Pressure. I’m under the pressure of living up to others’ expectations of what a cancer survivor should be. Over the years, well-meaning people’s comments have stirred these feelings -- from saying I was courageous to have faced cancer to telling me there was a divine reason I survived. Got Courage? I don’t. I want to run away from that hero-on-a-pedestal sculpture people have made of me and now … Continue reading the story "Running On Empty"
Post Archives tagged ‘breast cancer’
Pre-cancer, I was sturdy, strong, resilient. I reached far into the sky, living the myth that mortality was far, far away, especially since I took excellent care of my body. Like many young people, I believed I wouldn’t have to confront death for a long time. I had incredible amounts of energy and an amazing memory, and I was in excellent physical shape, being an avid … Continue reading the story "Aging Ungracefully"
I dislike many platitudes when it comes to cancer. The general healthy public likes to give a positive spin to cancer -- especially breast cancer, of course. In fact, so many in our society consider breast cancer the cute, benign sort of cancer, even though it kills and maims. Well-meaning people have tritely referred to my breast cancer experience as a “journey,” as if there’s a … Continue reading the story "No, Cancer is Not a Journey"
When it comes to cause marketing, I thought I’d seen it all -- until I walked into the grocery store the other day. As soon as I walked in, I saw seedless watermelons sporting large pink-ribbon stickers. And to add insult to pink injury, right next to the ribbon the sticker said, “A Sweet Way to Stay Healthy.” This cutesy message strongly implies that watermelon somehow … Continue reading the story "Watermelon for a Cure"
“Oooh, that’s one creepy-looking dinosaur!” I told my wide-eyed-but-ready-for-bedtime daughter. “Then read about it, Mommy!” she laughed, pointing at the ferocious dinosaur in one of her favorite books. “Honey, I’m so glad they are extinct.” “Otherwise, they would chase us and eat us?” “Yes, I’m sure.” She yawned. “I’m glad they are extinct, too,” as she rolled over to sleep. It’s now midnight, and I’ve been trying to sleep for hours, … Continue reading the story "Dinosaurs"
When I was a teenager and young adult, I really took to bowling. It started in high school, when a gym teacher taught us how to bowl with the proper mechanics. I bowled every week with friends and was pretty decent at the sport. Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t great, not even close. But I had a knack for it -- and even more … Continue reading the story "Bowled Over"
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"
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"