Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, newly diagnosed illness, overcoming adversity

Dead Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea…Pink Sea?

You may be wondering is there really a pink sea; Google it and see what comes up. The truth is there is no Pink Sea, but today is October 1st and you may be experiencing a Sea of Pink. Today begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The use of the color pink has brought enormous attention to the Breast Cancer community. It has become defining, creating a community of those diagnosed with breast cancer, those living beyond breast cancer, and their families.

I was in Houston in April at the annual conference of the Arts and Health Alliance. While I was in town walking the main road an army of pink passed me. They were in the midst of their annual Avon Walk for the Cure. Women, men, and children all wearing pink to show their support for the Breast Cancer community.

The color pink linked to the breast cancer community has created a link and a way for community members to show their connection to the community. It becomes more prominent this time of year when buildings change out their white bulbs for pink bulbs shining a pink glow against their buildings in support. Pink ribbons are in full bloom like a field of wild lavender. It’s truly amazing that an illness has gone beyond the diagnosis and has created a community of hope, inspiration, and education.

The breast cancer community has created a culture and that’s not an easy thing to do. They have brought together the medical community, the corporate community, and individuals for a common cause. We’ll see a month filled with news stories about mammograms, treatment updates, and news of new medications such as Perjeta (a drug given FDA approval this past week).

You may not be a fan of the pink culture. Barbara Ehrenreich, noted author, is anti-pink. On an NPR interview she was clear that she didn’t want to be buried with a pink Teddy Bear. She doesn’t want to be defined for having an illness. She may not want to be defined by the pink culture, but it has served many raising money and pressure to find a cure and new treatments.

It doesn’t matter if you support the pink culture. It does matter that you support those facing Breast Cancer and all other illnesses. Perhaps we can find ways for other illnesses to find a culture that will help make their need more notable!

Are you or a loved one facing Breast Cancer?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit

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Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

You Don’t Have To Be A Star…To Be In My Show

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

As you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  If you didn’t know this little fact then you now understand why anything and everything turns pink the month of October.  The Susan G. Komen Foundation has brought breast cancer awareness to the globe and it has been adopted in every arena, including football.  This past Sunday football players were wearing pink shoes and gloves and then these items were auctioned after the game.

I talk about the “Pink” because about a year ago I found a YouTube video of hospital employees that did a dance number all wearing pink gloves.  It obviously took off because now they have a website,, and other medical centers across the country have gotten involved.

The sequel to the “Pink Glove Dance” is made up of hospital employees from 13 medical centers across the country spliced into a dancing montage and everyone is, you guessed it, wearing pink gloves.  They even included breast cancer survivors in the video.

Are you wondering what this has to do with Art and Healing?  There are really two parts to the answer.  The first is obvious, music and dance brings people together because it’s fun.  In this case it’s not only fun but it has a specific meaning.  The goal of the “pink glove dance” is to bring about awareness for breast cancer and the sequel is to let everyone with breast cancer know they are not alone.

The second part of the answer is that you don’t have to be a star, on broadway, on American Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance to allow music and dance to flow through you.  You’ll see in the video it’s not about being a drill team, but to come together as a community and make a statement.  The statement is that those fighting breast cancer and their loved ones have the full and devoted support of the community.

Imagine my surprise when I saw my local hospital featured in the video (Go Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, CO).  The video includes the housekeeping staff, the food service employees, the nurses, administrators, doctors, lab techs, etc. all dancing to show their support.

How would you like to show your support?  Go watch the video at the website and then create your own routine.  This is about breast cancer, but all you have to do is change the color of the gloves and you can support any cause you want.  It’s fun, creative, and has tremendous significance not only to those who participated, but to everyone who watches the videos.