Weekly Round Up
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.
One of the things which dismays me when I see it played out online is the assumption that my cancer or your cancer experience is better/worse because of our stage or treatment. We are all fighting a hard battle (to borrow a metaphor) and we should be more ready to support and understand, not criticize or belittle each other. Metastatic cancer is an emotive topic – and I speak as someone whose mother died from the disease – but is it right or fair to play the comparison card? My question is prompted by something that happened this past week when CJ Corneliussen-James, of Metavivor, made a comment about breast cancer patients, who do not have metastasis. being able to get on with their lives with little or no problems worth talking about it. It is an extreme statement, and while I understand the frustration and anger that may have led to it, it caused a lot of hurt and upset in the BC community. As Liza wrote:
Diminishing and pooh-poohing our experience, stereotyping us and shaming us for any fear or pain we might feel does nothing to help anyone. Nor does reducing our lives to “odds of survival. This alienating attitude, this pointless and unnecessary comparison—which, sadly, I have encountered many a time from some MBC patients—robs us both of a significant opportunity. The opportunity to befriend each other, to work together, to have compassion for each other, to see each other in our shared humanity.
Liza also captured the conversation via Storify.
Brandi wrote this in response on her blog.
I’d like to think that CJ did not mean to trivialize what I went through. I imagine there is a lot of frustration and anger for the lack of research into stage iv breast cancer, for all the times that stage iv breast cancer patients have been eliminated from the conversation. But … I still have difficult days. And hard days. I won’t trivialize any one’s cancer experience. I will continue to be a voice of advocacy and love and understanding. Because I believe that this is the best path to continue down.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere…
An apposite call from Uzma to have compassion for others.
Terri shares the lessons she has learned as a two-time breast cancer survivor.
Vicki shares her personal memories of Dr. Paul Kalanithi and reviews his book When Breath Becomes Air.
Beth writes about her progression and her quest for a new cancer treatment in her latest post.
Tric is celebrating her third blogoversary.
It’s sink or swim time for Helen.
Catherine has been musing on why sometimes it is hard to be our own best advocate – I get that Catherine!
Beth shares advice on coping with cancer-related PTSD.
Bev writes about “the new normal” in the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Blog UK.
Becky explores the relationship between curing, healing, and recovering in her latest post.
Information on what to expect during radiotherapy on the Advocates For Breast Cancer blog.
A brilliant description in verse of cancer-related fatigue by Eileen.
A post by Ann on the future of metastatic cancer research.
Caroline has been experiencing that “here we go again” feeling.
Jen is working on developing patience.
Lessons in mindful living from the Seasoned Sistah.
Excellent update on the BCSM blog from the recent cancer survivorship symposium written by Stacey Tinianov and Dr. Nimmi Kapoor.
Katy is feeling restless.
Interesting question by Nancy this week – do you sometimes feel defeminized by cancer?
Julia has been reflecting back on 2015 and shares some very striking images of London on her blog.
Philippa encourages us to keep our eyes and heart open to what is around us – and shares some wonderful images from her daily life to go with her post.
Finally this week a post by the Cancer Curmudgeon on valuing the diverse narratives of cancer patients and how our stories and experiences are not all the same. As a companion to this post read Carrie on affirmations – both excellent posts!
Until next week
Yours with love