Thursday, June 13, 2013

WRITER'S BLOG BLUES

In case you haven't noticed, I've hit a wall with my blog posts. I've placed my hands on this keyboard more times than I can count, trying to find a way back into blogging about TheBigCandMe. 

After my dreaded rash finally receded (turns out I developed an allergy to laundry detergent and soap), my scars healed, and my doctor was no longer on speed dial, my writing mojo took a sharp turn down the road of recovery — and has all but evaporated.

I've got the writer's blog blues. But I'm in good company. Many of my bloggy friends (The Accidental Amazon, Bringing Up Goliath, Breast Cancer Sisterhood, to name but a few) decided to suspend their blog writing so they can focus their energies on living life post-cancer. 

Other blogs come to a screeching halt because the writer died from cancer...
...(Debbi and Cindy and Donna and Barbara and Rachel come to mind.)

I've tried to spotlight bloggers who are in the depths of their cancer struggles in an effort to cheer them on and send visitors their way (see 9 lovely MBC Mavens, or my posts about Karen and OBB and Shannon — again, to name a few).

It's a funny thing, but the more I distance myself from the word "cancer," the less it occupies my mind and the less fear it conjures up. (Can you relate?) I've given myself time to forge a new me, one where I embrace the emotional and physical and psychological ramifications of breast cancer, including the aftermath of surgeries, the side effects of Tamoxifen, the jarring disjointedness I feel whenever I look in the mirror. 

I try to forget I've had cancer. It's kinda what you have to do to move forward. I realize I'm fortunate to even have the option. Far, far too many do not. Too many people are deeply encumbered in metastatic cancer, stuck in that hideous place, when all they really want to do is fly away... 

I could box this blog up, slip it into a folder, pretend the ugliness of the past 2.5 years never happened, and try to get on with the business of Life 2.0. 

It would be easy to consider my inability to move past my blogger's block as a sign that I should stop blogging. (My friend Nancy over at Nancy's Point had a great post recently on this very topic; check out "When Bloggers Stop Blogging.")

But I decided I'm not going anywhere. I still want to advocate. I still want to continue to educate myself and share what I learn and help those who are new to this disease. And I'll keep showing support for those dealing with mets or recurrence. Because advocacy can't fall to the folks already stricken with mets; they haven't the energy. They need a cure. It falls to those of us who are NED to find it for them. We have to keep taking action, making noise, creating change. We gotta be grumblers!

Speaking of grumblers, I'd like to give a shout out to Scorchy Barrington over at The Sarcastic Boob . Despite dealing with Stage 4 cancer, Scorchy spearheaded a movement on Change.org to petition Facebook to allow photos of mastectomy scars. Today, Facebook agreed. That is HUGE! That is the power of the people, my people. So keep grumbling!

Going forward, I've also decided to share more about my life. I'm dubbing this "Ordinary Daze." Stay tuned... In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter: @TheBigCandMe!

26 comments:

  1. Renn,,, so glad to see you back blogging... I can totally understand why you want to distance yourself and not think about what you had to deal with... I am so happy that you still want to write and educate us.

    I don't have cancer but I have learned so much from reading your blog... if I knew someone dealing with this horrible health issue, I would recommend your blog.

    Also, I am thrilled that your rash went away and that it was only from detergent.

    The skin graft I had in February of this year has healed lovely... when I first saw it, I questioned if it would ever heal.. To me, it looks amazing... just another scar of many that I have, I no longer have to give head space to the 11 years that it was infected, it is healed... I am moving on from it.

    I look forward to your next post when you are ready :)

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    1. Launna, so glad to hear your skin graft is all healed! It's amazing how much energy goes into dealing with these persistent issues, isn't it?! Thank you as always for being such a faithful reader!

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  2. Thank you, Renn. You are a fearless friend to those of us living with mets. ~ Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

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    1. Kate, being part of this awesome BC community has taught me so much, not the least of which has been to be a fearless friend!! xoxoxo

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  3. I'm right there with ya -- I've started several posts in the last week but can't seem to get it together enough to finish them. So I have a full "drafts" folder, and will try to be patient until the time comes and my thoughts flow. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

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    1. Nancy I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! It's been brutal, this writer's block! I have 61 blogs started in my Drafts folder! Patience is key, can't force these things. Much like life and BC. ;-)

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  4. That's wonderful to hear - I mean, it's wonderful to hear you are tilting the perspective of your blog and not signing off. I've been just where you are, and it ended up in a blog redesign and some new resolutions. Good luck, good advocating, and happy writing, Renn. ~Catherine

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Tilting is a good word! PS Love the redesign!

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  5. Hi Renn
    I think we all fall into that blogger malaise, do we say too much not enough repeat ourselves How to keep it fresh...
    I had to start over from scratch after my first blog was hijacked. I had over 110 followers now I have 4 lol But we keep blogging away. I mean to daily but at times the words fall out of my head....Keep writing Renn
    Love Alli....xx

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    1. Alli! So nice to hear from you! I added your new blog to my blog list and now you have 5 followers! ;-) I'll go catch up on your new blog now.

      PS: So sorry to hear your blog was hijacked! How does that happen? Scary!

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  6. dear renn,

    i am sorry about the allergy - so pesky, those awful rashes! - but very glad you found out what was causing it.

    i am so grateful you are hanging in there, continuing to write and be a presence in the BC community. don't worry if you have to take breaks - so many people admire you and are so grateful to have you blogging, advocating, and being the fearless friend you are - but you have to take care of renn the best you see fit. those who love you (like me!) will understand and be right there with you, cheering you on, no matter what.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

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    1. Karen! You are too kind! I think of you often. I see "Karen TC" around the BC blogosphere, and that makes me so happy! It's good therapy (for everyone!).

      You are so sweet and I am tickled pink that you are my fearless friend! Hag in there.

      {{{hugs}}} and healing to you.
      xoxoxo

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  7. I try to forget too. Next checkup is in October. That leaves the entire summer, I thought, to take a vacation from cancer. And then the pain in my hips flared up again and slowed me down. Lots of aspirin and keeping busy seem to help. Went to Brussels a few days ago and will go again next week. Nothing makes me happier than getting on a train and these days I could almost care less where it takes me.

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    1. V: See my note to you below. Typed in the wrong space. oops!

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  8. Victoria, I can relate! Taking ourselves out of our environment is so therapeutic. And you're right — it doesn't even matter to where! But Brussels, oh my! How fantastic you are a hop, skip and a train ride away from so many amazing places in the world! Enjoy, my friend. Love to read about your life!

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  9. Renn - thanks for your kind and supportive comments about my son's move!!

    Hugs from Holly

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  10. grumble on...and yes, Scorchy is the bomb!

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    1. Agree, agree!! Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

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  11. Hi Renn,
    Well, I'll read whatever you write whenever you write it. We evolve constantly, so of course our blogs do too. As you know, I don't like it when my blogging buddies stop, but I do understand. I'm sooooo happy you're planning on hanging around in the blogosphere!!

    And thanks for the mention!

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    1. Good way of phrasing it, Nancy... our blogs evolve as we do. Don't worry, I will continue to be here! Reading every day, just not always posting. Love your new post today! Right on target...

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  12. Ah, Renn, questions I've asked myself lately too, especially given the time put into creating a meaningful post. We have to feel someone else is benefiting from our post, and that we benefit from having written it. I know my blog has served both of those purposes, even if my audience is not of gigantic proportions. But I do think there comes a time when a person knows it's best to move on, or at least switch focus. For what it's worth, I really enjoy your blog, especially the way you rally around and support others. Caring people such as yourself should be seen and heard.

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  13. Renn,
    Being that you are a year ahead of me with this whole BC thing, I look up to you--and to you for direction! Glad you are staying in the mix! :-)
    JoAnn

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  14. @Eileen: I definitely will be back. Working on a new post this week. It does take a lot of time to craft a post. I am a V.E.R.Y. slow writer!

    @JoAnn: Thank you! You just made my day!

    —Renn (for some reason blogpost is not letting me reply to individual comments, I don't know why!)

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  15. Renn - Just found your blog. Let yourself evolve and others will also learn from that. I'm at 3 years and working on my new "normal".

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    1. Thanks Maesday! I will check out your blog too.

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Your comments are encouraging — and encouraged!