I love the title of my blog because it speaks to everyone, not only me. I hear so many stories that fit the title– I thought sometimes I would fit them into the blog. This is one of those stories.
We bonded over clutter. When I first started Cluttercast, from out of the blue on Twitter came a personal organizer in Portland who loved the idea and started cluttercasting on her own blog. It turned out that I had more in common with Krista Colvin than we realized….when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring.
My memories of going through cancer 15 years ago have faded, but everything comes back when I re-live it through others like Krista. It might be surprising that I’d want to do that, but I do. For one thing, Krista tells it like it is. And more importantly, the brave women battling cancer never fail to inspire me.
How did you find out? And how did you decide to share so honestly?
I was sore from working out, wanted to soak in the tub (which is not my norm) and when the kids burst into the bathroom I covered myself. My fingers landed on the edge of the lump. As soon as I could get the kids out of the room, I immediately lifted my right arm over my head and did a self check. I knew. I just knew.
I decided to write almost immediately. I’m a former teacher, childhood diary writer, and the girlfriend that will grab your phone + call the doctor for you when you’re putting it off… I find writing therapeutic, love that it inspires women to take care of themselves, and helps women understand what breast cancer really feels + looks like.
Have you had this same great attitude with everything else in your life you didn’t sign up for?
I tend to be a half-full kind of girl. I loathe limbo but thrive on transition. And when life throws me a curve I allow myself a pity party before I put on my big girl panties and move on.
What has been the hardest part for you?
Hands down: being a present mom while going through chemo treatment + my surgery. Physically + mentally the 6 months of chemo got to me, but the anal fissure induced by chemo side effects was a son-of-a-bitch.
Me too! My hair didn’t fall out in clumps… it died a long slow death. I let it get very bare + scraggeldy before finally shaving it.
I was well into my 6th month of chemo when I finally let it go. I feared going without my hat more than having a mastectomy. Then it dawned on me to turn my noggin into my personal pink ribbon... I decided to go hatless/scarfless/wigless for breast cancer awareness month. It got easier everyday. I haven’t turned back.
Were you affected by the death of Elizabeth Edwards?
Yes. The week before her death I was bitching + moaning about how many doctor appointments I had that week. Radiation was beginning the next week and all I could see was 33 more appointments on my docket. Then my husband told me she had stopped treatment. Nothing like another cancer patient to put you in your place. Here I am able and receptive to treatment… I had no room to complain. My kids will have a cancer free mom.
You’ll learn more about Krista’s story on her blog. I learned only by doing this interview that there’s one more thing we have in common—something Krista herself didn’t learn until she had breast cancer and genetic testing….her Jewish roots. Though I’m not happy to welcome Krista to the sisterhood of survivors, I’m happy to welcome her to the tribe.