I recently gave a talk at a survivorship celebration and the event organizer, who thanked me afterwards, said “Wow, I have never heard anyone put cancer and grace into the same sentence.” I guess you have to be a survivor to get away with certain things. Truth is, I do believe that cancer can prompt us to live into our healing, our wholeness, and our true potential in a way that would not have been accessible to us previously. Cancer, as wicked as it is, also has certain perks. It rarely takes us unannounced. It almost always gives us a chance to take inventory of our lives and to live more consciously. Whether that is two weeks, two months, two decades or longer that we are alive, we get to live this awareness during this time. You don’t get that chance when you get hit by a bus.
One of the side effects of being cracked open by cancer is that almost all of us lose our insulation to some degree. Yet we gain an intimate understanding of what really matters to us. Through our personal ordeal, we are prone to be wise beyond our years. We tend to live lighter in our skins, less addicted to material wealth, and more oriented toward internal values like happiness and love. In response to cancer we often live more fully, and more authentically. Some of us start to paint, some learn how to dance, and others begin to write.
Share your favorite cancer blogs with us! If you are writing a blog about cancer, or are following one that you’d like to share with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.A cancer blog writer myself, I thought maybe Bay Area Cancer Connections could create a listing of cancer blogs within our community, that would be an additional resource for those of us who are touched by cancer in one way or another. Today’s post is introducing 5 blogs on breast cancer that are noteworthy for different reasons.
Whether you already have a blog you like to follow or not, I invite you to check out the five blogs below. May they inspire you in some small or big way today, or forge a connection, or sense of support, or simply bring a smile to your face. Cancer is so much more then a medical event. It changes the story of our lives. But it’s still up to us to write the next chapter.
With many heartfelt blessings,
1The Battle We Didn’t Choose: My Wife Fights Breast Cancer
This blog is written by a Angelo Merendino, husband and caregiver of Jennifer Merendino who died of breast cancer at the age of 40 in 2011. A photographer by trade, Angelo began documenting their day to day life, in the hopes that if family and friends saw what he and Jennifer were facing every day, they might have a better understanding of the challenges in their life. He said he shot the photos “out of necessity”, and completely unaware that they might one day turn into a book, or be part of an exhibition.
If you follow the link to Angelo’s blog, you will also find a Ted Talk from him as well as a short and very touching PBS video. View a full set of his astounding pictures.
Christina O. is a full time working mom, a wife, Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey mom, and a breast cancer survivor for almost a decade, who lives and works in Texas. Her blog is centered around life lessons for every blog entry that are tongue and cheek funny yet always point back toward the heart. Christina says about herself: “Pretty much I’m just an average nerdy girl who grew up to marry the love of her life, a former football jock, and together promptly raised two amazing super nerds!”
But Doctor, I Hate Pink is a brutally honest, laugh out loud funny, raw account of navigating life with metastatic breast cancer. When Ann Silberman first learned that she was considered end-stage, her goal became to make it to her youngest son’s graduation. She passed that mark some time ago. Ann is open to answering emails from fellow woman on this path and also does speaking engagements and interviews Her goal is to provide support for others with metastatic cancer. Read one of her articles called Live for Joy and hear some of the wisdom shining through this woman.
This is a blog that is maintained by twenty mothers with cancer. Each of them have a different cancer type, stage, and/or prognosis. Each of them have children, from babies to teenagers, and each of them have their own unique reaction to the cancer and the ensuing changes in their lives. But they all agree on one thing: cancer is an experience that needs to be talked about, to be brought out of the shadows, and the whole family needs access to support with it. The blog features many resources for mothers with cancer and for their kids.
Marie Ennis-O’Connor, a young breast cancer survivor, was first diagnosed at the age of 34. Marie started her blog Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer in a search to make sense of her experience with cancer. She passionately believes that more follow-up care is needed to give recognition to the post-treatment phase of cancer survivorship. She feels most cancer blogs address those newly diagnosed or currently in treatment, but not how to deal with what she calls post-treatment limbo. Marie is an avid advocate for stories of others that are journeying beyond their cancer treatment.
Petra Lentz-Snow is a breast cancer survivor and wilderness guide with the School of Lost Borders located in Big Pine, CA. To learn more about Petra and read her blog Cancer As a Rite of Passage visit www.journeysintohealing.org