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Not Again…

I feel sad today. I feel sad and also angry. This is not the post I wanted to write today. Cancer is always so good at disrupting plans.

Every morning one of the first things I do is check for comments on my blog. I really can’t wait to see what people have said. Then I check other people’s blogs to find out “what’s going on.” Sadly, yesterday there was news about Daria, a fellow breast cancer blogger, who had passed away from metastatic breast cancer.

This kind of news always affects me more than I anticipate. After hearing about Daria, once again I felt tremendous sadness. I know firsthand what it’s like to watch someone you love pass away due to liver failure resulting from metastatic breast cancer. I witnessed the suffering of my mother for weeks as she waited to die from such a thing. I will never forget during one of those last days when her doctor compassionately knelt by her bedside in order to better hear my mother’s weak voice ask, “What’s taking me so long to die anyway?” It was a heartbreaking thing to witness.

Hearing this news yesterday conjured up those painful memories once again and also made me wonder how many more times I will have to hear this kind of news.

That’s the part that makes me angry. Just how many more women (and men) have to suffer and die from this disease?

I didn’t know Daria. I visited her blog, Living With Cancer, once a week or so since starting my own last fall. I have no idea if she ever read mine, she never left a comment. Despite the fact I never met Daria, I still know a few things about her. I know she was very honest. She shared her experience with cancer openly, choosing not to gloss over the “not so pretty” details. She was compassionate and kind. She loved her family, of course, especially her husband Don. She loved flowers and photography. She had many friends. One thing that really stands out is the fact she loved blogging, not just blogging herself, but reading and promoting blogs by others as well.  You can tell this by looking at her extensive blog roll. She embraced everyone’s and willingly kept adding more to her growing list. You didn’t even have to ask her to do it. That alone speaks volumes about her.

In some respects Daria was lucky. She had a voice. She used it. What about all the other women (and men) who suffer quietly and alone through their cancer journeys? What about the ones we don’t hear or read about. What about them? Their stories are no less important or compelling. Their stories need to be heard as well.

Perhaps that’s one of our main roles as bloggers, to be a voice. We need to be a voice for not only ourselves and Daria, but for all those affected by cancer, any kind of cancer. So let’s all keep on writing, ranting, informing, sharing, motivating and yes, even complaining. Let’s use whatever voice we have to make a difference.

That’s what Daria did. And look what a difference one woman from Canada made. Thank you Daria.

How will you use your voice? (and you don’t have to have cancer or blog to respond!)

Weekly Round-Up « Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

Friday 28th of January 2011

[...] Living with Cancer blog, her passing has been a shock and a sadness in our lives.  In “Not Again” Nancy sums up our feelings in her latest blog post about Daria’s [...]

Debbie Nelson

Friday 28th of January 2011

Nancy, I am so glad that I found your blog through the comment you left on mine. I am so sad about the news of Daria...a cure for this awful disease must be the meantime we will "Keep Fighting Like a Girl" and supporting each other. Almost every woman on my Mom's side of the family has had breast cancer, even two cousins who were diagnosed in their 20's....


Friday 28th of January 2011

Debbie, Thank you for taking time to find my blog and comment. Yes, Daria's death was another sad reminder... But, yes, we will "Keep Fighting Like a Girl!" The genetic link is pretty frightening isn't it? I'm looking forward to learning more about you. Hope to see you back!


Friday 28th of January 2011

Cancer has given me a wound with a very thin little scab on it; it doesn't take much to rub it off and bring all the pain back. That's how I felt when I learned of Daria's passing. And, there's a whole bunch of fear mixed in their with the pain. I think that will just be our reality.

Know that you are not alone on this journey! We've got a bunch of sisters and brothers - we just need to look around and reach out to each other.

Thanks for your insightful words, as always.


Friday 28th of January 2011

Cyn, The wound/scab analogy is perfect! I could not agree more with your words.

Jan Hasak

Thursday 27th of January 2011

Dear Nancy, Thank you so much for sharing about Daria. What a dear! I wish I could have known her.

I joined a lymphedema online support group when I couldn't find an in-person one. We got very close, sharing how we coped with the very isolating emotions swirling around this condition. Over the course of our three years together, two of our beloved members died. I remember how upset I felt, just as devastated as when two people in my in-person breast cancer support group died. We all knew each other's hearts so well, even though we had never met in person.

Just know that you are not alone in your grieving for Daria and so many others out there who are not so expressive.

Prayerfully, Jan


Friday 28th of January 2011

Jan, I'm sorry for your losses. We just need to remember the joy these relationships bring, despite the "risks." Thanks for your understanding comments.


Wednesday 26th of January 2011

Thanks for sharing this, Nancy. I was moved by your mother's story and nodded at your words about Daria. Like you, I am thankful for my blogging voice.


Thursday 27th of January 2011

Laurie, Thanks so much for your comments, especially the one about my mother. Keep using that blogging voice of yours, plus you have your book!

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