hI have been asked … and my closest friends have been asked … about why I blog. Why I write with such candor. Except it’s not always called candor.
Why does she blog that?
An art gallery.
Best thing I have read in ten years.
She gave my cancer a voice.
Someone else knows how I feel.
I had no idea what authentic looked like. I can’t tell you how to get there, except let loose from the heart. You will know it when you see it.
It’s about controlling my message myself. For most of us, controlling what is said is vital. I do care about gossip, which is one of our sponsors for Binary . Me coming to grips with changing roles and relationships. And white hot anger. Don’t make me run at you with scissors. The pen is mightier than the sword. I suppose there is some exhibitionist in there. I love to be on stage presenting.
Most people appreciate the journey and the message. They reach out privately to say so – “I love your blog” along with “Wow” “I couldn’t do it” “Is your sex life really that awesome?”
Some people can’t handle the ride. They can dish out commentary, but cannot accept it. They don’t understand it and aren’t meant to. That’s ok. When you have a strong voice, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I am particularly adverse to negative voices. If it is derogatory or defames another, marks a negative dislike against someone’s like … I am not a fan. I stick up for the underdog. I have voiced my dislike at how I am talked to with cancer. Rolled my eyes a few times. Taken one or two out on the blog. But it’s not a habit I will form. There is a difference between assertiveness and mean girl. I usually stick to one but have certainly been guilty of the other.
I really don’t feel like taking any shit right now, ya know?
“I love your blog!” Thank you. I know everyone gets something different out of my blog. I hope it makes you laugh, cry, think, find God, prevent cancer and have better sex!
“Wow!” … Thank you! I am not about shock and awe. I am all about finding my authentic voice and telling my story.
“I couldn’t do it” … Neither could I a year ago. When I started this journey with cancer, I decided that I wouldn’t sugar coat it. I would blog the realities – especially the painful moments … but I had no idea where that would take me. Highs and lows. I have bared everything I have to offer. I had to take a deep breath and stop the ugly tears in order to post Ciao Bella … I felt so ashamed and exposed. But I did it.
And blogging about my sex life? Never in a million years would I have guessed my erotica would be out in the open for all who know me to read. I have wanted to write about Andrew* for years and this opportunity … came along. But it takes courage to show up at parties and know people have access to my most intimate moments.
I had lunch with my team. As we sat down to sushi, I said “Aren’t you glad I didn’t make reservations at Moxie’s?” Bam.
“Is your sex life really that awesome?” Yes. It was. While Andrew and I are always in contact, we don’t have sex on Victoria Park Avenue in the middle of rush hour any longer. We’ve been friends for years … but we have not rekindled our story. I’d prefer to remain his most sought after fantasy. The one he remembers for a lifetime. He is still mine. Both of us have spent years trying to recreate our connection with others. And failed. No … it’s not a love story. It’s human nature.
The good news is that we had LOTS of sex so there are still LOTS of stories to dish!
“Your abuse story woke me up …” I thought my calling in life was to love. That is what I told my Psychologist Dr. D a year ago when he asked. But I found myself. I am meant to lead. Lead people out of cancer. Lead people out of abuse. Lead people out of shitty sex lives. Lead people into connection. Lead people into awareness. Lead people into authenticity. Those are the three topics in which I have a strong voice. I received the most messages from men and women about the abuse. A sad but true reality.
And about the sex. Not so sad but true! Why do we find sex SO hard to talk about?
“I don’t have your strength.” Neither do I.
“I don’t have your grace.” I find it and lose it. I am human. A suffering, hurting, sick human. Grace is my goal … but not at the expense of my dignity. I forget God’s grace and react with human failings from time to time.
“I’ve been there.” To have someone say they have been in my shoes … and my voice resonates with them is powerful. It really sucks to have cancer. We silently suffer while life goes on. I didn’t even understand my own parents’ battles with cancer. How can I expect you to understand mine?
“You are crazy.” Thank you. My mother had me tested and I am not. Actually … I did ask that question of the therapist I sought when I figured out I was being abused. He said that crazy people don’t know they are crazy …
“Your spirituality intrigues me.” If I am meant to lead anyone anywhere, it’s into spirituality. Find God. Ditch the religion that makes you cold. God is much more complex but much easier to find. I would love to give a seminar of faith and finding God. I am still developing the depth of that voice.
And ditch the guilt. He did not give us sex to have us not enjoy it. Just don’t enjoy it at someone else’s expense. Simple.
“You are an amzing writer!” Again … thank you! Some days I don’t know where the words come from. They just spill out onto the page or the keyboard. God driven, perhaps?
“Are you cured yet?” I have no idea. My finger nails grow more beautiful with chemo. My toe nails look like the Walking Dead. Are the cells living or dying? No fucking clue. We will know how I am after a year when they scan my body and don’t find a new tumour in my brain, my bones or my lungs. Dr. X went right down to my chest wall to take out the breast cancer tumour, but it was only a .7mm margin … which is smaller than they like.
“What’s next?” A book. Nine more weeks of chemo then a month of radiation. Back to work. Matt graduating. More dogs to save. I cannot wait to get back to the gym. I am hoping I still hate Chocolate Cake. Mr. Right. Andrew knows me best.
“Will your hair grow back?” Heather says “I hope not.” Terri … you can cut the strands out of my cold, dead hands. I put Heather in the will. As the last act as my friend and Executor, you will have to put Heather on my head. So there.
“I wish I could help.” You are. By being there. Listening. Understanding that I don’t need fixing … I need empathy. By reaching out. I am sure I scared some of you with my /rants but that wasn’t the intention. It was a cry of pain. Keep talking to me. I sometimes feel like life is passing me by. I can’t do the things I used to, so people stopped asking. But I still want to go.
“What can I bring you?” I appreciate everything! The books. The food. The teas and talks. The dog walks. The restaurant nights and understanding when I have to dine and dash. It can be pretty isolating when you are avoiding people, smells, germs. My social circle is changing … which is both good and bad. I need to focus on me.
“How is Matthew?” He is doing his best. When Mom has cancer, the whole family has cancer. This has been brutally tough on him, especially without any other relatives other than me.
No, he is not on Facebook, nor is he reading the blog. He will be banned from reading the book as well.
“Does it hurt?” The cancer? Yes, I did feel pain in my chest and tingling like the breast changes you get when your period is starting. It’s not true that cancer doesn’t hurt. The surgery wasn’t too bad. The chemo sucks. It’s not as painful as childbirth, back muscle spasms and getting your tongue pierced. “No, I meant the butt sex!” Ohhhhhhh. I will blog about that on the “other” blog.
“You are so brave!” Actually I am not. I am so fucking scared that some days I can’t move. But move forward I must. I have no choice. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Some days I just sit in a corner and cry and stop adulting.
Thank you to my readers! You make this worth it. I go back and read my old posts to remember details and how I felt. I am so grateful that I get to blog this journey. I am meant to do this journey. With you.
Finding my voice,
*Name(s) changed to protect the guilty.
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