Years ago, I was unleashed onto the world as a cancer “survivor.” You know the type: triumphant, sexy, the poster child of one who fought the good fight and “won.” While many people have typecast me into this role, truth is cancer stole more from me than I can even express in one blog post. This disease took my physical and emotional health … Continue reading the story "Identity Theft"
Post Archives tagged ‘breast cancer’
My cats Hemi and Cosette have been with me for years, and I’ve been blessed: they have been relatively healthy. Until last week. It started with my beloved Cosette. She suddenly lost her appetite, had diarrhea, was lethargic, and withdrew. No interest in sleeping in momma’s bed. I tried coaxing her to eat, and when that didn’t work, I called the veterinarian for advice and … Continue reading the story "In Sickness and In Health"
Since breast cancer diagnosis and throughout my survivorship, I have crossed paths with well-meaning folks who make blanket statements to comfort me. It’s sometimes difficult for those not in the cancer world to sit with the knowledge that someone has/has had cancer, let alone has had difficulty coping. So people try to pretty it up by attempting to sell seemingly harmless platitudes. Like many who’ve had/have … Continue reading the story "Attitude About Platitudes"
“Mommy, what’s that?” This week, my prosthesis had fallen out of my specialty bra and fallen into Arielle’s line of vision. **** Stay calm, I thought. I knew I’d eventually tell my daughter the truth about my having had breast cancer. I just didn’t think I’d have to peripherally broach the subject now when she was at the tender age of almost seven. Plus, I was pretty good … Continue reading the story "Pre-Mother’s Day Conversation"
For years, I’ve aired my dirty breast cancer laundry with the world. I’ve chosen this path -- to publicly document my authentic narratives and points of view on this blog -- for many reasons: to achieve catharsis by lending my voice to the breast cancer experience, to help others by assuring them they are not alone, to be a part of a community of writers, … Continue reading the story "Reflections on Blogging"
This week, someone I know told me her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago. She described this experience as a rollercoaster, a very fitting metaphor, and then asked for my advice. My first thought was, “Damn, another person diagnosed with this beastly disease.” My second thought was to offer some advice she and her mother would find helpful. So I gave … Continue reading the story "Tips for the Newly Diagnosed"
Not long ago, Marie Ennis O’Connor of Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer posed an excellent question on one of her posts; she inquired what our particular style of illness was. She based this question on Anatole Broyard’s book Intoxicated By My Illness, where the author says, “Every seriously ill person needs to develop a style for his illness.” I left the following comment on her … Continue reading the story "Survivorship by Design"
Like so many, I remember 9/11 as if it were yesterday. I often wonder about the families and friends who lost loved ones -- how have they rebuilt their lives? Or did they rebuild their lives? Ask anyone, and I’ll bet he or she will tell you where he/she was on September 11, a day of collective suffering -- not just for those of us in … Continue reading the story "Remembering 9/11"
Mastectomy is always in the news, it seems, and recent research focuses on women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer who opted to remove the affected breast as well as the supposedly healthy breast. The procedure is called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM. Peggy Orenstein addresses CPM in her widely read July 26 The New York Times Op-Ed piece titled “The Wrong Approach to Breast … Continue reading the story "Defending Mastectomy Choice"
I am pleased to participate in the blog tour that highlights each participating blogger’s writing process. I hope this post helps readers better understand mine. I was invited to this tour by the wonderful Jennifer Campisano of the excellent blog Booby and the Beast. As part of this blog tour, I answered the following four questions about my writing process. What am I currently working … Continue reading the story "My Writing Process"