Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Well Trodden Path

Today I had the great privilege of being the featured guest post on the wonderful Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer blog.  A couple of weeks ago, Marie, who is the author of JBBC, had requested guest blog submissions from women dealing with metastatic breast cancer.  I decided to give this writing assignment a go, despite some misgivings as to whether I would be able to manage it.

As a follower of my blog, you may have noticed that I tend not to talk about my own experience in too much gory detail.  I generally prefer to write about my observations of the popular breast cancer culture and how my experience fits around that.  But I decided that it was important to step outside of my comfort zone and write an honest account of what goes through my head on a daily basis in dealing with this disease.  It was a difficult exercise because it forced me to confront and articulate my many fears in a way that I am not used to doing.  After deliberating with the post for many days, I decided to take a deep breath and just go ahead and submit it.  Shortly after,  JBBC informed me that my post had been selected for publication.

And so I took another deep breath and laid myself bare for all the world to see.

Please click here to read my post entitled "The Well Trodden Path"



  1. Anna,
    "The Well Trodden Path" is so powerful. "There are no real milestones, except the one that no one wants to talk about" hits all of us where we live: the in between of living and the "when" and "how" of dying. I'm a bit down, today, sidelined w/a cold and just worn out from nearly 10 weeks of breast cancer events and traveling. Of course my mind wanders past itchy eyes and a sore throat to the bigger picture of a battered immune system, and I contemplate what else might be rearing its deadly head in this tired body of mine.

    Yesterday my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My answer was "time." Even though I have no evidence of metastasis, I still worry. I want to return to a time when I didn't know so much about cancer, when I didn't write about it everyday, attend breast cancer conferences and submerge myself how to lessen risk of recurrence. You're right in that it never ends.

    Tomorrow, I'm sure I'll be my positive self, but for now, I think I'll crawl into bed and into Keith Richards' memoir, which ironically, makes me think of the Rolling Stones song "Time is On My Side."


    PS: Are you "planning" to attend the 2011 NBCC? There's much to be learned there about cancer & being better advocates. Would love to meet you there.

  2. Brenda thank you so much for this comment. You aptly express the fear that lives in all of us who have known a cancer diagnosis. This post was a difficult one to write, but it does seem to have struck a chord with so many, and thank you for your honesty in sharing how it made you feel. Ah to go back to those carefree days, before breast cancer. What I wouldn't give to be able to get back there. But this all seems like as good excuse as any to snuggle up with Keith Richards, so do feel better soon ! And I hadn't thought about actually attending the 2011 NBCC conference, but now you've planted a seed......

  3. Anna, I was really moved by your guest post, it's effect on me kind of caught me off guard for some reason. It was indeed powerful and well written. I'm glad you "put yourself out there" like that with your raw honesty, it will help many others. It is so hard to even remember life before breast cancer and you have been dealing with it for so long already. It's hard to accept the reality that the worry and fear never go away. That's why blogging is so helpful I guess, because others really do understand that. Anyway, thanks for sharing the gory details as you call them. I'm happy to "know" you. Keep on writing and fighting with an attitude!

  4. Oh Nancy what a lovely comment. Thank you. There are certainly powerful connections to be made in the words that we write, as well as the people that we meet in this online community of ours. Much of what I read challenges me every day in some way and gets me talking about something that usually I had filed away under things not to be discussed or thought about. All of of us have our own styles of coping and writing about this thing, but somehow we still come together and really listen. That's what I appreciate. And a little bit of raw honesty never hurt anybody, as I discovered with this post.....

  5. It was certainly my honor to feature you on the JBBC blog Anna. Your story evoked a response in many of my readers which illustrates the innate power of stories to touch us deeply and to lead us to greater levels of understanding. I am a passionate believer that telling our stories is a bridge to understanding, both between persons and within an individual psyche. Thank you once again for the privilege of allowing me to share your story.


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