Weekly Round Up: Stomp Out 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.

There was a movement this week among the online breast cancer community to raise awareness for metastatic breast cancer. Stomp Out Breast Cancer Monday, the brainchild of Beth Fairchild, was a collective effort to call attention to a side of the disease that rarely gets talked about. And the blogosphere joined in. Here’s what some of our favorite bloggers had to say:

This campaign is about spreading the truth about this disease, it’s not about perpetuating the myths, it’s most certainly not about saving the ta-tas or playing facebook games. We want people to know the gritty ugly truth and stop drinking the pink koolaid Carolyn

Everyone diagnosed with breast cancer lives in fear knowing that they could find out that they are metastatic. 5 years is the big milestone, but many women find out they are metastatic 10+ years after their metastatic diagnosis. It is a shadow that follows you around. Every ache and cough has to be scanned – checked – you have to make sure. We did many of those types of scans. Many clean scans while cancer was hiding away in the cells of my body. Darn Good Lemonade

Be aware of this: the culture of breast cancer has created a schism among women with the disease. There are those who have mets and those who do not, and way too often, those in the latter camp live in fear not just of the disease but of those human beings who occupy the former camp. Women with early stage disease are actively encouraged to tout all they have DONE to FIGHT and BEAT a disease that has nothing if not randomness on its side. We are only supposed to be bald once, to go through treatment once. We are not supposed to bother the world with having cancer for the rest of our lives. The culture tells us this is TIRING. The culture encourages women with lazy or passive cancer to feel superior to women with brutal and aggressive cancer. But we are all living in bodies where something went wrong. Nobody wins. Katy

Having metastatic breast cancer in your 30’s is complicated. As with most young people my age, I am in the thick of my life. I have two small children and a budding career as an architect. Until cancer, I was healthy, active and ambitious. I had patiently begun to build my life. I had even started to discover things that inspire me to dream without limits. My life was just starting to take flight, when in an instant, cancer happened and my world crashed at my feet. Anna 

I’ve grown close to a lot of women. I call them my friends, my sisters, my breasties. Many I have not met, some I have. I have listened and watched them suffer, I have heard of their woes, saw them cry, held their hands, texted feverishly, and watched die. I have watched many friends die. That’s what it’s like to live with terminal breast cancer. Kate

Some people think I should be thanking God it’s not me, but I can’t. I can’t do that because I don’t want ANYONE to be going thru this and one day, this WILL be me, and I can’t hide from it. StickIt2Stage 4

Today was emotional, but also inspiring in so many ways. I was proud of how this community rallied to get our voices heard. I hope I can continue to be a part of that rallying cry for many, many years to come. Jen

The Cancer Curmudgeon gave her support to the campaign by sharing Carolyn’s memes. Nancy, who has championed Mets Monday for two years shared tips on how to support our MBC sisters. Anne Marie has created a Pinterest board to keep the conversation going; Liza reminds us all that breast cancer is not a game; Gayle writes of the “unbearable weight of the pink ribbon”; hope in the face of MBC on the Metathriving blog;  Jo Ann reflects on ties that bind her to our online community.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere…

Yvonne marks International Women’s Day with a tribute to the Irish writer Edna O’Brien.

Beth writes of (not) winning the cancer battle on her blog this week.

I didn’t win a battle, and I am no hero. I’m no warrior. I went through diagnosis and treatment like so many others — completely terrified. I fought as hard as those who didn’t live.

It sometimes happens that when we embark on a path to a healthier lifestyle, our paths diverge from some of those close to us. This reality is beautifully explored by Elizabeth in her blog this week.

Exotic locations and beautiful images to feast on in Philippa’s blog.

In the vibrant UK blogosphere, Rebecca writes of wigs, Jo discusses dating with cancer, and Sarah shares her thoughts on hot flushes.

A telling observation by Knot on how cancer is portrayed in TV shows.

Renee writes of making peace with her cancer.

A moving post by Tami on maintaining hope in the face of adversity. “Without hope, there would be no reason to fight. I would have given up a long time ago when doctors told me I would most certainly die”.

Jamie writes of her experience of peripheral neuropathy after breast cancer treatment.

Chelsey writes movingly of living with worry and anxiety after cancer.

Helen marks lymphedema awareness day.

Caroline writes about altered body image; and as a companion piece read this post by Double Whammy.

It’s week two of Becky’s Should I Blog? project; this week’s theme is where do you draw the line in sharing online.

Debra writes of our right to make our own choices about treatment.

My lovely friend Yvonne Newbold is back blogging again. She’s had a tough time of things lately, but her resilient spirit still shines through.

Very interesting post from Audrey on the paradox of healthcare.

Barbara suggests ways to incorporate exercise into our daily lives.

I was so close to attending the YSC Summit this year, but I had to cancel my place at the last minute. I’m keeping up to date via Twitter, Facebook and blog updates. Here’s a post by Emily who is there in person.

Chris Lewis writes about taking time out.

Elissa reflects year on from her diagnosis.

Finally this week, the death of Lisa Adams, “a beacon of honesty” as Renn described her, has left many of us heart sore.  Ann wrote of her devastation on hearing the news and Britt blogged about what Lisa meant to the online community and how much we will miss her fearless, passionate voice.

Until next week,

“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.” ~ Lisa Bonchek Adams

Yours with love

Marie xxx