Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blogs which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which I’ve wanted to share with you. Remember, if you have written or read a post recently which you would like me to share with readers, then please leave a comment below.
Thanks to an ongoing battle with insomnia, I was able for the first time to take part in the #BCSM twitter chat on Monday (you can read a transcript of the chat here). The topic was metastatic breast cancer and quite a lot of the talk was about how best to support a friend with MBC. It isn’t always easy, as often we are dealing with our fears and we are afraid we might say the wrong thing. I have written here before about how Rachel of the Cancer Culture Chronicles was the first person to really educate me to the realities of living with metastatic breast cancer, and since then, I have found a host of other vocal, passionate, bloggers on the subject – bloggers like Katherine of i hate breast cancer. This week Katherine has been discussing the things people say to you when you have cancer “if you have breast cancer, you will have heard at least one of these clueless comments” writes Katherine, but she does concede that it’s “not easy to know what to say and in most cases, the responses are truly heartfelt if often unintentionally hilarious”.
Dr Matthew Katz who is an informative and supportive presence on Twitter (@subatomicdoc for my twitterati readers) has written an interesting article for Oncology Times this week:
Cancer is an illness of transformation. Biologically, it represents a change in growth and homeostasis. Metaphorically, a cancer diagnosis can transform how you see yourself and the way you experience life afterward. Even after successful treatment, patients live with continual uncertainty, leaving them in a limbo called NED because confirming cure is difficult.
Nancy has another of her thought-provoking posts this week as she ask the question what is a typical cancer diagnosis? And what does it do to your life?Well one thing it does, is it “eats up about a year of a person’s life by the time all is said and done.”
Breast reconstruction is one of the decisions and further surgeries that we face as breast cancer survivors and Bringing Up Goliath is dealing with the topic on her blog this week.
Also writing about surgery and squeamishness is Jackie at Dispatch From Second Base, and also reflecting on patient empowerment.
Of course we know that cancer doesn’t just affect us physically, but emotionally and psychologically we also have a battle on our hands, and it is this emotional side of cancer that Britta Aragon addresses on her blog this week.
In Decisions, Decisions, Oh My, Anne Marie is weighing up choices and wondering what the likelihood is that she might develop a SECOND breast cancer, whilst also wishing for a pair of Dorothy’s ruby red shoes to click.
In a week which saw a new report launched which finds that although the survival rate for younger women with breast cancer has improved over the last two decades, their cancer treatments can seriously affect quality of life and other health outcomes, Catherine’s latest post is very apposite.
Jeannine Walston, co-founder of EmbodiWorks, a non-profit organization providing integrative cancer care resources emailed me during the week to alert me to her latest article in the Huffington Post about how she healed after her second brain surgery.
Gorgeous pictures of snowdrops on Being Sarah’s blog and I so enjoyed reading about these hopeful, delicate, beautiful signs of spring.
Florence is taking a break from blogging while she undergoes a mastectomy and I am sure you will join with me in sending her healing thoughts and wishes.
The Pink Underbelly has been musing on what and how much you should your child when you have been diagnosed with cancer
Having cancer is a full-time job, as is raising young kids. So I never found the right answer, and decided to just wing it.
I can imagine how scary it must be for kids when a parent has cancer, but it seems to me that she is doing a great job winging it.
I always come away from Jody’s Women With Cancer blog more enlightened and informed about the key issues of patient advocacy and this week is no exception.
Debbie has a week’s worth of great posts on Where We Go Now, including a cancer poem, tips for yoga, and my favorite, Mindful Monday.
I always find it fabulously exotic when Phillipa goes on her adventures and this week she is sharing with us her experience of Mrauk U at Christmastime. And another dear friend on her own adventure is Terri – check out A Fresh Chapter for the latest installment.
Memories of Christmases past are haunting Jan’s reveries this week and my heart was deeply touched by her latest post.
Another blog tugging at my heart-strings is The Accidental Amazon’s Musings From Limbo. I am sure many of you have visited the place described by Kathi so eloquently this week, so why not pop by her blog and show her your support.
From one amazon to another…
I love this line from the Becoming Amazon blog and hope it may also offer some light and solace to Kathi, as it did me.
I work again to honor the Divine in me – the blessed wound that keeps bringing me to a place of compassion and presence and examination of what is true.
Honoring the Divine reminds me that Katie of Uneasy Pink is joining the Sharon Salzberg 28 day meditation challenge, starting February 1st. Who is going to join her?
Finally, regular readers will have heard me talk about author and blogger Therese Borchard and how much I admire her courage and honesty in shining a light into the darkness of depression. So it was with shock and dismay that I read on her Beyond Blue blog that because of health and personal reasons, she will no longer be maintaining it. I feel as if I am losing a friend – her compassion and her insight sustained me through many a dark time of depression. I do of course understand Therese’s reasons for pulling back and I admire her wisdom in knowing what the right thing to do for herself and her family is, but gosh, I will miss Beyond Blue. It has made me think of how much we come to depend on things and people staying the same and knowing they will be right in the same place we left them, don’t you think?
Until next week, keep working on honoring the Divine in you by being compassionate and present to whatever you are experiencing in your life right now.
I’m so sorry you are battling insomnia, Marie, but am glad you could participate in the Twitter chat. I haven’t been part of that discussion for a while now (for reasons too complicated to address here), but am glad so many are benefiting. Thanks so much for your weekly line-up and for including my post in your list. Take good care and get some needed sleep. XOX
Hope your insomnia will leave you soon Marie, and also that signs of spring will be waiting for you to find them soon. Thanks for including the snowdrops. Best, Sarah
Marie, today I sent through every single link you posted. Each and every one is FABulous. As are you! Stay well.
You too my dear x
I’m going to be Debbie Downer only because of the BCSM chat (which I LOVED that you were there…. ) and the fact that we were discussing mets & NED. I was having a hard time holding it together because the private issues of others have no place in my blogging or tweeting.
Today, however, I am asking all of your readers to send whatever speaks to them (thoughts, prayers, lighted candles……) in the direction of NY. My friend died last night. She was NED and then she wasn’t and then she died. Under a year. Am I feeling guilt? Hell, yeah. I’m alive. Shoulda done more….not going there. She was 39 and her little girl is I believe 7 or 8. A little girl without her mommy. Please remember them.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had trouble sleeping, although your insomnia comes very well justified… Thank you for a wonderful round up (as always).
Anne Marie – I am so sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her daughter.
Marie – Thanks for this: Until next week, keep working on honoring the Divine in you by being compassionate and present to whatever you are experiencing in your life right now.
Thanks for taking the time to comment Terri – it is so good to hear from you and to feel so connected even though you are so far away x
Oh Anne Marie I am so sorry to hear this – I know just how you feel – that sense of shock, feeling of helplessness and the why her and not me thoughts. Only today I myself heard of another friend who has been diagnosed with mets after being NED for a few years. She has a 6 month old baby and a toddler. Cancer truly is a heartless thief – it comes in the middle of the night and steals our most precious jewels.
Thanks for including Where We Go Now in your weekly round-up, Marie. I hope you are able to rest and relax this weekend.
Survival > Existence,
Thanks for the shout out—here a blog to consider for your next one:
Hi Katherine, thanks for sharing a new blog with us – it’s always wonderful to hear a new voice and gain a fresh perspective in the blogosphere.
Marie, you are amazing. I don’t know how you find the time and generosity to read all of these wonderful blogs, but I’m so glad you do. Thank you for including mine in this incredible line-up. I’m also glad for the link to Dr. Katz’s article. I do like him very much. He’s one of my fave Twitter docs.
Thank you for another great round-up. Now, to make a few cups of tea and settle in front of my computer…
Kathi, your post this week moved me very much. Thank you for your kind words and support – it is good to know we aren’t alone on this journey x
I am following several blogs that you have mentioned and find them very helpful and interestiing. And thank you for following mine!
I bought some fresh flowers today and replaced the candle on our dining table with them. I feel as if we are coming out of the dark and into more light!
That’s a beautiful image for me today – thank you Lois
I’m sorry about your insomnia – it is so frustrating. However, I was so pleased to see you on the #bcsm discussion!
This is a wonderful Round Up (as it always is) – I love the sense of connection, community and friendship I always have when I read it and am delighted to connect with blogs I had not previously known. And thanks for including the gecko too 🙂 As a little sneak preview – I am trying my hardest to meet up with Terri while she is in my corner of the globe – watch this space ….
Hugs and thanks xox
I so agree Phillipa that this sense of connection and community is something really special and I do think that the weekly round up conveys a real sense of our connectedness. Wouldn’t it be so great if you can meet up with Terri? I really do hope it happens for you both x
I’m really happy you were able to join the chat this week, but I’m sorry you’ve been having trouble sleeping. I have a bit of trouble with that myself…
Thank you so much for putting together another round-up and for including Nancy’s Point.
Hope you’re able to rest up this weekend!
Thanks Nancy – going through a bit of emotional stress and having trouble sleeping, but I am sure it will come right again soon – and in the meantime, I am making the most of those wee small hours 😉
I can only imagine how long it takes you to weave these stories together – but it’s really great and I appreciate you sharing my fertility post. Thank you! Catherine
It does take quite some time Catherine but I love to do it and as I always say to clients, find your passion and everything else will flow.
Thank you for mentioning my blog. It is an honour. And thank you for your healing thoughts and wishes as I recover from my mastectomy.