Weekly Round Up

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.

Did you happen to see the photo which went viral this week of the grieving doctor? I had conflicting reactions about it. One the one hand I thought it voyeuristic and eroded the doctor’s privacy; on the other hand, it was a powerful reminder that doctors are human too. So it was interesting to read Uzma‘s take on this from her own perspective as a doctor and her reminder to healthcare professionals to:

find that moment to let it go, be human for a little while, embrace being vulnerable, and take a deep breath before opening another chart, another life, another kind of emotion.

“One of the least sustainable premises in real life is waiting for life to get easier.” I read and re-read the closing sentence of Elizabeth’s latest post and it has really stuck with me. I seem to have spent my life thinking along the lines of when I grow up, when I finish school, get a job, get married, get better… life will get easier. Elizabeth’s words reminded me of the opening lines of M. Scott Peck’s timeless book, The Road Less Travelled, “Life is difficult.” Once you can accept that, life becomes a lot easier, doesn’t it?  But the problem is, most of us don’t accept that. We think that  if we can bend ourselves or others to our will, then life will be the way we want it to be. We desire so much to be in control of our lives, and the people and circumstances around us. For those of us who have had a serious illness such as cancer, we learn pretty quickly that life doesn’t work like that. For those of us who have lost loved ones, life certainly doesn’t work like that. I still have a long way to go with this — but reading Elizabeth each week is certainly teaching me a lot about how I might go about it. Interestingly both Elizabeth and Katy’s blogs deal with the theme of staying afloat. Katy shares a lovely metaphor in her latest post on keeping afloat.

Rosie has written quite beautifully about the paradoxes of life.

I am struck again and again by the way in which life is full of opposites. I only have to go to Facebook to be presented with evidence.  Almost every day there are photos of new babies or snaps of kiddies full of life. And almost every day there are ladies in my online community facing the end of the road.  One beautiful girl lost her fight on Thursday. Another two have eloquently written about their proximity to the end and their decisions to enjoy what time they have left. They are full of grace and strength. Happy-sad. Life-death. Private-public. Busy-quiet. Life is full of opposites. We just don’t always see them.

Here’s a question, courtesy of Britt, to get you thinking today “What are the popular obsessions you cannot abide?” Right off the bat one thing that springs to mind for me is exercise, specifically running; I hate exercise, I do it for my health, but I don’t enjoy it, and I can’t imagine ever getting out there to run. I moved from Britt’s blog to Kathi‘s and what a surprise to see a post on exercising, even when we don’t feel like it! I will take your advice on board Kathi 🙂

Reading Knot’s blog this week, I was full of admiration for her in confronting a trespasser. I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to tackle the situation in the way she did. I also smiled at the picture the story conjured up in my mind and I loved the conclusion she drew from the experience. Go read her blog to find out more about it. I am also full of admiration for Renee on the path she is on right now.

Angelina Jolie’s recent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tube has garnered comment from Rachel , diagnosed with my BRCA2 mutation in 2007, at the young age of 23 and Sarah whose faulty PALB2 gene puts her at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.   Amy of the BRCA Responder shares some good tips on answering interview questions. I am always grateful to Dr Elaine Schattner for offering her perspective on topical issues, and this week she helps us understand and put into perspective Angelina Jolie’s decision. Both Nancy of the Pink Underbelly and the YSC blog stress making choices about our health that is right for you personally. As Nancy reminds us:

What works for you may not be the same thing that works for me, or for your neighbor or your cousin or the woman who works at your favorite Hallmark store. Cancer, like any disease, is an immensely personal issue, and any and all decisions resulting from a diagnosis should be personal.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere….

Chelsey shares some wonderful news – she is expecting twins through her successful surrogacy.  As I’ve written here before, infertility has been the hardest part of my journey with breast cancer – something that Carrie has been reflecting on in her latest blog post. And hat tip to Elizabeth for pointing me in the direction of the Infertile Ground blog

Jen will be participating in a silent auction and yoga event this weekend.

Elissa is extolling the creative virtues of doodling with some stunning results.

A great read by Debbie on working out cancer anger.

I loved reading Stacey of the Coffee Mommy blog’s post on authenticity.

The Breast Investigators report on a study to predicting ovarian function in premenopausal breast cancer patients, while Barbara investigates the topic of pain control in breast cancer treatment.

An excellent overview by Tami on MBC needs and priorities.

Emily is taking part in The Ride To Conquer Cancer – learn more about how you can support her on her blog.

Tracy has been reflecting on how a cancer diagnosis is the fastest way to find out who your friends are.

A heart-felt plea by Corrie to unite in our research efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Catherine is considering designing a video game on coping with cancer – if you have any suggestions on this, do let her know.

Susanne has had a busy week blogging. Catch up with her news and updates.

A good description of palliative care by Caroline.

A beautiful testament to love written by Yvonne Watterson this week.

Carolyn‘s sister Julie’s novel Mazie Baby has been nominated for a book award, and she’d like your help in voting for it.

Stacey has been celebrating her birthday and her cancerversary.

Susan is looking forward to her upcoming trip to the LBBC Metastatic Breast Cancer conference.

Some excellent tips by Nancy on maintaining a blog, while Laurie ponders the blogger’s dilemma – how much to share online and Carly has some advice on making your blog more accessible for people with disabilities

Finally this week, I leave you with a quote from Justine’s blog – it’s a shout-out to all of us who suffer from perfectionism.

…nothing is perfect and light will never shine in perfectionistic darkness, which means nothing will ever grow.

Until next week,

Remember that crack in everything that lets the light shine in

Yours in love and light

Marie xxx