Welcome to The Silver Pen blog! After last week, I am giddy to welcome so many new readers to the site. I thought that I’d take the time to explain a little bit about it how it came to be and why.
Once upon a time (on October 15th, 2010), I was diagnosed with FBC. I nicknamed the disease f-bomb breast cancer, because it felt like a bomb went off in our life and – to be honest – I dropped a few (ok a lot) of f-bombs throughout my experience.
When it came to communicating the news about my diagnosis, I felt overwhelmed and decided that I just didn’t have the capacity to call everyone who needed to know. Now the Silver Lining was that I had a wonderfully long list of people to tell.
Additionally, I also decided – as a wee bit of a control freak – that I wanted everyone to hear the news directly from me, in my own words. Hence, sending a group email was the best choice for me. BTW, in case this ever happens to you, which I hope that it doesn’t of course, YOU decide if, how and when you would like to tell people about your diagnosis. In an uncontrollable situation, this is something that you can control.
After telling my friends and family about my diagnosis, during the time before beginning treatments (of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation), I started writing writing the blog. Prior to this experience I had written a few academic papers and a couple of book chapters, but I had never written about myself.
I started the blog simply as a way to keep people apprised of what was happening to me during treatment. The truth is that I started writing so that I wouldn’t have to talk with people and field the same well meaning and loving but – as a patient – unbearable question of “How are you?” and over again. How many times could I say, “I feel horrendous. No, the anti-side-effect medications don’t work for me”?
From the get-go, I decided to write about living with – and not being dominated by – FBC. So, on days that I was in the bottomless pit of chemo despair, I would tell people about it. But the next day, I would talk about something that I was drooling over on JCrew.com. You see, I didn’t want my life to be dominated by the disease and its treatments.
I write in a very honest way, about all aspects and facets of living with and through and after FBC. I combine my professional experience as a nurse, social worker, and child development specialist with my personal experience as a patient to – hopefully! – help people who have to follow me down this path, just as those who came before me made my experience more effective and more bearable.
Today, I am happy to say that I am cancer free! I continue to write because – as it turns out – I continue to have things to say. (My family & friends are not at all surprised by this!)
Thank you all so much for joining me here. If you would like for me to write about anything in particular or have any questions, please know that I’m always here. I’d love to stay in touch.
Thank you to Blue Caleel for taking this photo of me and Buzz!