Weekly Round Up: The MBC Edition


Happy times with Jan Hasak

Time 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.

National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day took place on October 13th and Nancy, who is a passionate advocate for MBC, reminded us that 25-30% of breast cancers (regardless of stage at diagnosis) can and do metastasize later on”.

And yet, these stories become lost in a sea of pink.

We need to hear and bear witness to these stories. As Nancy writes, “I believe most people want more. I believe most people want a truthful, complete, non-edited-down and not overly-pinktified version of breast cancer awareness”. This reminds me of a powerful quote by Audre Lorde, which I used in my Medicine X Ignite talk, a quote shared by Chelsey on her blog this week.

“My silence had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you”.

If you want to acknowledge the truth of breast cancer – the not so pretty in pink version – then you can find it in the words of Jen‘s gorgeous little boy who asks  “Mommy are you dying?” in the middle of a tough chemo week; and in the conversations Lisa has had with her two children. You can see it in Anna Craig’s powerful image of standing “alone in a crowd of pink survivors” ; in Kate’s determination not to be a mere statistic, in the tweets collected by Amy here, in Debra’s tribute to her friend Donna,  in Renee’s story of her initial shock and denial when diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.

You can read it in the words of Jan, who reported the news  this week that cancer has spread to her brain.  However, in typical Jan fashion, she relays the news without  a shred of self-pity and with her customary faith and grace.

We all cope in ways that work for us. For whatever time God has me on earth, I plan to use my words and actions to inspire compassion and hope in others. As more medical research develops, we will find many more ways to treat metastatic breast cancer, as a chronic disease, and eventually a preventable disease. Look how far medical advances have already come. Looking onward and upward with hope toward good scan results and treatment options.

Lisa DeFerrari shares some critical facts about MBC and calls for more focused research, while Jamie  and Elaine share some staggeringly misinformed ideas that formed the basis of a recent report, including “72% of people think that advanced breast cancer could be cured, and that half of those surveyed thought that it was basically a woman’s own fault if she ended up with metastatic disease”.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere….

Catherine reflects on reasons to be grateful as she celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving with her husband.

The sexualization of breast cancer came under the microscope in Eileen’s, Lori’s,  Elizabeth’s and the Cancer Curmudgeon‘s blogs.

Renn has created some clever Pinktober memes.

Great post by Yvonne  in response to Ezekiel Emanuel’s recent article in The Atlantic on why he hopes to die at 75.

Beverly McKee writes of the hidden scars of breast cancer.

Love the sound of this recipe from the Pink Kitchen, kale with roasted garlic and hazlenuts.

Looking for a taste of Ireland? Then you’ll find it on Yvonne’s blog as she writes about my home county of Clare.

And still in Ireland, I recently attended a conference on e-health in Northern Ireland, and met the delightful Fiona there. She has written a great summary on her blog.

Congratulations to Jo who has completed a charity bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool and raised lots of money for the Christie Hospital.

Some tips on dry skin brushing via Helen.

Beth’s post which touched on PTSD really resonated with me, as did Jackie’s on the rollercoaster ride that seems to go on even after treatment ends, Flo’s on scanxiety  (see LBBC blog for advice on managing your emotions when it comes to getting scans) and Kimberly and Uzma on the ever-present fear of cancer recurrence. You may find it helpful to check out this free  video series for reclaiming your life after breast cancer treatment currently being offered by my friend Gai.

I am not quite sure how to sum up Scorchy’s latest post, but it’s good, and it’s worth reading, and perhaps, go find out for yourself.

Finally this week, I leave you with a verse shared from Katy who renewed her wedding vows this week. It seems fitting for the theme of this week’s round-up.

This Paper Boat
by Ted Kooser

Carefully placed upon the future,
it tips from the breeze and skims away,
frail thing of words, this valentine,
so far to sail. And if you find it
caught in the reeds, its message blurred,
the thought that you are holding it
a moment is enough for me.

Until next week,

Yours with love

Marie xxx