Hello! I’m glad you’re here.
Welcome to my blog, where I’ll be sharing personal essays and insights about living with metastatic breast cancer.
"I'm not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work."
With stupid cancer as my muse, here’s a list of what I plan to write about:
- Reflections on my experience with treatments, side-effects, and more.
- References (books, articles, podcasts, people) that inspire me and their take-away lessons.
- Discoveries while living with this insidious disease.
- Things that scare me. Things that piss me off.
- Things that delight me. Things that bring me joy.
Before setting up this site I watched a lot of Ted Talks on writing and sharing stories. I also revisited Brené Brown’s work around vulnerability. She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She says, “To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation - that’s also vulnerability.” With her quote in mind, I bravely write this first post, and look forward to hitting publish for the world to see. I'm sure I'll still want to hide under the covers, but it offers some gentle comfort and assurance to take with me.
I’ve been living with metastatic breast cancer for three years. I was diagnosed stage IV right out of the gate, just after my 32 birthday in January 2015. I've received countless hormonal treatments, and most recently just completed six-months of chemotherapy. I'm currently stable and well - into a new oral treatment combo of hormonal and targeted therapy.
I decided to share my diagnosis on Facebook in summer of 2017 before starting chemotherapy for the first time. Prior to this I was able to keep my diagnosis private and live a normal life. For those with cancer, you know by normal I mean, a strange and difficult NEW normal. Since going public with my diagnosis, the responses I’ve received have been overwhelming. My support network has tripled, and I feel an incredible weight lifted.
To understand more about my diagnosis, why I decided to keep it private, and find out how I rocked those first years before chemotherapy, read my vulnerable coming out post <here>.
Since the Facebook post, and many more that followed, I’ve had people tell me they've found my writing to be eloquent. That encouragement, and my drive to keep creating a legacy have lead me here.
My first experience with blogging was through my Publicity business where I wrote about music PR, promotion, and the creative process. I enjoyed researching, writing, sharing, and inspiring my readers. I had a lot of good feedback, and while I’m not continuing with the business (at this time), I wanted to keep blogging as a way to fill that creative space. So instead of writing headlines like “Quick Tips For Sending Your Music To Radio” or “Seven Questions To Consider Before Contacting A Publicist”, I’ll be sharing headlines like “10 Lessons From Having Only One Healthy Week A Month” and “Why I Have A Crush On A Mortician”.
I'll be sharing new posts weekly, but hope to pick up the pace soon. For now, extra writing and proofreading time is needed thanks to chemo brain. Writing with chemo brain is this awful thing where you look back at what you wrote and it makes no sense, you've missed words completely, the right words won't come to mind, grammar becomes an issue, and so much more. Pair that with overthinking and struggling with perfectionism, and things take twice as long!
Chemo brain aside I'm pleased to still be here, alive and well, with a space to share my musings and story.
Thanks for reading.