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.
“We have a new Army of Women Call to Action. Everyone, pay attention….. YOU… in the corner. Don’t you DARE click away from this page until you check it out……”
Not my words, but AnneMarie exhorting everyone who can, to do their bit for breast cancer research..which is a call taken up by Debbie on her Cancer Warrior Wednesday post and Renn on her blog The “Big C” and Me. And why do women like Debbie and AnneMarie and the other Army of Women volunteers do what they do? I am guessing here, but I think my guess is correct, when I say that they do not want other women to have to go through this insidious disease of cancer. We none of us ever want to go through it again, but as Nancy of The Pink Underbellywrites, cancer lurks in our past, our present and fear for our future:
We may think we’ve dodged a bullet or done our time or earned our freedom or whatever metaphor applies, but the truth is, it’s random and it’s scary. The periodic scans that make up the fabric of a cancer patient’s life are unnerving. There’s a delicate balance between wanting to be normal and being realistic. We hold our breath for the “all clear” while awaiting the blow that once again knocks the wind out of us and shatters our fragile peace.
A huge part of the fear of a cancer recurrence is fear for our family’s futures and Philippa has touched on this with her post Achingly Familiar?
This week, Nancy is dealing with the adjustment to a new oncologist and reflecting on how cancer has made her much more adaptable (she’s had to be!).
Kathi is examining the financial burdens imposed on us by a diagnosis of cancer and indirectly it is the topic of financial support from a well-known breast cancer organization (or should I say lack thereof) which sparked off the latest post from cancerfreetobe.
In her “fight against the useless and harmful” Candida has written a great post on the stupid things people say to those with cancer.
I was incredibly moved by a post by Cassie McDaniel this week and think it should be mandatory reading for all healthcare professionals.
A delightful post on celebrating the joy of little things from mainleyhopeful and on the same theme of joy, Beth has shared the story of adopting her beautiful baby girl Ari, and how much joy she brings to her life.
I loved Jen’s post on friendship and her “champions”.
More on decluttering our lives and wonderful poetry from Lois Hjelmstad and decluttering or rather downsizing is on the agenda at Jan’s blog too (also take time to check out the gorgeous picture of Jan as a little girl – it’s like a painting).
The latest post on Time To Consider The Lillies was inspired by the news that printing of the Encyclopedia Britannica is to cease. The nostalgia of this post resonates deeply with me, but I also find it interesting how Yvonne draws a line from the old to the new, as she looks forward to the ways in which we now get our information online and the opportunities we have to interact with that information and those who disseminate it.
One of these great ways to connect is through Twitter and Jackie gives us 4 reasons why Twitter is a great health resource. As I have written here many times, I am excited to be a part of this changing paradigm of patient/medic interaction and patient-to-patient support, facilitated hugely by Web 2.0 platforms like Twitter and I can’t wait to see where it will take us in the future.
Back in the days when I was lost in other worlds through the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica, little did I dream how small our world would become and how many of the exotic places I read about (everywhere that wasn’t Ireland was exotic in those days!) I would grow up to visit. And someone who is really getting to experience other worlds is Terri as she continues her Fresh Chapter adventure, having arrived in Rwanda. Terri is also the featured guest blogger in Tami’s Miracle Survivors this week.
Now, I’ve had my fair share of recognition for this blog and it’s been a real thrill when it has happened, but never have I been recognized quite like Florence has. Check out her blog to see just who has been reading and loving her work this week.
Maura who blogs at up close and personal is pondering the nature of resilience. In a post that will resonate with many of us she writes:
I hear that word so often. It is said to be “the key” to recovering from difficult passages in life. I struggle to understand what resilience is exactly, or how one might acquire more of it.
I missed out on this beautiful post by Lani where she wrote once more of her sadness on Rachel’s passing (this was the week that she, Rachel, Nancy and Sarah were due to meet up). I am so moved by what was said to Lani by Deena:
You know, there’s a Mexican saying. A person dies three times. Once when their heart stops, once when they are buried, and once when the last person says their name. Rachel’s voice was so powerful, so important. She will be with us for a long long time.
I was thinking of these words again as I read the latest post on Bringing Up Goliath where Stacey’s brother, Mark has written movingly on the occasion of the twelfth anniversary of the death of their beloved mother.
So my final thought for you all this week is that we may never stop saying Rachel’s name and the names of all those dear ones who have passed from this life and that we do all that we can to honor their memories and support each other in carrying on without them.
Until next week.
Yours with love
I was lying in bed wide awake at 4:00am , this time from my husband’s bout of insomnia keeping me up, and I thought to myself, I hope the Friday round up is ready. And lo and behold, due to our time zone differences it was! Thank you again Marie for inspiring, informing and keeping insomnia entertaining 😉
Oh Cara..that is just so sweet of you 🙂 I have a big silly grin plastered to my face here having read your comment – thank you x
Thank you for so beautifully bringing together such a wide array of experiences. Before discovering the powerful work of this online community, I really thought I was disappearing behind the cancer. I’m daring to believe, between all of us and all we represent, that it might just be the other way around.
Yvonne you don’t know how much your comment means to me…this is just how I feel about online communities like ours…it’s incredible! Thank YOU for being part of it and providing us with such thoughtful and beautiful writing.
So true that “c” lurks in our past, present and fears of future. Just had another nightmare that’s testimony of that, at least for me. On a happier note, Marie you do so well at honoring folks who have passed away and recognizing and bringing together ladies with thoughts to share that help us.
As far as Kathi’s post on financial challenges (Cancerfreetobe) wanted to build on it by mentioning a great org I just learned about (Right Action for Women launched by Christina Applegate). It pays all or a huge chunk of MRIs for women in US at high risk for breast breast cancer, including survivors. For more info, google Right Action for Women or check out the article I wrote at http://www.1uponcancer.com/breast/
Thanks for including me in a list of posts you find helpful. It makes me feel like all the work that goes into blogging pays off in spades if it assists and makes a difference in the lives of people suffering from this illness.
Such a wonderful collection of blogs and bloggers – thanks for sharing them Marie.
Marie, it is testament to your wonderful community that you have women checking in the middle of the night in some corners of the world and in the early evening in others – that is how eagerly we await your Round Up.
Thank you for the care and attention you put into preparing this, and thank you for giving the gecko a shout 🙂
Thanks so much for always enlightening us with your Weekly Roundup. You have exposed me to many blogs I’d otherwise not know about. I reached out to Florence, who shares my admiration and connection with Bernie Siegel. And it was so neat to read about Beth’s adoption! I feel honored to once again be included in your list. Keep up the wonderful work of bringing us bloggers all together!
Thanks so much Tami for taking the time to leave such an encouraging and warm comment – it really does mean the world to me to see this little community connect and grow. Marie x
TY for the mention Marie. I can’t tell you how much I miss Rach… I love what you wrote:
“So my final thought for you all this week is that we may never stop saying Rachel’s name”
Thank you Sarah – Rachel is never far from my thoughts and it is good to see her still being written and spoken about – may we never forgot our dearly departed loved ones and may we always honour their memories in their lives.
Thank you, Marie, for including my posting in your round-up this week. I am really honored to be included among these great bloggers. The online community is strong, and your round-ups are always welcomed!!
I loved learning more about the story of how your beautiful daughter came to be part of your life Beth x
On All Souls Sunday (the first Sunday after Halloween) the church I attend has the ritual of reading the names of everyone who has died from our group since our inception. In light of this discussion, I can see how important this ritual is.
Thank you for this insight. We must never forget.
Lois, thank you for sharing this beautiful ritual. I know of something similar at my own church where votive lights are lit in memory of the deceased on All Souls Day – but I think there is something even more powerful when the names are read out in the way you describe
Thank you again Marie. I am Learning so much from this community!
Jen, so happy to have found your blog and your wonderful writing and to be able to include it here.
🙂 back at ya!
Wow, it’s going to take me at least a month of Saturdays AND Sundays to read through all these wonderful posts! Thanks for the wonderful mini-reviews, and for including my blog in your line-up. Have a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day. XXOO
I sometimes feel like it might be overwhelming too..which is why I do the little descriptors – that way readers can choose to read what speaks most to their experience each week 🙂
I really appreciate your round-up too, Marie. I love discovering new blogs I may otherwise have missed. You are so wonderful to do this week in and week out. Thank you very much for including Nancy’s Point in your round-up. Your support means a great deal to me. And yes, we’ll keep remembering and honoring…
And I really appreciate all your wonderful support Nancy x
Hi Marie – I’m new to the breast cancer blogosphere (for want of a better term), having just started my own blog here in the tropical zone of Oz – and what a fantastic discovery your site has been!! I have been sitting here clicking on and bookmarking links – an absolute treasure trove. Sleep may be an issue!! Thanks so much for your efforts – I will be visiting often.
Welcome, welcome, welcome Liz! Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself to us today – you won’t find a better line up of blogs than in this list! Looking forward to checking out your blog and welcome once again to the blogosphere. Marie
Thank you, Marie, once again, for including my post in your round-up. I’m so glad you included Beth’s wonderful post about her daughter! My favorite of the week, I think.
And I’m glad you brought up the Army of Women. I’ve participated in several research studies myself, a number of them through the AOW, and it makes you feel really good to take part in something that can make a difference.
Rachel. There were seven of us blog sisters, including myself, that were invited to spend last weekend with her. When she died just weeks before that planned gathering, I can tell you that it weighed bitterly upon our hearts. Getting through last weekend was especially heartbreaking for us all. When I referred to our plans at her memorial, the most excruciating thing I had to admit was, “We thought we had time.”
I cannot tell you how much my heart is aching at those last words Kathi..not just when I think of Rachel but when I think of all the things i though I still had time to do with my Mom. I would give anything to have that time back again..and I wouldn’t waste a single moment of it.
I know, Marie. Oh, how we all know. Cancer is a thief. Hugs to you. Kathi
Thank you for sharing our Army of Women posts. I love this organization and the opportunity it gives me to participate in much needed research. Have a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day!
Survival > Existence,
I love your Roundup too Marie…and I too would love to add on to Kathi’s discussion…the Pink Fund is another great org to contact. They provide funds to help during the first 90 days…a critical time when the diagnosis alone is overwhelming, let alone the financial burden: http://www.thepinkfund.org/about_the_pink_fund.php. For those using integrative, I encourage you to contact me at Emerald Heart : http://www.emeraldheart.org/. We provide grants to help offset the costs of complementary and alternative treatments….however, I should add that right now, we do have a waiting list so I am concentrating on fundraising…but if you’d like to be on the waiting list, let me know.
and I love hearing from you all on my blog: Its a Strong Tree that Withstands a Hurricane: http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/ or http:elynjacobs.wordpress.com
and yes, never enough time…we always think that there will be time to say what we so very much want to say, and then it’s too late. Cancer or accident, either way, we should remember to show the love we have, every day as none of us ever really know when it will be “time”. I look back at my mother, holding steady until the very sudden decline…plans cancelled, knowing there was no coming back this time.
hugs to all!
Hi Elyn,thanks for providing these helpful links and for reminding me of your wisdom and caring x