Keep Calm and Fight Like A Girl
I wasn’t sure if I was going to enter the fray this morning, but I can’t help it. I’m drawn, like a moth to flame today. My heartfelt thanks to my dear friend Florence who wrote The Right To Fight as it has spurred me on to write as well. For you see, it’s a touchy subject and although I’m not one to pursue it too much, I must today so please allow me to go on or you can choose to simply pass me by ~ it’s ok. The post will be read by those for whom it is intended.
Death is a subject that is controversial as you can see by Bill Keller’s recent article in the New York Times click here to read. It’s personal ~ the way each individual reacts to it and deals with it. For breast cancer survivors (I, myself being a 12 year survivor), it’s emotionally charged when we read an article about how an individual deals with her diagnosis, her treatment and how she reacts to her disease. Florence has written a great post which I will not repeat. Please make sure you read how she has reacted to the recent article by Mr. Keller.
Instead, I prefer to focus on Lisa Adams click here to visit her site. For when I read her About Page I was stunned by our similarities: we shared Memorial Sloan Kettering as our hospital, how our original diagnosis’ were much the same (although I had 6 lymph nodes with cancer) and it was my right breast and her left one which had the cancer. We endured the same chemotherapy treatments ACT, yet back in 2002, my treatments were every 3 weeks and not every 2 weeks. I endured 6 weeks of radiation, where she had 1 week less. We both lost and regained our menstruation cycles after chemotherapy as we were young when diagnosed. I was diagnosed at 34 years old; Lisa was 37 years. We both had salpingo oophorectomies (ovaries surgically removed) which of course, plunges young women, including Lisa and me, headlong into menopause ~ speaking for myself, since I’d already endured menopause as a side effect of the chemotherapy, only to have my period return which was hormonally hard to deal with let alone physically, mentally and emotionally, what was one more final round of menopause? Heck, I’d already lost my hair, my dignity and my figure let alone my breasts. What was harmful in losing one more thing that could be affecting my cancer prognosis?
But Lisa’s cancer, for whatever reason, came back and metastasized. Mine didn’t. It’s not that I still don’t have that possibility in the back of my mind because I’d be lying if I said that I don’t think about it. Every 6 months when I’m tested at my oncologist’s, I’m reminded that cancer can still be lurking inside my body. It doesn’t help when there are aches and pains which happen occasionally either as they tend to wither my resolve to stand firm in my thinking that I will live forever cancer-free.
Lisa’s public journey through metastasized breast cancer is new to me as I had never met her before nor visited her website. But I highly applaud her perseverance, her integrity and her drive to lift the veil and to share what’s really going on behind the pink-ribboned spectacle of breast cancer. Much talk is about prevention and early detection, but rarely do we read/hear about the women in the trenches who are battling death daily. My friend Jenn was such a warrior who lost her battle a few years ago. It was Jenn who told me through a medium that one must know her limits at the end of her life and to make sure that I knew what I wanted. I never forgot that message nor the one that told me that my scans were clear, clear, clear and that I now walked for 2 ~ me and you.
I believe we all have a right to choose how we deal with our imminent death (if we are given such a gift) ~ we can choose like Keller’s father-in-law to go peacefully or we can choose like Jenn and Lisa to battle with a fierceness known only to few. Whatever you choose, I stand for you and I fully defend your individual right to choose. There is no right or wrong way to die, it’s a personal matter. I heartily applaud Lisa’s courage in sharing her journey with us. My heart holds a heaviness for all she is enduring as well as her family and all the others out there in our great big world who are dealing with dis-ease and the ending of life as we know it here.
P.S. See below for posts about Jenn…Happy Birthday Jenn (Jan 13 she would have turned 38)
Thank you for the inspiration and sharing this with us.
Thank you for reading and commenting…I appreciate it. xo
Thanks for the mention! Great post. We bloggers need to stick together and show our support for Lisa and each other!
I wrote a letter to editor of NYT as well. We’ll see what happens. Great post today! Thanks for sharing Lisa’s amazing self with me. ♥
Please don’t confuse my ‘liking’ this post with ‘liking’ this post. It is hard to like anything that speaks to journeys that are fraught with peril and fear and uncertainty. It is easy to like your magnificent spirt and emotional generosity and sparkling soul.
Mimi, I appreciate your kind comment and sweet compliment more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for being you. ♥
Oh believe me…you have touched my life in ways wondrous and manifold. I’m the one who is grateful..<3 (I don't know how to make that darn heart symbol)…
♥ is alt and # 3 on numeric pad on right side. 🙂
We are both grateful xoxo Now let me see you make hearts! ♥♥♥♥
😦 not on the Mac…alt 3 is £ (the pound currency sign)…<3 ❤ <3…
Oh so sorry, I don’t know Mac ♥♥♥ If I find out, I’ll let you know!
I am very much behind the warriors who fight this battle with cancer. I have known too many and some have won others lost but whatever the outcome they did so on their terms. One dear friend said she would imagine little army men fighting these monsters winning every step of the way. I like the imagery. Another said she never referred to herself as a survivor, she would say she was a winner. Thanks for sharing.
I don’t like the word survivor either, I love winner! What a great way to keep the positivity flowing! Thanks for sharing, commenting and retweeting. I appreciate you very much. ♥
I can’t tell you how touched I was by your beautiful story. You have been through so much and have learned such great life lessons in such a short time. Thank you so much for sharing them so we can all benefit and honor all others for their personal choices! I find you to be one of the most courageous and positive woman I’ve ever known!! Thank you for always sharing your heart.
Thank you for holding my heart with such love. Your support means so much to me. You are an angel in my life and I appreciate your friendship. ♥
Thank you for being my angelic friend and supporter for so many years. I am blessed to know and to love you. ♥
Everything I would like to say has already been said, but I add my thanks for sharing your story. Yes, I have known family and friends who fought the battle and lost. I now have women friends who are putting up the good fight with courage and determination, I still have cancer cells lurking about after having a cancerous kidney removed, Because I cannot have chemotherapy, I concentrate on building my immunity. We need to support one another.
You have my heartfelt support ~ keep your immune system healthy so that those cancer cells stay dormant and disappear. Happy to hear from you ♥
Wow, I pray this is a fight I never have to face. I wonder how I would manage. Kudos to you, Lisa, and Jenna for your courage and fortitude. Blessings, my friend.
Hugs from Ecuador,
Kudos appreciated. Jenn lost her battle a few years ago but her amazing spirit remains in so many hearts. Thanks for being here with us. May you never face that fight. xo
Thank you for this powerful post and the messages it contains! I too believe in the right for everyone to die in the way they choose.
Thanks Russ. Happy to have you here! ♥
Death should at the very least be of our choosing… No one has the right to tell us how to do it!!!
I agree…sounds crazy, but I’d like everyone to have that choice and to have a peaceful journey to the next chapter. ♥
I had just found Lisa Adam’s blog today, and yours as well. I appreciate and applaud what you have written, it is common sense for those of us who have experienced breast cancer. In all that has been said and blogged about, so much still remains unspoken except for the few, brave souls who bare their souls and the truth. Bless you for being you. :::Hugs:::
Thank you for your kind words ~ I think it’s more about the humanness of people and being kind than it is about who said whatever. I would just appreciate my passing to be painfree and surrounded by my loved ones. But I want to have done all that I could have in order to survive as well. I am happy we have connected.
How beautiful, courageous, and powerful you are. You are an inspiration to more than you probably know. Thank you. Namaste.
Oh Paul, you are so kind and your comment warms my heart. Thank you for your inspiring posts everyday!
Bravo! Let’s allow us to be us, please and I’ll allow you to be you and no one will have to judge anyone.
Amen Sister! You are so right! ♥
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Thanks for stopping by Bryce! Happy to have you here!