Body Image & Self-Image After Breast Cancer, Part 1

Breast cancer can and often does do a number on a woman’s body image. You’re saying, “duh,” about now, right? When you stop and really ponder about this, it’s quite remarkable how well most women do manage to adapt and carry on following a cancer diagnosis, surgery (prophylactic counts too) and whatever else is involved in their experiences. Often we have our breasts chiseled away at, amputated altogether, reconstructed and revamped, sometimes with much success and sometimes not so much. Others opt totally out of that kind of thing, choosing for personal reasons to forge on ahead without breasts at all. For still others, due to stage at diagnosis and/or other various reasons, there is no mastectomy and/or reconstruction option. This, too, presents challenges. And it doesn’t just end with breasts. Many of us also have inner parts removed or literally sucked out. Sorry, but that’s how some of these procedures are done. (more…)

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Stating a Person Lost Her/His Battle with Cancer Is Insulting

Many people are tired of all the war metaphor usage that goes on in Cancer-land. I am weary of it too and avoid it whenever I can. I know all the fighting and battling words and labels work for some people and that’s fine. But one war metaphor that really needs to go is when a person dies from cancer and it’s then said in the obituary and elsewhere that she/he lost her/his battle with cancer. I mean, come on. Surely we can dig a little deeper and come up with something better than this to say. There are lots of cancer language traps, but surely we can avoid this one. (more…)

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Should You Blog?

I am pleased to be part of a new free online course being developed and offered by Rebecca Hogue called, Should I blog? The course begins in March, but will be offered on an ongoing basis, re-starting every two months. My role is to be a blog mentor. I love this role and it’s one I am very happy to take on. By now you all know how I feel about the power of shared stories. There’s nothing quite like it. One of my ‘assignments’ as a mentor is to write a few posts answering some questions about blogging. (more…)

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Just As They Were…

When I go home to visit my dad, it still feels different without my mom there. It’s been almost seven years now since my mother died from metastatic breast cancer, so you’d think her presence, or rather her lack of physical presence, wouldn’t still be such a palpable thing. But it is. I am, of course, more used to how the house looks, feels and smells with her no longer there. I call it my dad’s house now, not my parents’ house, not mom and dad’s house, not grandpa and grandma’s house. Most of the time these days, I feel I’m doing a decent job of carrying on as a daughter without a mother. I never forget of course, but I have learned how to handle my life without a mother in it. Or I think I have. (more…)

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