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A Darker Shade of Pink

by Marilyn Daves

    I see the ribbon's pinkness and I ache to paint it black
    No cure for those of us with "METS", so take that ribbon back.
    I watch the crowd race by me, all dressed in running clothes
    I have to turn my head away until my sadness goes.
    For some of us a darker, deeper shade of pink prevails
    Doesn't anybody know that breast metastases still ails?
    Our fight continues, day by day, and some times year by year
    For many that dark shade of pink just will not disappear.
    So many friends have walked this road, so many left behind
    They fought so hard to stay with us, but cancer was unkind.
    We have their names engraved inside, their sadness and their tears
    Lost sisters with a strength and grit, who fought through endless fears.
    We feel the many side effects of hopeful treatment choices
    Neuropathies, bone loss and cramps, lost vigor in our voices.
    We look back at the years of treatments -- they'll go on and on
    But dancing with a guy named NED is our triumphant song!

    So when I see that ribbon pink, and then my own of wine
    I must stand proud and wear that ribbon for lost friends of mine.
    We're sure to face more future trials -- results unknown, that's true
    We're also making waves which may one day help some of  you.
    So please remember pink is worn to celebrate "stage one"
    "Stage four" survivors share a shade of pink -- a darker one.
    We pray that someday soon they'll find a cure for this disease
    And ribbons won't be needed when we've brought cancer to its knees.

An 8 year breast cancer survivor, Marilyn has met some wonderful women during her treatments, and as the "Herceptin girls" multiplied they formed a bond and became a group their Nurses named the "Ya Ya's" for their boisterous discussions and fun times at the clinic. As the years passed they gave each other support and hope. Marilyn is the only surviving Ya Ya, out of 6, and so the poem.