Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

It’s ironic.  It’s been less than a month since I declared 2014 the no-cancer-one-upmanship, and already the Guardian and the NYT have broken my pact.

Don’t they know they should all be listening to the Ninja?!? 🙂

This week some people, questioned the choice of Lisa Adams, a mother of three who has been fighting stage 4, metastatic breast cancer for more than six years.  She started to write, much like I did, almost privately.  As her disease has progressed, she has shared more, about her treatment, about the loss of her mother-in-law, about the congenital issues of her son.  Her writing evolved into a blog, and a hugely popular twitter handle.

The tweet she sends out each and every morning speaks to me on so many levels:

Lisa Bonchek Adams @AdamsLisa  Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.

I do not know Lisa, I have not previously been following Lisa, but I know those feelings. I understand wanting to educate, or share, not only to purge the darkness as we go through it, but with the fervent wish that my pain, my journey, can help someone, anyone, else.
So this family of writers have published the above articles, the most egregious (from the Guardian) has now been pulled down, and I’m not even going to dignify their authors with using their names.  And there are many, many offensive things here, but the one that gets me the most is where the author says that since she “live tweets” her disease, she has lost her right to decide what to share.  “And she is trying to create her own boundaries, flimsy as they might be. She’ll tell you all about her pain, for example, but precious little about her children or husband and what they are going through… She was enraged a few days ago when a couple of people turned up to visit her unannounced. She’s living out loud online, but she wants her privacy in real life.”
Are you fucking kidding me?  Perhaps it’s because I have these own lines in my own head, but this is like saying that there’s no such thing as rape between people who have already had sex.  Yes to one thing always means yes, right?
On Facebook, they did a little thing that showed you what 2013 was like for you.  And I was a little embarrassed at how many selfies there are.  I HATE pictures of myself. But for the last year, I’ve been showing off the hair as it comes in on top of my head.
Jan 10, 2013

Jan 10, 2013

One year later, actual hair

One year later, actual hair, flat iron needed

However, I have NOT been showing you my new nipples.  I have taken pictures of some scars, but they are not for anyone… even really me.  I just thought I might want them.  I do not think that showing you my head gives you the right to see my boobs, no matter how much I may talk about them.  I talk a little about how my husband and son (and dog) have handled the last year, but I DO NOT talk about my sex life. Because then I’d be talking about my husband’s sex life.  And he would HATE that.
I am at a point where I get to live my life again as if there were no cancer.  Yeah, I’m figuring out how to make my hair look normal, but I just signed up to do the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half.  Which is the kind of thing I did before cancer. This time I just have more of an appreciation of being able to make my body go 13.1.
There is a ton of backlash to these articles, and even better, a people have been donating to Memorial Sloan-Kettering where Lisa Adams is being treated.
And obviously, my comments play in to that. But as I said last month, each and every person who has cancer reacts to it differently. Emotionally, physically, spiritually.  That deserves to be respected. And yes, I would like us to all get along.
I try REALLY HARD not to be judgey- except to those who are judgmental.
Those “journalists” who I refuse to name… hope they have insurance for their glass house… since I think it’s safe to say they are experiencing a hailstorm of their own initiation.

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