October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Author Inspirations

Celebrations, Sweater Weather and Pretty Pink Ribbons: An Ode to October at Xulon Press

October is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthI love the month of October. Football season is in full swing, pumpkin coffee permeates the air at the coffee shop where I write and—mysteriously—crystal dishes of mini chocolate bars appear on every desk. In Florida, we don’t get the same spectacle of changing forestry as other regions, but the temp drops below ninety, teasing you with the promise of sweater-weather and the advent of the holiday season. I like to think of October as the Faberge egg of the calendar: gorgeous and glittering on the outside, just waiting to be opened so it can spill the sparkling jewels of Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years into your corduroy-clad lap. Turning leaves proclaim a celebration of the past year, and their falling seems to whisper that it’s time to start making room for the new and fresh, soon to come.  

October also carries one of my absolute favorite traditions: breast cancer awareness month. Sadly, I can recall with crushing clarity the weekend I came home from college in October 2006 and made a spur-of-the-moment decision to stay on through Monday. It was Sunday night; I was in the TV room with my mother when the ring of her cell phone brought us an unwanted wave of introduction to the aggressiveness of the disease. One of her oldest friends wasn’t going to make it through her second bout. I stayed a few extra days, and can recall a blur of hospital visits, phone calls, and a beautiful service. What I remember most distinctly was how silent my bustling home was that week. We’re never quiet. It was stifling.

Since then, I’ve been passionate about raising funds to be funneled into research for cures, alternative medicine, and to assist with covering the cost of treatment and preventative exams for women who can’t afford them. Currently, 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with this disease at some point in her lifetime. Thanks to medical advances, there’s been a steady decline in terminal cases since 1990; studies released in 2011 show that 35 out of every 36 women beat it. I have an aunt who has even been blessed enough to beat it twice! Breast cancer isn’t a distant memory yet, but it’s certainly not the end of the story, either.

Ironically, the very first editing job I ever did for Xulon Press was in 2007—the autobiography of a woman who battled breast cancer. She chose to use an alternative treatment and bravely documented every moment. Hers was just one of many pink-ribbon books we’ve been honored to publish over the years, and we’re excited to highlight some of these courageous narratives on the blog for you this month.

That’s what we’ll be celebrating in October at Xulon Press: the tenacity and faith and colorful stories of women who have overcome, the passion of men and women who are working tirelessly to make a difference in research and alternative medicine, the nurses and doctors who take a little extra time to hold a hand or whisper reassurance. We’re also celebrating the lives of women who’ve moved on to someplace so much sweeter, where undoubtedly the month of October is even brighter, even more dazzling in color and spectacle and glory.

Let us draw from their strength and learn from their examples. Like the orange-and-crimson foliage around us, let’s take a moment to celebrate—but like the pink in the ribbons plastered on store windows, let us look forward with hope. The best of God’s goodness is yet to come. Join us, will you?

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV



Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

One comment on “Celebrations, Sweater Weather and Pretty Pink Ribbons: An Ode to October at Xulon Press

  1. Brittnee, even though it was seven years ago, so sorry to hear about your Mom’s great friend.

    And your call to action to celebrate… what an awesome way to start Autumn.

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