as pinktober approaches….

Just like women used to be offended or even upset by sexist advertising campaigns of the past, I have grown to loathe the big pharmaceutical companies’ cancer drug commercials. I am also on overload on hospital and cancer treatment center commercials. They are my trigger and I hate watching them. They are my reminder that cancer lurks. Maybe that’s reality, but as a breast cancer survivor I don’t need to be smacked in the face with that all of the time, and essentially every damn day.

At the top of my list are the commercials Pfizer runs on Ibrance. Ibrance is a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer. As per Wikipedia:

Palbociclib (codenamed PD-0332991, trade name Ibrance) is a drug for the treatment of ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer developed by Pfizer. It is a selective inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK4 and CDK6.[1][2] Palbociclib was the first CDK4/6 inhibitor to be approved as a cancer therapy by any organization, and as of December 2017 has been prescribed more than 90,000 times.[3]

I had invasive lobular breast cancer. I was lucky to be HER2 negative, and to be someone who came through with stage 2 and I also had clean margins. I was able to escape chemotherapy and only have radiation. The word “only” is somewhat subjective because the radiation has caused other issues down the road along with the Tamoxifen. Treating cancer has completely abandoned my digestive system, and given me mild hypothyroidism, slight osteopenia, and early growing cataracts earlier than I ever should of had to have worried about them.

OK I’m going to put my big girl panties back on and say would I do it all over again to stay alive? No doubt. But I am tired of the cancer commercials. And Pfizer has added insult to injury by naming one of its cancer victims in the Ibrance commercial which is used to treat women who live with metastatic versions of my cancer Carla. Every freaking time I hear the commercial my brain snaps. I often change the channel if I can’t forward through it because I have such a hard time hearing my name and the type of cancer I had in a commercial on television.

“Carla is living with metastatic breast cancer….” the female narrator begins. I hear my name, and boom! that fear rises in my throat every time….the woman is middle aged with dark hair and a family.

I just can’t process this commercial. I am having a harder and harder time with all of the cancer related commercials the inundate us on TV. They are as bad as the political ads starting up. And much like the political ads, big Pharma and hospital systems and what not will be going gangbusters because we are on the eve of pinktober.

I am seven years cancer free. I count my blessings as a survivor every day. But I wish I didn’t have to be smacked in the face with this via commercials as often as I am.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way I am guessing.

Sign me #pinkoverload and it is not even #pinktober yet.

About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
This entry was posted in breast cancer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to as pinktober approaches….

  1. Alene Nitzky says:

    I HATE those commercials!! And what an added smack in the face with your own name! I will be happy when they stop direct to consumer drug ads altogether. Not that I’m holding my breath… Sorry Carla. I hope you will never ever need to revisit cancer treatment again.

  2. Pazlo says:

    It appears big pharma is inventing new ways to scare, terrorize and emotionally extort people into buying their products.
    The worst is the pharma that offers to extend the life of terminal cancer patients by nine months.
    What a horrible commercial.
    “What if you had more time?”
    Pharma is for humans, but without human emotions.

    Seek peace,


  3. Ruth Arnold says:

    I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November of 2018. The ibrance commercial bums me out and makes me nervous every time it comes on. Usually I DVR so I can fast forward but it’s still there.

    Carla has a longing expression throughout the video. She sits on the sidelines and can only manage to play a board game when the rest of her family is active. And I am not Carla.

    I am a widow with two teen boys. I work full time. I’m trying to live in light and with energy and I feel good physically but the ibrance commercial reminds me in moments when I am not thinking of it, that I do have something deadly inside of me.

    Lilly has an alternative drug and their commercial is way better. I was joking with my ibrance nurse that I would like to switch medications because that commercial talks about strength and fighting.

    I am planning to live with energy and planning to live with happiness and trying to live beyond my metastatic breast cancer. I want my living to overshadow my concerns for poor health and dying.

    I don’t want to be that Carla. I don’t want Carla to scare me. I am taking ibrance because of its medical implications but it is very much in spite of the commercial.

    • carla says:

      Dear Ruth,
      I am sending you big hugs. I totally get what you are saying although I do not have metastatic breast cancer.

      If you are on Facebook you might want to look for a group called Beyond the Pink Moon.

      I hate the Ibrance commercial for so many reasons especially because the character bears the same first name.

      Please hang in there. Sending you positive vibes

  4. gail says:

    i can’t stand watching the commercials knowing the women are not suffering from stage 4 metatastic cancer. They are actresses. i am only 2 years cancer free from stage one HER 2 triple positive breast cancer. it is an aggressive cancer that never returns in the breast per my specialist. this monster comes back in the bones lungs and or liver. i am on a horrible drug to increase my chances with terrible side effects. the chemo and radiation were debilitating and i thank God for a second chance.

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