Weekly Round Up: The “I wish I had breast cancer” Edition

girl_with_lassoTime for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts 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. Don’t forget if you have written a post which you would like readers to see, just leave a comment below.

Another week, another controversy in cancer land. The “I wish I had breast cancer” ad campaign for the UK Pancreatic Cancer Network elicited a passionate response from the breast cancer community. Beth lists the reasons she feels this ad is inappropriate in My Cancer Is Worse Than Yours, while Nancy summed up  her thoughts with the words: “In the end, the ad’s effect on me was mostly to make me sad. Cancer is not a competition; but yet when you think about it, as far as research dollars go maybe it is.” And Audrey spoke for many of us when she wrote:  I suspect I’m not the only person whose main reaction was not anger surprisingly but honestly, it was that I felt hurt. Not just for myself but for all those whose lives have been changed by and lost to breast cancer.  Both Nancy and Tami write that they understand how angry and desperate a person can become when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

I’ve certainly felt that way at times. To be brutally honest, I sometimes am secretly jealous of people with early stage breast cancer. But then I remember what it was like having early stage cancer myself.  I always had the fear of it coming back and all of a sudden, I was painfully aware of my mortality. I also remember there are so many people with early stage breast cancer who are tirelessly working for the rest of us, whether it’s providing support to patients and families or reviewing research studies for breakthrough treatments. (Tami)

Eileen,  The Cancer Curmudgeon and Knot Telling bring up an important point, which hadn’t immediately occurred to me, but upon reading it, I found myself saying a loud yes. CC writes of ” just how badly Pink has failed in conveying the gravity of getting a breast cancer diagnosis” – a thought echoed by Eileen: “The Pink Ribbon crap seems to have duped the public, even other segments of the cancer community, into believing those with breast cancer don’t suffer or die like those with other cancers.”.  Similarly, KT writes of how the “smiling image of the “warrior” who had a few tough months of treatment and then “beat the cancer” and is now happier and healthier than ever, is a lie. Breast cancer is not a stubbed toe or a head cold. Breast cancer maims and kills. No one can ever be sure they will not have a recurrence. Again, almost one in three of us do.”  And lest we are in any doubt about this, Katherine’s post Gone Too Soon is a sobering reminder, as is Ismena’s latest post and Scorchy’s on the reality of living with metastatic breast cancer. 

 Elsewhere in the blogosphere…

Lovely to have Jackie back blogging again. Her post on residual fear makes for clear and cogent reading.

Catherine is celebrating some good news.

An interesting topic under discussion by Elyn Jacobs on the 1 Up On Cancer blog on cancer etiquette.

A beautiful post to honor the memory of Philippa’s father, on this his birthday – the first Philippa has had to face without him.

A tale of bureaucracy gone mad and some gorgeous pictures of Yvonne Newbold with her son Toby.

Reflections on the nature of resilience, suffering and grief by The Pink Underbelly.

A must-read for any parent by Elizabeth on loving, supporting and understanding your child.

Yvonne writes eloquently of the everyday unexpected  griefs of widowhood.

A thought-provoking post and a call for action from MBCN on the need for more diversity in social media, especially when it comes to metastatic breast cancer and the disproportionate representation of  the black community.

Thanks to Jo for pointing me in the direction of a new blog Sam Space.

Check out the talent art by Sarah on Paint C Out.

Finally, this week, Terri is off on her adventures again and she writes honestly about the initial stages of a new experience, whether travel or a change in life circumstances, and the lessons it teaches us.

The more I travel, the more I come to appreciate the lessons it has for me. This week is no exception. Life is not about comparing and contrasting experiences and always seeking the “best” place to go. It is about surrendering to every experience. It is about allowing people and places to reveal themselves in their own time and in their own way. And, it is about staying open enough to appreciate how each place can help you see the world from a new perspective. As Marcel Proust says, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Until next week,

May you have no eyes to see, and new ears to hear and a new heart to awaken to the wonders of your life,

Yours with love

Marie xxx