poetry jam and sent it in. Then I got on with the rest of my work.

To my surprise:

 It is fitting to end Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the award-winning poem, “Pink Ribbon Blues.”


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2 comments to 30. “Pink Ribbon Blues” – A Poem

  • Gayle,

    The poem is quite beautifully written and I LOVE the use of the words in the latter half of the poem. I suspect they mean more to those of us who can read between the lines of phrases like “thirty years, *running* & “crossing hearts *with hope* & “promises to *sisters*.”

    I do love the poem but mostly, I wanted to thank you for everything you did this month to EDUCATE me and I am sure, many others.

    I hope the next twelve months brings real & meaningful change to the face of the disease. I hope your words and those of us who are inspired by your dedication can find ways to change the conversation.

    Hope is killing women. Running helps those who run keep their hearts healthy. As for the rest of us, the survivors, the metavivors and the previvors: Research is the answer.

    Thank you, Gayle for picking up the cause and staying with it. You make a difference every day and for that, I offer you my deepest gratitude and a most personal thank you.

    To steal your line,

    Onward and Upward,


"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest cutt.ly/jei8WJr

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"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause iafrica.com

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' KCRW

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed Philly Inquirer

Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science Reuters

The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion? Salon.com

Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood. In Deep with Angie Coiro

Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue? NPR's All Things Considered

How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health? America’s Radio News Network

Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Marie Claire

Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases? Slate

Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red The Sacramento Bee

Get Your Pink Off Ottawa Citizen

Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions USA Today