A new summer blogging challenge!

A New Summer Blogging Challenge!

There has been so much heartache of late in the breast cancer community, I almost put the kabosh on this post. After changing my mind again and again, I decided to go ahead with it. Maybe it’ll help in small way. So…two summers ago, I shared fifteen random things about myself in a blog post and challenged fellow bloggers and blog readers to do the same. That was so much fun! Thank you to all who participated. I proposed blog challenge number two last summer. Since it’s already August and another summer is fleeting, it’s time for, you guessed it, another blogging challenge! 

Why not join me?

This time around, I thought it might be interesting to pose a few cancer related questions for my fellow bloggers and blog readers as well.

So, here are ten random questions. I challenge fellow bloggers and you, my dear readers, to answer as many of them as you want in a blog post of your own or for the latter group, via a comment below.

  1. Share anything you want about your cancer diagnosis (or your loved one’s). Share your age, cancer type, stage, when you were diagnosed, family history (if any), your reaction, how you learned the news, or whatever you’re comfortable sharing. 

I was diagnosed in 2010, roughly two years after my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. I also learned I am BRCA 2+. My cancer was discovered via a trip to the ER, aka, the day the shit hit the fan.

 2. What is the most outrageous thing someone has said to you about your (or your loved one’s) cancer?

Actually, it was said to dear hubby. Someone asked, “So did they have to take ’em both off?” Today, it doesn’t sound all that outrageous, but at the time, dear hubby was shocked by the personal, intrusive question.

 3. What is your biggest cancer pet peeve? I know it’s hard to choose, as there are many to pick from, right? But what irks you the most?

Mine has to be anything remotely related to implying in any way, shape or form that cancer is a gift, bump in the road, opportunity for enlightenment or a personal growth experience. UGH!

 4. What is something you want others to know specifically about breast cancer?

I want everyone to know all cancer sucks. Period. Breast cancer is not the “good” cancer. There is no such thing. I also want people to realze 40,000+ women and men still die from it every single year in the US alone. It is not the pretty, pink, almost party-like disease it is too often portrayed as.

 5. If applicable, do you worry about recurrence rarely, from time to time or a lot? What is your biggest worry today, right now, this minute?

As I’ve written about before, generally, I do not over worry about recurrence because it won’t help prevent it. I do worry about my family members’ cancer risk and my own day-to-day health, but not specifically cancer recurrence. Of course, I think about it from time to time, but I don’t over worry about it.

 6. Do you feel cancer has made you a better person? Yes, I know this a loaded question. If you do, specifically in what way?


 7. What is your favorite cancer book? (No, I’m not fishing for mentions of mine!)

My favorite sciencey read has to be, The Emperor of All Maladies:  A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

One favorite memoir (so far anyway, I have several more on my to-read list) about cancer is Teva Harrison’s, In-Between Days:  a memoir about living with cancer, which I recently reviewed.

Another favorite of mine is The Mercy Papers:  A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm. It’s about a daughter’s last weeks spent with her mother who’s dying from metastatic breast cancer. Not everyone is up to such a tough, emotional read, but if you are, it’s very good.

 8. Besides your family, where do you turn for emotional support?

Online friends, fellow bloggers and you, my dear readers, are hugely supportive for me.

 9. How many cancer blogs do you read and why do you read them?

I have no idea. I read many sporadically, but not that many regularly due to time restraints.

10. Do you call yourself an advocate? If so, what drives you?

Yes, I do. What drives me is always the memory of my mother’s death from metastatic breast cancer, and all the deaths that relentlessly continue. The heartache at times is unbearable, but I will never stop being an ally for those with metastatic disease. Never.

And now it’s YOUR turn!

If you’re a blogger and decide to take up this challenge, feel free to come back and add a link to your post in a comment below. If you’re a blog reader, share a response, or two, or three (or more) with a comment below.

Thank you in advance for participating!

Ready, set, go!

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A new summer blogging challenge!

22 thoughts to “A New Summer Blogging Challenge!”

  1. I was diagnosed with DCIS originally September 2015 after a mammogram and biopsy. After tumor removal and 2nd pathology it was IDC. I think the biopsy caused it to become invasive. The day I found out really stands out in my mind because I was getting ready to go on a trip to Europe a couple months later and that was my only question; could I still go. I did!

    The most outrageous thing was a couple months ago. I had just moved to a new area and was looking for a new oncologist. He was kind enough to tell me that since I had chemo, which he would never have recommended, if cancer came back there is nothing that could be done. He had me so upset. Why would he say something like that since I can’t go back and make a different decision? Especially since words/thoughts themselves can increase your risk of cancer recurring. Time for new oncologist.

    My biggest pet peeve is the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I will never donate another dollar to this organization. I want my research dollars to go to experts that are studying natural therapies. I urge everyone to look into other organizations. I am sooooo tired of the whole pink campaign.

    There are so many things I’d want others to know. Newer research is acknowledging that DCIS isn’t a cancer that needs aggressive treatment. We need to worry more about the cancer stem cells left behind after chemo. Most importantly build up your immune system to decrease your risks.

    NO! I am not a better person but I’m working on it. Since attitude can affect our immune system.

    I worry every day about recurrence and that’s what keeps me eating an immune promoting, cancer cell killing diet.

    Best book: Breast Cancer Beyond Convention

    I get emotional support from women that belong to the cancer support group I went to when I lived in San Diego. Since I moved away they started a facebook page so I can reach out to them for continued support.

    Four blogs and six or seven websites that I receive weekly emails. I want info from experts that read all the research on natural therapies and give us the info in easy to understand words.

    I am an advocate. I want others to know there’s lots of options out there.

  2. The most outrageous thing someone said to me about my mom Nancy having cancer was, “At least she’ll get a new ‘set’ out of the ‘deal’.” And also, “Will she go larger?”

    I suppose the fact that my mom and other family members have had cancer has made me a better person but only because everything in life can make me a better person in some way. Knowing someone with cancer has hopefully made me more compassionate. I’m also less judgmental about silly things like people’s hair or their weight. You never know what someone is going through. I also don’t joke about having small breasts anymore. I used to joke about having “no boobs.” I would never say such a thing now.

    1. Lindsay, You never know what others are going through. That is so true. I remember you mentioning those comments made to you when I was going through the surgeries. Breast cancer’s “perks” – that is what too many people mistakenly believe. Ugh. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great challenge Nancy. Haven’t blogged in a while because I’m trying to think about misplaced disappointment in others for my lack of feeling in control. And it just dawned on me that so many things can’t be corrected, but I can at least make peace with myself. How this is to be done has not exactly revealed itself though the idea of reclaiming ourselves from the battering we’ve taken seems at least possible–even at times when we don’t feel supported nor do we feel of much use.
    Having had two major heart failures and Coleorectal cancer this might not be the correct forum for my comments? I don’t know. I’d recommend this paper as a way to begin understanding the disorientation and collapse of confidence that comes with chronic illness.
    Kathy Charmaz
    Loss of self: a fundamental form of suffering in the chronically ill

  4. Hi Nancy!
    I love your blogging challenges! This one is a great one that I will be participating in. What was said to your husband and your daughter is so infuriating. Ugh. I tend not to read cancer books in order to protect my psyche. However, as you know, I did read yours and thought it was an excellent book showing family dynamics with a cancer diagnosis, as well as the severity that breast cancer is. It is NOT the good cancer. I hate when I’ve been told this. If I feel mentally strong enough, I will read one here and there. I started The Emperor of All Maladies, but I couldn’t stop crying so I had to stop. I know it’s a great book, and I so wish I could’ve made it through it. But it was too close to the bone for me.

    Thanks for a great post and blogging challenge!


    1. Beth, Great! I look forward to reading your post. I understand how you choose not to read cancer books. Totally. Makes it even more special that you read mine. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Lisa, I am so glad your participated in my summer blogging challenge. It’s been great fun to read everyone’s responses. Thank you for joining in and for sharing your link, too.

  5. Nancy, when I saw your post I knew I had to participate. I am about to share my answers on my blog soon but my post is too long. However, I feel each of your questions needed a thorough response. It’s not surprising to see how much we have in common. We are both realists and share a lot of similarities on how we view things in cancerland. Although I am sorry we both went through this painful experience, I am grateful to have found people like you to connect with. Thank you for this challenge as it helped with distracting myself. xo

  6. 1. Share anything you want about your cancer diagnosis
    52 years old, stage 3 IDC. Doctor said breast cancer “never happens in the lower part of the breast”. 2 years later saw a nurse practitioner who didn’t just want me out of the office and told me that was just wrong, sent me for mammogram and ultrasound.
     2. What is the most outrageous thing someone has said to you
    “Have you figured out why you got cancer yet?” “If you just stopped eating junk food you’d be fine” (I don’t eat much junk food) and “Aren’t you doing anything to look after yourself?” when I dared to eat a piece of cake in public.
     3. What is your biggest cancer pet peeve? I know it’s hard to choose, as there are many to pick from, right? But what irks you the most?
    Arrogant mean or dismissive medical staff.
     4. What is something you want others to know specifically about breast cancer?
    There is no cure.
     5. If applicable, do you worry about recurrence?
    Yes, a lot.
     6. Do you feel cancer has made you a better person?
     7. What is your favorite cancer book?
    I can’t remember the name of the one the hospital gave me that spelled all the treatments and side effects out. It was the only one I read.
     8. Besides your family, where do you turn for emotional support?
    Online and a few friends
     9. How many cancer blogs do you read and why do you read them?
    Just this one. I read them to remind myself I’m not nuts. This is awful, and no amount of smiling and lists of things to be grateful for will change that.
    10. Do you call yourself an advocate? If so, what drives you?
    Yes, but not a very active one.

  7. Late to the game but I honour the challenge! I’ve responded to the questions on my blog. I’ve tried to put my own, unique spin on the cancer journey. I’ve embraced it, made it mine and even enjoyed some of the moments and revelations. Yes, cancer did make me a better person! It’s all at my blog Pink Dot Detour. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey. Thanks Nancy!


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