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Truth Telling

I guess this week is “blogging reflection week” for me.  Anniversaries, even blogging anniversaries, require reflection don’t they? I hope you’ll bear with me and keep reading.

After my last post where I went on more than a bit about how grateful I am for the whole new world that has opened up to me through blogging, I couldn’t stop thinking about the down side of blogging as well, or perhaps it should more appropriately be called, the reality side.

I couldn’t stop thinking how in some ways it would be so much easier to write a blog about cooking, or gardening, or movies, or photography or just about anything else. It would be kind of nice just to worry about what delicious or healthy recipes to post next, what movie to review, what flower to contemplate planting in the spring or what book to read next week.

It would be kind of nice to not deal with life and death stuff.

But, of course, life and death stuff does exit in the world of cancer, so likewise these topics exist in the cancer blogosphere as well. We cancer bloggers will and do pretty much tackle any issue, the good, the bad and the ugly. And some of it is pretty darn ugly.

People do suffer from debilitating side effects of treatments and surgeries. People do suffer broken and even lost relationships resulting from a cancer diagnosis. People do experience recurrences. People do live with fear and uncertainty. People do suffer from depression. People do get sick, really sick. People do get worse. People do, in fact, die.

In this one short year since I’ve been blogging there have been too many losses. Too many voices have been silenced by cancer in one year. Three voices I miss are Daria’s, The Carcinista’s and Ashley: Warrior Mom’s

My point here is not to be a proclaimer of gloom and doom; no, quite the contrary. In spite of all the difficulties, no in spite of all the tragedies, there continues to be more wit, humor, wisdom and yes, laughter found in the breast cancer blogosphere than one might ever expect.

We don’t just share the ugly stuff; we share about anything and everything. And some of it is good, really good!

As a result of all this sharing, I’m reminded not to feel sorry for myself when I look at my reflection in the mirror each morning while trying not to cringe at the face that looks back at me now. I’m reminded I’m not the only one with a weak arm, chronic pain, an unsightly crop of unruly hair, a puffy-looking/feeling face and a forever altered body. Mostly, I’m reminded I’m not alone.

I’m reminded about a lot of things. I’m also inspired.

I’m inspired on a daily basis by countless others who speak the truth about this crazy world of breast cancer. That’s what I’m trying to do too,  speak the truth.

We are not nay sayers or pessimists, though we have been called both (and worse). 

No, we are realists, (at least that’s what I call myself), and every person’s unique cancer reality is validated and accepted. At least this is true in my ever-expanding blogging circle.

Validation, acceptance and the truth inspire me way more than all those pink ribbons and images depicting what proper cancer survivorship is supposed to look like.

So, despite the down-side, despite the difficulties, despite the losses, despite the dying, it’s still a pretty darn amazing arena I find myself in on a daily basis.

Who would have thought?

Who or what inspires you?

 

34 thoughts on “Truth Telling

  1. Nancy, you are definitely an inspiration to me; keep telling the truth. And I like your distinction between the term “naysayers” and “realists.”

    I find inspiration in all the bloggers I have come to know and care about. Their perspectives are amazing.

    Thank you for such an insightful posting, Nancy. And keep telling the truth!!!!

    1. Beth, Thanks so much. We see eye to eye on many things don’t we? I think of you as a realist as well! Like you, I find inspiration in others and it’s not always the bloggers, it’s often the readers who amaze me too with their comments. As always, thanks for reading and commenting, Beth.

  2. Great post! I had a similar experience when I started blogging… I discovered so many beautiful blogs by people who were writing “just” for the fun of it: Blogs about food or gardening or their kids or vacations. Unlike me, they weren’t blogging because they felt isolated in their illness or didn’t know what to do with their anger or frustration or loss of control. Or their feelings of mortality, denial and fear.

    How nice for them that they can be so carefree, I thought.

    Then I realized, why can’t that be me? So I went about my blogging, writing about cancer with my laughing stick about stuff that wasn’t pretty, and balancing it with a pretty picture or two when I could. I was finding my balance in BC.

    And I am humbled and floored by the wit and wisdom of the BC blogging world… women who enlighten and uplift (pardon the pun) us with every post, no matter how dark or light.

    Who inspires me? YOU DO!

    PS Love the sunset photo!!

    1. Renn, I just put two and two together and realized you are THAT Renn! I’m a bit slow at times it seems. ha ha. Thanks for your comments and you’re right, humor is a great coping tool for anybody! It really is all about balancing isn’t it? Thanks for you kind words. Now that I’ve figured out who you are and where your blog is, I’ll get back there soon! Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Yes, a REALIST!! And not hiding the truth regardless of how painful. I am so thankful I became a part of this community. We can laugh together and cry together. And we can inspire one another. I am inspired when I laugh and equally inspired when I am brought to tears. That happened when I saw your note and Renn’s on my blog yesterday.. brought me to tears….. xoxoxo

    1. Ann Marie, Thanks for you comments; I know what you mean about the shared laughter and tears both being sources of inspiration. I find it remarkable how I never quite know what someone will have to say on a particular day on any blog. You never know what someone’s comment might stir up either. Every person’s unique perspective is really what it’s all about isn’t it?

  4. This is a wonderful post. I love that you said, “realist.” I so agree, and believe it is the most honest support around. Where else can we connect on such personal levels? I think even in my support group sometimes, it’s easy to hold back when you’re looking strangers in the face, but here, it’s just us with our thoughts being very honest.

    I’m inspired by the bloggers I read and the truth they share about their own realities. How can someone not be inspired by that? Thanks, Nancy.

    1. Stacey, I think you’re right about it being easier to be more open and honest in this realm of blogging. At my support group with actual people, I find myself holding back more often too. I don’t feel the kinship with them that I do with people like yourself that I have never actually met. It’s kind of odd in a way, but then again it’s not because this is where we feel safest. We can share honestly here with others who do the same. That’s pretty freeing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Stacey.

  5. This is how and why we keep doing it, Nancy, isn’t it? It would be much harder if we each felt like lone voices in the wildnerness. But we are not alone, and that’s very powerful and inspiring. I especially love the way we sometimes riff off one another, engaging in a discussion that crossess over from one blog to another.

    So glad you are here. xxoo

    1. Kathi, I hope you are doing alright after all Mother Nature has been dishing out in your neck of the woods. I like the way we engage and cross over sometimes too with various blogs. I often get ideas from others. It is really a nice feeling to know we are not lone voices in the wilderness as you said. There is certainly a feeling of unity yet a great respect for individuality. It’s hard to top that! Thanks for your thoughts, Kathi.

  6. I’m definitely inspired by realism and truth telling; by engaged discussion and inquiry; by great writing and a sound argument; by wit and satire; by the rebellious nature of so many level headed people who refuse to be silenced by the status quo; by the circle of bloggers who show such support, compassion, and honesty; by you.

    1. PRB, Thank you for your comments. You and your work inspire so many people, me included. Yours is such a calming, dedicated, fact-based yet passionate voice of reason that always seems to makes sense of things. You keep the conversations grounded somehow. I don’t think you fully realize your important role and I thank you for that.

  7. I do love your blogging reflections – they are touching on reality for so many of us. My inspirations in the blogosphere are too many to mention – I continue to be inspired and moved by the breadth and depth of the intelligent, compassionate and well-informed BC bloggers, who make me think deeply about the wider implications of this disease.

    And, what you said about how nice it would be to write about cooking, recipes and “nice” things – well I have a blog called Diary of a Country Wife, where I do just that – not one mention of cancer has ever appeared in it – and you know what? It’s boring! Well, maybe not boring, but certainly it doesn’t touch the deepest places for me that JBBC does and I don’t have the same support community reading it. But it fulfils another need in me – on the days I just want to write about my baking experiments, or reflect on the nature around me, or just have a day off from cancer, then this is the place I turn to. This is the place in the blogosphere where I am Marie, without the history of cancer dogging her footsteps, and sometimes that can be quite liberating.

    http://diaryofacountrywife.wordpress.com/

    1. Marie, Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I know what you mean about the “breadth and depth” that exists “out here.” It is pretty incredible isn’t it? I love that you have that other blog. I didn’t even realilze that. Where have I been? It must be a good outlet for expressing a bit about the other facets of your life. I bet there are some pretty darn good recipes there too! I’ll have to check it out sometime soon. Thanks for all you do for so many, Marie.

  8. There are so many secrets and lies concerning Cancer the care & treatment I rather be a realist than sugar-coat some of the issues we deal with on a daily basis… I don’t think I am being morose, down or uncaring to what others feel. We have so many things taken away from us when we battle cancer. What can’t be taken away from us is our truth…

  9. Nancy, it does appear that it is through these pages we are more likely to get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    Although I endeavour to write from a ‘positive’ perspective, it is comp;letely honest. I believe we are drawn to ‘like minded’ bloggers.
    Validation, acceptance and truth are to be found by the bucket load.
    And! You inspire me dear Nancy…

    1. Chez, I hope you are doing alright. I need to get to your blog soon to check up on you! You do a remarkable job of writing from a positive perspective while still being completely honest. That isn’t always easy, especially dealing with all that you’ve been forced to deal with. I don’t know how you do it so well. That’s inspirational. Thank you for your kind words.

  10. truth is a beautiful thing.. there is so much i regret not saying to my dad before he passed and i also regret him not being able to simply say “this sucks”.. i get that people try to hide the “ugly” truth.. but in that ugliness comes a feeling of knowing you are trusted completely and that the other person knows you will take that truth and just listen without judgement… great post! (i am just now catching up because i can not figure out how to follow or subscribe)

    1. Ana Marie, Don’t beat yourself up about things you did or did not say to your dad. I’m sure he knew how you felt about him and that’s what matters. I know what you mean about allowing the cancer patient the freedom to say “this sucks.” You can’t gloss over cancer’s ugly side and you are exactly right about the person hearing those truths being willing to listen and not judge. Thanks so much for commenting.

  11. This amazing group of women I find myself in is my breast cancer reality. We’re not fixated on pink, we don’t judge one another, we just listen. My blogging sisters are one of the richest facets of my life. I can’t imagine my life without all of you.

    XOXOXO,
    Brenda

  12. Nancy, great post! I can’t imagine myself without this great group of bloggers who inspire me with the truth of their convictions. I’m inspired by strong women who stand up for what they believe is right, even in the face of opposition or ridicule. They walk the talk. They are honest, brutally at times, when expressing their thoughts. Pink is not the answer, only a convenient color that is colorizing the truth.
    XOXO,
    Jan

    1. Jan, I am so glad to see you back. I’ve missed your comments, but I totally understand why you’ve needed to step back. Truth and honesty are always things to strive for and not just in regard to breast cancer. Sadly, you know that better than most. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  13. Nancy, you are way too critical and hard on yourself! I saw a recent picture of you and your short hair is darling and you are as beautiful as ever. And don’t you forget that. Great post as usual, and anyone who is coping with difficulties in this world is an inspiration. Especially brave ones like you.

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