Posts from February, 2013

Ann’s Diary: IND

A friend of mine updated her FaceBook status this week and mentioned that she could understand why people committed suicide.

As you can imagine it elicited many reactions from her FB “friends”–of which I am one.

Some friends, like me, reacted worriedly: as in, “is everything alright?”  Others reacted differently, as in “yeah I can too” or “I’ve known someone who’s committed suicide and…”

To be clear, this blog is not a commentary on suicide: it’s not even an essay on it.  Suicide is way too complicated a topic for a non-suicide expert like me to tackle. I mention it only because when I talked with my friend later on in the day I was truly worried.  I thought maybe she was thinking of….you know.  And I was upset–because I love her. And 140 characters on a status update with no visual, audio or back-story on my friend’s day had left me wondering the worst.

It turns out she was fine.  She said she’d watched or listened to a report on suicide and it had gotten her thinking. She’d written what she’d written, she said, based on that. I blew out a sigh of relief. Though my friend had never in her life had me wondering about her in that way, I admit to doing so after that update. I mean, life can change in a heartbeat and nothing is a guarantee in this world: as a metastatic breast cancer fighter, I of all people know that.

So I learned a big lesson this week: beware the status update. It ain’t always what it seems to be. Communication via texting, mini-updates and internet conversation can be fraught with emotional distance and interpretation confusion. I for one got schooled this week: which my kids tell me means “I got had, I missed a lesson. I learned something.”  That I did.

Presenting ourselves in short cyber-bursts can work of course–until it doesn’t.  And I don’t want to worry or try to figure out someone’s state of mind at the click of a status update. Instead of assuming I know what’s going on I’ll be keyboarding “IND” from now on.  I just made it up: it stands for I Need Details. That way, if someone is really in trouble they’ll message me, comment to me or (dare to dream) pick up a phone and call me.

If they are fine, then I’ll let it go. Because what someone writes in 140 characters or less isn’t necessarily what it appears to be;

unless of course it is does turn out to be what it appears to be…

in which case IND.

 

 

Posted February 20th, 2013 by
Ann's Diary: IND
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: Author Laura Munson on the radio

Are you a writer like I am?  Please enjoy this Author2Author interview on BlogTalkRadio: and no it isn’t me!  It’s a new friend and NYT Bestselling Author Laura Munson.  She’s a gem–she’s so “real”–and she’s a fantastic writer.  She gives a darn great interview too…best line of the interview for me?  “I know so many bloggers who are so busy on their blog they don’t have time to write their novel.” Amen Laura!

 

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Posted February 19th, 2013 by
Ann's Diary: Author Laura Munson on the radio
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: Duh

One of things that I struggle with as a breast cancer “fighter” is maintaining a boundary of expectation about myself and my attitude toward being “sick.”

What I mean is that although constantly fighting a disease that wants to kill me wears me down (insert “DUH” here) I can usually maintain an upbeat posture: after all, I’m still here. That’s upbeat if ever I knew the term.

And then one day just as I’m walking along and all is fine, WHAM it hits me:  holy sh-t I’ve been fighting this disease for close to a decade.  I’m freaking EXHAUSTED.

This exhaustion has many layers: like mental (what if it all goes WRONG?) And financial (where the hell are we going to get the money to pay these thousands of dollars in co-payments?) And of course, the physical–and I am not talking about the mastectomies nor the other surgeries nor the radiation, chemo nor all the drugs I now take to stay here with ya’ll on the planet.  I’m talking about  the day-to-day grind of just living in a body that’s under siege.

It’s this last physical layer that’s kickin’ me to the curb lately. There are no bomb blasts, no air raids, no white flags flying to prove the proverbial point but every hour of every f-cking day it’s a war in there.  Or to revamp the battle metaphor, it’s like I run a daily medical marathon backwards in heels two sizes too small–and I come in last.

But I’m still here, which is why I still smile.  I still find the joke.  I still make people laugh. It’s what I do–and I expect that, and want that of myself.  That’s me. And then…

I get a migraine. I get muscles spasm. I must take medicines and spend many hours in bed, on the couch, and away from friends to shore my body back up. I stack up funny videos and stare at them for hours before I can pick myself up, pull off the too-tight shoes, stand up straight again with my middle finger high in the air and shout,”Okay, cancer, I’m back. F U!”

I know we all have stuff in our lives. I know every one of you reading this blog can insert your own “disease” into here and say “yeah, I get it. ” I know I am not alone. But lately I feel alone–and if you do too just know that this is not the last word.  These feelings are not the final say.  We are better than this.  I am better than this.  I have not come this far to give up–

but I could use a little rest.  That I could use–because  while I know this will all be okay and I am certain this battle will fall in my favor, and I’ll find the right Jimmy Choos and run forward to the finish line, and those cellular air raids whistling “incoming!” inside my body will one day be silenced, the stupid truth is that fighting breast cancer or any cancer each and every day is exhausting. And I am exhausted.

(Insert “DUH” here.)

 

 

Posted February 12th, 2013
Posted in: Ann's Diary