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 ‘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"
Years ago I didn’t understand why anyone would want to blog. I mean, why share the sordid details of one’s private life with the public? A private journal is good enough, I thought. I fell into blogging accidentally. A local, large-circulation newspaper wanted me to write a medical advocacy column. That’s when I realized I could have some influence in the public arena, and I was … Continue reading the story "Why I Blog and Why You Can Too"
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"
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"
It’s not New Years, but I’m making a resolution, and that is to honor the word “Boundary.” Boundary. It’s my word for today, the rest of the year, and forever. Before cancer hit, I didn’t know how to set boundaries with people. Or maybe I knew how, but was too afraid of being assertive enough to stop people from draining me. I allowed others to … Continue reading the story "5 Ways to Set Boundaries"
I judged him way before I met him. There I lay, on my sofa, swearing up and down that I would never, could never, ever see an oncologist. I was in limbo. My surgeon told me that day -- Almost-Botched Biopsy Day -- he was pretty sure I had breast cancer. Pretty sure, but not definitely sure. (Two days later, he … Continue reading the story "‘Oncologist’ Turned On a Dime"
Chemobrain is real. Ask any patient receiving or who has received chemotherapy. Some of us recover fully from the cognitive dysfunction resulting from toxic chemicals dripped into our bodies. Others do not. And some, like me, recover a bit after treatment but never seem to quite regain their mental sharpness and stamina and focus. For me, chemobrain has been a sad, frustrating reminder of cancer. … Continue reading the story "Chemobrain: War, Then Peace"