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Stopping to Smell the Roses, But I Did that Before Cancer Too

It’s time for my end-of-summer (or beginning-of-fall) blogging break. During my break, I plan to think about how to mark seven years of blogging. (I know, can you believe it?) I plan to work on several writing projects, visit some special people (and animals), think about how to best handle Pinktober this year, make progress (I hope) on my to-do list.  Wait, who am I kidding? I don’t do to-do lists!

And of course, I will stop to smell the roses.


I did not need cancer to remind me to do that. No, I did not. I did that before cancer, too.

No epiphany. No profound lessons learned (that I’ll give cancer credit for anyway). No wake up call.

And no, I do not see myself as new and improved because of cancer. Nope, I do not.

Cancer sucks. Period.

I will continue resisting society’s standard, stale breast cancer narrative regarding how a person is supposed to do cancer and cancer survivorship, by now, you know the one I mean.

And I will not sugarcoat.

Count on it.

Greetings from Sophie and me via our backyard mini oasis! She thinks it’s totally hers. She might be right!

Until later…



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Did you stop to smell the roses before cancer?

Do you do it more often now?

How are you closing out summer and/or beginning fall?



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Beth Gainer

Monday 4th of September 2017

Nancy, enjoy your well-deserved break. Looking forward to your future blog posts as well!


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Beth, Thank you. :)


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Nancy, I was just thinking about your end-of-summer break. Wondering if you were going to take one this year. I enjoy your posts but I understand we all need some time to re-charge. As always, I look forward to reading more of your work. And like you, I did not need cancer to make me "stop and smell the roses". In fact, I feel I did that more frequently prior to my dx. That has to change but it won't be credited to cancer. I just feel really old and beat up. I need some encouragement. I'll find a way.

Enjoy your break, my friend! xo


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Rebecca, I'm sorry you feel really old and beat up, though I also understand why you might feel that way. You've been through a lot, and you're still dealing with lots of cancer fallout. And other life stuff, too, of course. Yeah, I hear you about perhaps stopping to smell those roses more before. Sometimes I think we feel like we have to accomplish more stuff post cancer dx and not stop to smell the roses too often 'cuz we shouldn't waste any time. Not sure if that makes sense. And I feel like I'm missing something 'cuz I haven't learned some great lesson or had an epiphany. Oh well...Thank you for reading and sharing. I intend to enjoy my break. xo

Marie Ennis O'Connor

Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Enjoy your break Nancy and look forward to welcoming you back to the blogosphere refreshed and renewed.


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Marie, Thank you. I will. :)

Lisa Valentine

Friday 1st of September 2017

Always interesting to ponder the impact of cancer on my life, my psyche, my approach. Like any other significant experience, it has become part of my story and makes me who I am. I practiced gratitude long before I received a cancer diagnosis. I believe that practice made me better able to navigate the most difficult days and hours of the months of treatments and surgeries. I appreciate Ali's comments. If cancer has helped me see anything better, it is my priorities. Thanks Nancy and enjoy the break!


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Lisa, You put that perfectly. Your cancer experience is part of your story and part of what makes you who you are. I am intrigued that you feel your priorities are more in order post cancer diagnosis. Lots of people feel that way. I am enjoying my break. No blog posts to worry about for a couple weeks anyway! Hope the school year gets off to a good start. Thank you for sharing.


Thursday 31st of August 2017

Thank you so much for your blog. I certainly didn't need cancer to become anything better than I was. Today a friend let me know that she felt I had become a kinder person since "dealing with all that". Hmmm, no, I don't think so. There are problems I just don't care about anymore. There are people who bothered me before I was sick, that I really just don't bother with anymore, and when I'm in a social situation that is even a wee bit unpleasant, I just go home. Still I think sometimes people think I must have changed for the better, so find a way to cut me a bit more slack, or see something they never noticed before. I will agree devastating illness changes a person, but in my case, I don't think it was for the better or worse.


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Ali, Interesting that your friend thinks you're kinder now, but you don't think you are. I wonder why there is this insistence for us to have changed for the better. Mostly we're still the same, or at least I feel I am. As a person, I mean. Of course, at the same time I am transformed because I cannot go back. It's hard to put into words what I mean. But I just don't think I'm a better person now or that I've learned what my priorities are. My priorities haven't changed. Such a thorny topic. Good pun for my roses pic. Ha. Thank you for sharing.

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