Weekly Round Up Is Back!


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.

So happy to be (almost) back in my regular routine again. The first thing I promised myself when I got back from all my travels is to re-connect with your blogs again, so welcome back to the Weekly Round Up. It’s good to be back!

Please bear with me – I am little rusty and if I miss your blog, please DO let me know in the comments below. 

There’s only one other person I know who was as busy as I’ve been lately and that’s Stacey aka Coffee Mommy – she shares why and how on her blog. It was wonderful to meet Stacey again and for those who haven’t met her in person, here’s the scoop.. she is even prettier, lovelier, funnier, kinder, and smarter than you could ever imagine.  Here we are alongside Becky Hogue, another pretty, smart, fun and incredible person to meet in real life.

with stacey

I didn’t get to meet Andrea who blogs at Brave Bosom at Med X last week, but I did get to hear her speak on stage, and she was really good. Here’s a recap on her blog.

We are barely into October, but Pinkober is in already in full pink bloom. Some of you even started to become “pinked off” a whole month ago,  like Kathi.    Eileen cleverly de-constructs pink in her latest blog post Pink: The Dark Side.  AnneMarie reminds us “It’s not a party. Let’s be mindful of everyone affected by this”.  And of course this includes men – the forgotten voice in Pinktober.

Katherine sums up the antipathy to Pinktober felt by many of us:

For many, the saccharine sweet, surgically enhanced message conveyed by the media is completely at odds with the harsh reality of the disease. And thanks to the pink feather-boa effect, Breast Cancer is now perceived as CANCER-LITE. It’s no longer viewed as a life threatening disease, despite the fact that IT KILLS 12,000 WOMEN IN THE UK EVERY YEAR.

Sharon points out that “Awareness is far more than saving the tatas, taking off your bra, just buying something pink or playing word games on social media. There is always room for the light side of awareness but not at the expense of what is truly important”.  As Penny writes in Giving Pink The Finger:  “please don’t show me your strap or tag me on half naked pictures of yourself while modelling your sequinned bra. Go ahead, enjoy yourself, love your body but don’t rub my face in your perfect boobs. I’m sure someone else will. Have fun, just count me out for now.”

Susanne lays out this way for us:

How much do you actually know about breast cancer? You don’t have to be an oncologist to know the basic facts, but the general public doesn’t even know that much. The push for awareness went no further than to associate the color pink with breast cancer. Do you know that it’s not a “free boob job”? It’s not a “good cancer” to get?

If you don’t know these things, then you’re not really aware. And breast cancer awareness is a failure, socially and financially. We need to put more into research. Only then will we have a hope at actually finding a cure.

Susanne’s words are echoed in Rebecca’s plea to “please educate yourself about the disease. Educate others. Get involved. Know which organizations are focusing on finding the cure.”

In Gayle’s Wall of Pink Shame, she features a truly awful campaign by Pornhub (yes really!).

Nancy is getting ready to seize the ” ‘opportunity’ October brings with it to be a little louder, a little more ‘ornery’, a little more angry (‘cuz really, it’s okay, even necessary to get angry sometimes), a little more of whatever I feel like being from day to day or hour to hour.”

Meanwhile, the Cancer Curmudgeon writes of feeling disconnected and resentful of  the “fake, symbolic kind” of support this month brings.  Conversely Jan is grateful for the “true blue friendships” that enable her to feel connected to others.

The Young Women’s Breast Cancer blog is running a special series of posts for the month of October on the issues that affect younger women with breast cancer.

I really like how Jennifer offers advice to retailers on how to use Pinktober in a way that is genuinely helpful to cancer patients and  Breast Cancer Action’s PDF of critical questions to share and keep with you when you shop is essential reading.

And if you tire of pinktober, Caroline reminds us October is also liver cancer awareness month too.

Jen is in New York to share her story of metastatic cancer in a project called A Story Half Told. Blogger Jill has also take part.

Nancy of The Pink Underbelly blog profiles Dr Laura Esserman, a breast surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco: “This woman is turning the breast-cancer world on its head” she writes “and I like it”.

It’s time for Philippa‘s annual check up and in her latest post she poignantly juxtaposes the experience with the same day six years ago when she first learned she had breast cancer.

I am so sad to learn of the passing of Laurel Bond. A guest contributor to my infertility series earlier this year, she had a unique voice in the blogosphere.

Beth is seeking stories from readers about their pets who are ill.

Having groaned every time I saw a picture of myself at Medicine X, I can certainly relate to Dawn’s frustration with her post-menopause roll of fat.

In reviewing  Chasing Life, an ABC Family series about a young woman with leukemia,  Elaine asks the question of TV depictions of cancer: “Is it too much to expect a realistic TV show about health care from the patient’s perspective?”

Chloe despairs of the battle language that surrounds cancer.

Beautifully evocative writing from Yvonne on the occasion of her late husband’s birthday – and a reminder to all of us to appreciate our loved ones while we still can.

I am really excited to be working with Audrey to teach a workshop on bringing  the voice of lived experience to the thinking around the future of health and care, later this month.

The complications and contradictions that cancer brings to our lives never ends. Catherine’s words really capture this

I’m a little happy, a little sad, and a little tired. I’m also really excited, totally in love, and scared out of my mind – but hey, why can’t we be many things at once?

Katy captures the paradox too when she writes on her blog:

We are often judged for being nervous. People with cancer are constantly told that, despite the completely logical reasons for our stress, we should not be stressed, anxious or nervous. Because if we are, cancer will get us! We are told that we have cancer BECAUSE we are stressed. I always argue, no, I am stressed BECAUSE I have cancer. I know women who feel they have cancer because they got divorced. Hell, then cancer is coming for half of you all before age 50. It doesn’t HELP to feel stressed during cancer, or after, but the added guilt of being told that we are urging our cancer back just by trying to deal with the extreme complications of our lives is unnecessary and unhelpful.

I’d like to leave you with some words from Elizabeth (similar sentiments expressed by Tami  and Carrie this past week too)  see us through another week

Why are we here?
Why did I get cancer?
Why is my kid having such a challenging time with life?
Why am I here?

More and more, these questions are replaced by:
“I am here.”

Most days that is more than enough.

Until next week,

Be here now.

Yours with love

Marie xxx