Weekly Round-Up

girl_with_lassoTime 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.

I was going to start off by saying there are no words to describe the horror and heartbreak of the world as we watched the news break about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week – as Nancy writes in The Pink Underbelly, ” Mere words are virtually powerless in the face of such an unimaginable tragedy, and yet we try”. Katie Ford Hall asks some probing questions about the tragedy, which after all may not even be answerable. Similarly Jen writes,  “I want to ask why, but there is no answer.”  Of course that doesn’t stop commentators coming up with their own answers and in a thoughtful post, Random Thoughts After TragedyDr Kathleen Hoffman asks for more circumspection when commenting and apportioning blame.  Nancy’s Point captures the sadness and the anger felt by many, but she also holds on to hope that something will change “I feel hopeful because I don’t want to feel hopeless. I feel hopeful because finally, the losses have become too great to bear”, she writes. Debbie advises us to honor our grief but also actively seek peace and ways to make a difference. Yvonne,  Debbie and Lauren all look to the wise words of Mr Rogers to help make sense of the senseless. This also echoes the beautiful words written by Joanna Patterson  this week:

This is not the time to stop (writing) but to start: to keep looking, to keep noticing, to keep declaring that there are still, in the midst of illness and grief, in between the heartbeats of sorrow and loss, in the middle of mayhem and destruction, still moments of kindness and generosity, of courage, friendship and love.

And in the midst of all this sadness, life goes on in the blogosphere…

In My Body, Myself, Beth writes movingly of losing trust in her body post cancer, while Nicole takes some time to honor the men who love and care for the women with breast cancer. Catherine has another post-cancer issue to deal with –  a decision to come off Tamoxifen to try for a baby. This is a huge issue for younger women and one I have personal experience of. Both Beth and Catherine’s posts point to how complicated survivorship is for us and how our stories don’t end the day treatment is over.  This theme of cancer survival is also taken up by Debbie Thomas in her latest blog.

The Accidental Amazon is challenging us all to think more carefully about online awards and her in-depth research made me think of our fearless and most beloved Rachel who was a warrior when it came to investigating the story behind the scenes. Rachel has also been very much on Lori’s mind this week.

My friend Terri is dealing with some disappointment this week in her efforts to get her group of cancer survivors to Delhi. But Terri is not one to remain undaunted by a set back – check out her latest audacious idea, and please help her  spread the word. And while you are doing that, don’t forget to check out her feature article on Huffington Post.

I am being a bit of a Christmas Grinch this Christmastime, but it cheered me up to see  an outbreak of Christmas spirit on Kari’s blog, and Anne Marie’s too (despite a really stressful time for her recently). And Philippa’s stunning pictures of snow in Mongolia transported me  to an exotic winter wonderland – do check them out.

Finally, this week, I am sad to bid farewell to one of our blogging sisters – Brenda Coffee.  Brenda’s Blog was one of the first breast cancer blogs I read and I found her posts insightful, often provocative and always entertaining. I will miss Brenda’s voice online, but I am excited at the new direction her life is taking her, and am full of admiration for her fortitude and courage since the heartbreaking loss of her beloved husband James two years ago. You can read Brenda’s final blog here and she has asked me to pass on this message to you all:

Dear Friends,
This is more difficult than I imagined, but this is my last blog on Breast Cancer Sisterhood. I know you’re all aware that I’ve been blogging less and not posting on Facebook, things I never thought would happen. The truth is, I’m at an exciting crossroads in my life, and it’s time for me to move on.  As you read this last blog, you can’t possibly know how much I value our relationship or that so many of you are, and will continue to be, in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep me posted on how you’re doing, and I will do the same.
I am sure you will join me in wishing Brenda good health and happiness in her new life.

As this is the last round-up of 2012, I want to take the opportunity to wish you a joyful holiday season and may the New Year bring you health, happiness and renewed blogging brio.

Yours with love

Marie xxx