I am not Fearless.

So blogging as Bumpyboobs, and being involved in Facing Cancer Together, and meeting the incredible women online, interacting through twitter and facebook and meeting ladies in person – it’s all great. It’s support, and like I’ve said before, I love the online world of cancer support because we can choose our interactions, the depth of our involvement, and even the people with whom we relate. There’s choice. But even that doesn’t protect you from the reality of cancer – that slap-in-the-face reality that people do die.

I follow a lot of blogs. You might not notice me, and my name isn’t always listed under ‘Bumpyboobs’, but nevertheless, I’m often there reading. So many touching journeys are online (I reckon each and every person has a story that is touching, even if they don’t put it on the internet) and it is my privilege to read and blog alongside these great writers.

Okay, so please get that I feel my work and my interactions in the BC and cancer community is a privilege. It’s important to me in a very deep way.

But oh my goodness, it can be hard at times. Seems to me that people pass on too early, and final posts appear too often in my RSS reader. I don’t want to turn away from others as they thank the world for the support. It’s just hard to know that they’ve reached their last stop. Harder for them, of course, and just so aching for the family and friends left behind.

There’s this great tag online about #fearlessfriends. Those are friends who stick by a person even after someone is diagnosed stage four or worse, beyond treatment. It takes a lot of character and strength to be a fearless friend. I’d like to give kudos to those who do it so very well. You ladies just keep giving, and it amazes me completely how generous you are with your emotions and support.

It’s the fearless friends, alongside these incredible people who will blog their story to the very end, who give me strength to stay with them and not shrink away. But it’s hard. It’s nevertheless hard. And there are moments – just some moments, when I open facebook or twitter or the RSS reader and wilt as I read the headlines, as I have done this week for reasons many of you know.

Friendship is a wonderful and empowering thing. Support lets us know we’re not alone. Conversation brings up important topics that need consideration. And daily triumphs shared are energy boosters for us all. It is a wonderful thing to work within the cancer community. But this is cancer we are talking about . . . so in today’s post I just wanted to acknowledge that sometimes this is hard. It might be selfish to write – particularly with people passing and anniversaries being marked, but this blog has always been about getting the emotions ‘out’ so that I can move forward. It’s a selfish blog, really, in this aspect.

So there is it. Out. Sometimes, I find it hard to be supportive. Sometimes, I’d rather just turn off my computer. Sometimes, I just need a little time away from cancer . . .

Then the next day I can come back and keep sharing, talking, laughing, reading and supporting. I am not fearless, and that is the truth, but nevertheless, I am doing my best. Probably we’re all just doing our best.


7 thoughts on “I am not Fearless.

  1. I totally understand and it is not selfish. Sometimes I feel the same way when I become too involved in the FORCE (Facing our risks of cancer empowered) message board and I have to pull back a bit. The more I read and support the more my own anxiety level increases. You have been a wonderful support for me so I thank you for that! :o) Erin

  2. Honestly Catherine I can just so relate… I also have moments when I feel like just taking a break from being in the cancer world, not reading or writing anything related to cancer. I have the worst time with pediatric cancer, which is, of course, an area I am particularly involved in. But there are days when I just don’t want to hear about any of it, it can really be so hard. I don’t think we’re meant to be strong all the time though, are we? And sometimes, I think we just need to be “normal”.
    You are a great resource for women with cancer, but you have to also take care of yourself, and that means allowing yourself to take a break. Oh, I’m writing that and realizing I should take my own advice. Ha ha.
    Ok going to stop reading cancer blogs for a bit now.

  3. Oh, Catherine, I can relate to all you said. I’m not fearless either, but I so admire all those who are. I agree that the online support we share as fellow bloggers is invaluable, and it draws us back, even if the news is devastating. When I see others writing to the very end, it gives me the oomph I need to keep writing, keep sharing, keep reading others’ posts. Thank you for your wonderful writings. xx

  4. I truly understand where you are coming from. I frequently consider hiding the feeds from my Facebook page, stepping away from Google Reader and just turning off cancer. We do have many ways to create connections with women in situations similar to our own. Losing those that we care about will never get any easier. *hugs*

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