Normally around now, a week or so since my last post, I’d be in a panic. But, this time seems different. I’m not getting that sense of urgency. Laying low feels kind of right.
Without meaning to, but simply since I can’t help it, I’ve been giving breast cancer a lot of thought lately. It seems I didn’t know that much when I first began blogging. I didn’t know squat.
My goal was to share similar experiences with other bloggers. I had no way of knowing I’d learn from them. I couldn’t have predicted an online community would infiltrate my daily life and I had no idea how much it would matter.
Before cancer I thought I knew the differences between stages 1 – 4. Although, I couldn’t tell you the parameters of each.
I had never heard of Triple Negative, Estrogen Positive, Her2 neu or Inflammatory breast cancers.
I didn’t understand what hormone inhibitors were or why it was an option for some breast cancers, but not others.
I thought all breast cancer required chemotherapy.
I thought all fundraising organizations worked toward a cure.
I thought little about metastatic breast cancer until I learned its research is shamefully underfunded.
I didn’t know that 110 women die everyday from breast cancer, approximately a whopping 7 less than twenty years ago… Many of these women, initially diagnosed as Stage 1.
Even after all that pink.
I didn’t know three bloggers I admire would die within a very short time of each other.
Maybe, if I wasn’t so invested in this topic… If I didn’t follow the bloggers everyday…
I could learn of their deaths, one after another, without taking hits to my very core. Breaking it, bit by bit.
Women like me, around my age. Wives, mothers, sisters, daughters. Women, at one point or another who thought they had it beat.
If I wasn’t in so deep…
Then maybe I’d believe those who tell me I’m lucky. Believe in the words, “early and small.” Instead of silently nodding, knowing– It may not matter.
I know now breast cancer isn’t about early or small. Its life may be dependent on things we can’t cut out, poison or radiate away.
If I back off… scary facts may not find me so often. My days might be idyllic ones raising two young boys, bursting with sunny moments, finding great pleasure in the small things and wide open dreams of a happily ever after. An innocent vision of life, as children might see it, before they know better.
It’s been a lot to learn and overwhelming at times. Would it matter…If I stepped away from cyberspace for a while? Would things be easier if I weren’t so engrossed in it?
Breast cancer would still exist. And women would still die. Only I’d know less of it. My days and mood would be lighter, unburdened by cancer’s black cloud.
Would I care less? No. I know it’s out there, lurking, but I also know the women in my online community are there, dedicated to seeing its eradication, while providing unwavering support for one another.
Perhaps that’s why my self-imposed computer exile felt right, even necessary to fully embrace a couple of special birthdays, an adoption day anniversary, some tee-ball, a class trip to the library and some all around quality time.
Time away from breast cancer to busy myself with happier aspects of life. The same stuff those three bloggers found so important. The very things that inspire and drive me to dive back in, learn what else I can do to help rid our lives of this insidious disease and no longer have a need for this community.
Unless, of course, we just want to tell stories and share some pie.