Monday, August 18, 2014

THE ICE BUCKET BACKLASH

You've seen the videos all over Facebook and other social media: People participating in The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). A vast array of my Facebook friends participated, too. 

A few have mentioned making a monetary donation. Fewer still have made an attempt to educate people about ALS in their videos. Most only mention money as a penalty. Most opt for the ice water dousing, though some also donate dollars and get doused. 

It took some time for me to figure out why I felt so uncomfortable when viewing these videos. Then it hit me: This challenge isn't really about ALS at all...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

BLOG ENVY REVISITED

[Copyright 2014 The Big C and Me]
Below is something I wrote two years ago. (My writing mojo seems to have taken some kind of summer sabbatical, so I'm dusting off a popular post and revisiting it.) The topic? Blog Envy. 

Prior to May 2012, when this post first ran, I had never even heard of such a thing. Urban Dictionary describes blog envy as "the jealousy you feel when you see another blog getting recognition in the mainstream press" and "the jealousy you feel when you realize your friend's blog is more popular than yours." 

Seriously?

And that's how my morning started off May 11, 2012...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

GREEN MONKEY UPDATE

(Copyright 2014 Green Monkey Tales)
You may remember my blogging buddy, Shannon, a la Green Monkey Tales fame; we bonded over our breast cancer, our bilateral mastectomies, our subsequent surgeries and our complications.

One year ago, she was diagnosed with rectal cancer...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BLOG SOUP

Thank you to my blogging buddy extraordinaire Jan Hasak for asking me to participate in a world-wide "Blog Tour" that asks four simple questions to reveal the essence of why and how we write. I am honored to participate from Southern California.

It's fascinating to see how each blogger answers the same four questions. Read what Jan has to say about her writing process on her insightful blog, Mourning Has Broken

Besides answering the queries, the best part of the Blog Tour is that each participant gets to pick two bloggers to continue the Tour! (To find out who I am passing my Blog Tour baton to, keep reading.)

Here are my answers to the four Blog Tour questions...

Monday, March 31, 2014

MOVING ON AFTER CANCER: SUE (SECOND IN A SERIES)

The Rubies are back! Diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other, we were a string of strangers that met via breastcancer.org. We jelled like a good marmalade, forming a cohesive support system for each other that saved our collective sanity. We grew close, as real besties do, and I have since dubbed them The Rubies (read more about them here). 

As you can imagine, each Ruby has her own unique breast cancer story to tell, and I want to give each Ruby space to share her story on my blog. My first guest blogger was the marvelous Melanie, our youngest Ruby. (You can read Melanie's story here.)

Today I am introducing you to my second guest blogger, SueYou'll soon see why Sue wears the "inspiring" crown in our group for making the most changes since her diagnosis. Sue is a military spouse who took stock of her personal circumstances, pushed through her limitations and pursued her dreams in the face of breast cancer. I'll let her tell you how she did it. So without further ado, here's Sue!

"One thing that being a military spouse has taught me is to take control when I can, and give up the desire to control when I have no other choice. We learn to just deal with it, uncomplaining, silently carrying on. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I sucked it up and decided to just deal with it like I did everything else. No one told me that was impossible. You don’t just deal with cancer...

Monday, March 24, 2014

TOP 10 TIPS FOR A HAPPY LIFE

[WARNING: GRAY ORB ALERT!]
In an attempt to "clean up" my photos in Google Plus, I mistakenly deleted a slew of images that were attached to my blog. (Duh.) So if you're reading posts of mine and you come across an image that looks like a gray oval orb (like this one), forgive me. I know not what I do.

Anyway, as I was attempting to fix my image problem (insert laugher here), I came across a blog post that feels worthy of a repostOriginally written as a letter to my 16-year-old self, these tips apply to folks of all ages — not just to teens. After all, we're never as young as we are right now, right?


I've renamed them RENN'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR A HAPPY LIFE...

Friday, February 28, 2014

CYBER SUPPORT

My first blog logo, circa April 2011
It's been nearly three years since my first blog post hit cyberspace. It was April 2011, and I was in the thick of my frustration, anger and sadness following a breast cancer diagnosis. If I didn't write down what I was feeling, I thought my head would explode. Blogging became a natural way for me to process my cancer "situation."

I wasn't always aware of what I was dealing with; enlightenment often came after I hit the "publish" button. Writing is weird that way...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A BLESSING AND A BLUNDER

© Emma Keller
Once there was a writer named Emma Keller who posted a very disruptive article last week on The Guardian  website about a highly regarded breast cancer blogger named Lisa Bonchek Adams. (I have written about Lisa many times on this blog.)

The article in question has since been retracted by The Guardian "pending investigation" — but you can find it here! (Oh, the wonders of the internet, where nothing ever really disappears…)

Continuing on...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 REVIEW

2013? That was so yesterday

It was a year in which I wrote 30 fewer blog posts than I did in 2012. The year I forgot my diagnosis anniversary. The year I started focusing on other stuff. Stuff I haven't felt a need to write about. And that, my peeps, is progress. (For me.) 

I did review the 50 posts I managed to pen in 2013, and found a few snippets to highlight here...

Monday, December 2, 2013

REAR-VIEW MIRRORING

Lately I've noticed friends on Facebook participating in a sharing game about their lives. Maybe you've seen it: You leave a message on a pal's wall who has already shared details about themselves; your friend then emails you a number — that's how many tidbits you're supposed to reveal about yourself. 

I never found that game enticing...

Monday, November 4, 2013

KVETCHING CORRECTLY

Who among us hasn't experienced the awkward moment when a well-meaning person utters something inane (or insane) in response to our discussing our cancer treatment or diagnosis (and/or our mental, physical or emotional processing of the two)? You know, the verbiage that doesn't stay inside their head but is inappropriately spilled out onto yours. And you, as the cancer patient, are left feeling unheard, misunderstood, and thinking, Did he/she really just say that? 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

METAPHOR FOR CANCER

I was going through my archives when I found this 2011 blog post entitled "Land of Confusion" — very popular among readers. So I dusted it off and am rerunning it. Let me know if it strikes an emotional chord with you...

Friday, October 11, 2013

JEN "JELEBELLE" VENNES


(Copyright ©2013 Jennifer Ledda Vennes/Keep the Calm)
The breast cancer blogging community has lost another wonderful woman, wife, mother, blogger to the scourge that is breast cancer — Jen "jelebelle" Vennes. She was 39.

Jen penned the supremely well-written, super honest, often raw and always inspiring blog, KeepTheCalmI'd been following her story since Spring 2012, when she first wrote about the chemo drug Navelbine (something her nurses jokingly referred to as "navy bean"), which was part of the trifecta of chemo drugs she was desperate to have work...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MOVING ON AFTER CANCER: MELANIE (FIRST IN A SERIES)

Many positives come out of cancer, and I admit I don't always write about them. But today I'm going to. The biggest ones involve the many new friends I've made since my December 2010 breast cancer diagnosis. I often refer to these friends as  The Rubies, and I'm fortunate to have several sets of such wonderful gems. 

Long before I was on Twitter, and about four months before I started this little blog...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PINKTOBER PREPAREDNESS

With "Pinktober" right around the corner, I received this morning from Dr. Susan Love's "Act With Love" Research Foundation. Dr. Love understands the challenges, the politics and the need for greater research (vs. "awareness") with regard to breast cancer and is busy putting programs in place to not just raise research dollars, but to actually tap the people of the world so we can assist in the research itself. It's pretty impressive...

Friday, September 6, 2013

3 REASONS FRIENDSHIPS FADE POST-CANCER

(Copyright © 2013 The Big C and Me)
I wrote a blog post back in January 2013 about how our relationships change at various points during our cancer treatment, how the demands on our time changes, and how this can leave us feeling invisible. It struck a chord with many, so I thought it might be important to post again. Maybe you (or someone you know) can relate...