New to Breast Cancer Blogs?


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There are oodles of breast cancer blogs on the Internet that chronicle in diary or memoir form the blogger’s personal journey through breast cancer. Some blogs are thoughtful, incisive and upbeat with philosophical musings about life and include helpful tidbits for coping with treatment. Other blogs are written by panicked women who view the world as a glass half-empty. While it is comforting to know others are experiencing the same difficult things you are, those blogs are depressing.

If you are newly diagnosed or battling recurrence, it is easy to relate to bloggers who are overwhelmed with their situation and detail their every ache, pain and fear. While reading a steady diet of horrible cancer tales—mental, physical and emotional—may give you a sense of community, it will not help you stay in the right frame of mind to battle your breast cancer. 

Even though I am five years out from my diagnosis and am not in the midst of chemo and/or radiation, I remember what that time was like. Every second of every day I thought about whether or not I would die. It did not matter whether I was watching TV or listening to my husband describe his day; my impending mortality was always there, like the steady beating of my heart. For the first year and a-half I went through life that way. After that my worries backed off until I was only thinking about dying every few hours. Little things, like buying a winter coat on sale, made me wonder if I would even be here the next winter to wear it.

Last month I had prophylactic reconstruction of my healthy breast and was given a clean bill of health. Now I only think about dying every… Who am I kidding? Dying of breast cancer crosses my mind every week. I don’t fixate on it like I used to but whether I am fighting the dark side about leaving that cookie on the plate or going to work out, the mortality factor still lurks in the back of my mind. Like “stuff” you intend to clean out of the closet, whether you open the door or not, you know it is there, waiting for you.

As members of the Breast Cancer Sisterhood we need to use every tool we can to kick cancer to the curb and erase negative thoughts from our mind. “Thoughts are things” as my mother likes to remind me. Do not give those half-empty glasses any more power than they already have. I am not naive enough to think we can do that 50 or even 25 percent of the time but please, resist the urge to read negative breast cancer blogs.