Posts Tagged ‘positivity bracelets’

Ann’s Diary: Making Headlines

This week I was honored twice publicly–and embarrassed several times over.

The honors have to do with being positive.  I am known in my community for being a positive individual.  That’s a great label to have.  On Thursday night my fitness studio held a positivity celebration in my name and this weekend the local paper did a story on that–and on me.

Click to read Ann Murray Paige Spreads Message of Hope by Anne Ternus-Bellamy 

The embarrassment comes from exactly the same place as the honor: the positivity moniker. It’s not the typical thing to have–I’ve been called late, funny, cranky, goofy–all things that relate to being a typical human in the world.  But “positive”?  That’s something I’ve heard as a choice.  Or as a goal.  Not as “me.”

I feel awkward saying “thank you”  to this designation. Why I am not sure.  Maybe because it highlights an obvious factor of my life now: I am positive, yes– because I have to be.  If I’m not positive, I’m negative–and the cancer gets the upper hand in my fight, and sorry Charlie, that won’t fly with me.

But being lauded for this choice seems…I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like being congratulated for having blonde hair (when I used to have hair).  The response I’d feel would be: it’s my hair, it’s just there. I didn’t do anything to “get” it.  It showed up on my head at 4 months old.  How can I be congratulated?

Likewise, being “positive” is not something I chose.  Well I guess somewhere in my mind I went that way instead of negative, but honestly: it’s just the only way to go during this ridiculous bullsh-t.  It’s like if you’re swimming and you begin to be pulled under.  Nobody thinks, “Hmmm, sink or swim?  Let’s see.  This is a tough one.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t sunk to the bottom in a very long time.  This could be my last moment alive. Hmmm.  But…on the other hand, swimming is healthy. What to do? Think think think. Oh alright, I choose swim.”  Nobody does that.  Everybody tries to swim.

So to everybody involved, thank you for singling me out as someone who represents positivity in your life.  I am honored.  I am humbled.  I am grateful. I am a tiny bit embarrassed…BUT  I love it.  I am grateful beyond words.

But I need you to know this:

without you opening up to this positivity –mine or somebody else’s–there is no positivity.  Like I said to the amazing group of people at the celebration on Thursday night: if you don’t allow it in, positivity can’t shine.  It takes two people to make that work.  And I’ve walked by many a person who pushed off my positivity and went on their grouchy way untouched by what you say I give you.

Maybe there’s where the choice comes in–those who don’t get there naturally.  If that’s who I’m reaching right now please know this:  when you decide to let positivity in, you reflect it back to the world…and to each other…and to me.  And mostly to yourself.

To those who’ve honored me this past week, those who have gotten to the postiivity place naturally, I say this: if I could write a headline for you and show you what you mean to me in my breast cancer fight, it would read something like this:

Ann Murray Paige Spreads Message of Hope–Because You Let Her.”

Thanks for letting me.




Posted October 6th, 2013 by
Ann's Diary: Making Headlines

Ann’s Diary: To Medical Staff Everywhere

The good news about my life is I have fantastic people around me.  So fantastic in fact that they are selling “positivity bracelets” in my honor at two local stores.

So yesterday, having one of the worst physical days in a while, I had to go to the imaging department to get an x-ray.  I’m standing there, feeling like I’d been run over by a truck, and the sweet, bright-eyed woman at the desk looks at me and says, “Hello! Welcome to imaging.  Can I have your name and date of birth?”

I looked at her and thought, well I’m glad she’s got a smile on her face.  It makes the pain in my heart just a little less hard to bear. Then I answered her with my name and my birth date.   She then shrinks up her shoulders and giggles a little and says to me, “Oh my goodness.  You do NOT look that old!”

Now mind you, this is the visual of me at that moment:  sweat pants and t-shirt, no boobs, no hair, hat on my head, glasses, chills, fever and body aches– and about 9 years of cancer battling on my emotional shoulders.  In other words, I look like hell.  But this girl–I tell you, she wasn’t a faker. Her face was genuine. Her demeanor was real. She actually liked her job–I could see that. Plus, there were so many things she could have said.  She could have said, “okay Ms. Paige, have a seat,” just as easily.  There was no need to fill a void of verbal space by throwing fake compliments my way.  It’s a busy clinic–I was about to sit down.  But then she–I’ll call her K– said that–and I could have cried.

I pulled off one of my positivity bracelets and passed it on to her.  I said, “You don’t know how much that one tiny little comment just balanced some of the junk I’m dealing with in my day.”  I explained the point of the bracelet–you buy them in a pack of three and you pass one off to anyone whose random act of kindness makes you feel just a bit better.  And as luck would have it, the color I’d purchased also matched K’s outfit…

So to K–and to all the people who work in hospitals and imaging centers across the country and around the world: you will never know how much your simple smile, your upbeat attitude, your knowing glance or your tiny bit of extra kindness means to those of us trudging through the crap of cancer.  Sure you do it every day.  Sure you see us in various stages of grumpiness, irritation, exhaustion and just plain anger at being shoved down a road none of us ever thought or expected to be on.  It must be exhausting for you to do what you do every day–see the sad ones in life–and not want to ditch your job and go work at a salad bar or a coffee store where people are just wondering whether they should add tomatoes or an extra shot into their fun, foaming latte.

But for all of us on the other side of your desk, I want you to know that who you are and how you smile and show up for us patients matters.  It matters BIG TIME.

And if you ever wonder if you make a difference in this world wonder no more–

because you do.


Posted May 31st, 2013 by
Ann's Diary: To Medical Staff Everywhere
Posted in: Ann's Diary