Category: Breast Cancer

Unsolicited Cancer Advice – Declutter Your Mind

Sometimes I think that unsolicited advice comes with the territory of our cancer diagnoses, be they last week or twenty years ago. I have to admit that, even knowing how unwelcome it is, there have been many times I have been tempted to dispense same. And, horrors of horrors, gulity more than once. 

That advice can be medical, pseudo-medical, psychological, career, parenting, marriage, faith-based, dating, you name it.

This morning I interrupted my decluttering of several stacks of paper to check some blogs I follow. (Admit it; the Internet does provide great procrastination material.) Anyway, I found a very interesting post. Well-written story. Also humorous. Check it out at PinkUnderbelly.

And the next time you are on the receiving end of unsolicited advice, whatever its brand, do what that sassy gal from Texas did:

  1. Be polite
  2. Run the other way as fast as you can
  3. Declutter your mind immediately (Hey, I'm trying to stay with my theme.)

 

 

 

 

No Lifeguard on Duty

I started the second morning of January with a talk for the Littleton United Methodist Church Optimist Club. It was my 595th speech.

As we left home at 8:30, I said to Les, "There won't be anyone there. It's too cold. The year is too new."

And he said, "Who is there is who is there."

When we entered the room, almost two dozen faces smiled at us and we were immediately pulled into the warmth of this lively group. 

As I began reading "No Lifeguard on Duty," one woman interrupted, "Oh, I know who you are. I have that poem on my desk! And to think I almost didn't come this morning!"   

Later she told me about the many sadnesses she has had in her life. Somewhere she had heard of that particular poem, but could only remember one line. A friend of hers Googled it and found the poem. My new friend printed it out and kept it on her desk. I felt humbled and honored when she told me that it had given her comfort and courage when she needed it. 

So, just in case you need a helping hand this morning, here it is once more:

No Lifeguard on Duty

It is difficult
when one is drowning
to wave to the people
on shore

One wants to be
friendly, of course,

but perhaps it is
more important
to keep

swimming

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, © 1993, 2003, Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad) 

Happy New Year!

 

 

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How Did I Miss November?

My last post was October 31, "A Final Poem for October."

Okay. Appropriate enough from someone who is a breast cancer survivor, who wrote the book in which that poem first appeared, who wants to comfort others. With any luck, perhaps the poem did comfort someone. 

But this is December 20. What happened to November? What happened to the first three weeks of December?

Well, in November a couple of trips happened. First to Arizona to visit one son and his family, then a Thanksgiving trip to Traverse City, Michigan, with another son and his family. In Arizona I got too warm and relaxed to try to blog and in Michigan I got too full.

Sorry. More tomorrow.

 

A Final Poem for October

Affirmation

The breasts are gone
but I am
whole

Disfigurement
need not include
my soul

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, copyright 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

 

 

Oh, no, not another checkup?!

Checkup

The checkups still cause
a tightness in my chest–
a primal fear

Every three months
the doctors poke and question–
Any bone pain?
Appetite OK?
Muscle weakness?
Headache?
Nausea or vomiting?

Every six months
the lab tests and x-rays question, too–
CBC? CEA? LDH? CA 27-29?
Shadow on the screen?

Each time I pray for
"within normal range"
and wonder
what I will do
if the answers
are wrong
again

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, (c) 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)