Beauty Found and Shared

I did not know or even follow Lisa Bonchek Adams as well as most other breast cancer bloggers I follow/interact with. So while her death saddened me, my reaction has skewed more toward first anger, and now strengthened resolve. Anger that her message of not losing a battle seems to be lost on so many, that so many articles and even comments and tweets have relied on that stupid battle cliché. Strengthened resolve to speak up and out more in criticizing euphemisms, to be brutally honest in communicating to any and every person that death is a potential result of cancer. No matter how unpleasant it is to say the D words (death, die, died), my conviction is stronger than ever that using those words is a crucial part in moving the conversation about cancer forward.

I’ll write more posts about all of those topics later. Today I am going to do what Adams always advised her followers to do—the finding beauty and sharing it thing.

I admit, not being a sentimental type, I kind of blew off her tweet exhorting folks to find and share beauty. I’m not one for the inspirational quotes. I am a sarcastic curmudgeon, and like snarky quips and memes. But I will take a break from my natural state, just for this moment.

Yesterday was an awesome day for me. In spite of still so many posts about Adams on social media, while I was out in the world, everything just worked so well! Just a few days ago, my beach town had suffered yet another ice and snow storm with freezing temperatures that road crews and residents are simply not equipped to handle. I was frustrated at having to walk dogs while slipping and sliding on ice. But yesterday the warm hints of spring finally took root. Snow melted rapidly. So many neighbors were out and about: walking, playing ball with their kids, or just driving with the windows down.

Pond Still Frozen

I’m not a fan of springtime, I’m allergic to every plant, ever. But nothing is in bloom just yet, so I was able to walk outside without discomfort. I’ve mentioned before that I live in a beach resort area. Warmer weather brings the tourists and traffic snarls (until a brief shining moment on Labor Day). But they had not yet arrived as of yesterday. Sure the ticks bearing Lyme Disease are waking up, the mosquitos (our regions unofficial “bird”) are going to stir. The next few months will heat up and all these irritations—bugs, pollen, traffic—will make me (and other locals) grumble.

But yesterday, this one day, was perfect.

There were other things, silly things, that made the day awesome: I finished appointments early, I found a grocery item the first place I looked (living in rural areas means some healthy foods are hard to come by—Whole Foods is over 2 hours away). No, these aren’t big things; no one announced a cure for cancer and I did not win the lottery. But the day just “clicked” for me.

It may not seem like a big deal to anyone reading this. But, for me, it was a good day (again, cue the phone to start playing Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day”). So I’m sharing it.

Curmudgeoning will resume on this blog soon I’m sure.

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Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

13 thoughts on “Beauty Found and Shared”

  1. I agree whole-heartedly that we need to start using the “d” words more often, or at least stop avoiding them altogether. I’ll be writing more about this too. Like you, I noticed some of the articles about Lisa’s death, continued to use the more flowery language… like saying she passed. Really? I’m glad yesterday was a perfect day for you. We can all use a few more of those! Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thank YOU. And just recently I saw articles about 2 other people–one a creator of The Simpsons–and whaddya know? So much “lost his battle” or “succumbed after a long battle”. We’re being too gentle. The reality MUST be the new awareness.

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  2. I’m glad you set aside for a moment to recognize the beauty in the everyday. I’ve actually started writing what I want said in my obituary and at my memorial service. Thank you for being you!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Hey, a nice day without traffic jams at the beach is like GOLD! All the neighbors were feeling the same–it was great to be out and about walking the dog, chit chatting with everyone.
      And good idea, maybe that is the way to deal with this. To try to retain some control over it!

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      1. I’ve been trying to set aside my type-a self and see the everyday moments. Some days I do great. Some, I frankly don’t! I’ve tried to be patient with this new normal of mets. I love your way of putting things!

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      2. Ahhh patience–not my best thing prior to cancer, and nearly non-existent now. But I don’t always view that as a bad thing–that’s a whole other post some other day. But yeah, you have to be patient with yourself as you adjust. But its fine to be angry that you have to adjust to–at least in my crazy view of the world. Thanks for loving how I put things–very kind of you!

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  3. As you know, I totally agree with you with respect to the “d” words. I’m so happy to read about your perfect day, glad everything clicked, and thrilled that you shared it! I do like spring, except for the mud. Yesterday was a good day for me as well. I walked again with my dear friend, who just had part of her colon removed, so we didn’t go far… but there was no ice and it felt like summer. xo

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    1. Whew, you have no ice in Canada–awesome! And yes, the mud, groan. I just returned from walking a dog in a rain shower, and yes we got a little muddy. Oh well, rather wash off mud than fall on my butt on ice is how I look at it. So glad you had a good day too! xoxo!

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      1. Oh yah, speaking from experience regarding falling on my butt (and neck) on an ice mound. NOT a good plan… We have a few sheets on the north side of the road and houses, but today it will be gone I’m sure. Then another snow blizzard will hit, it’s only March after all! hahahah… walking dogs is the best! and thank you! xoxo…

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  4. You’re great come rain or shine, curmudgeonly or not so curmudgeonly while enjoying your perfect Spring day. Please get the whole dying/death/died thing out there – it’s overly romanticised at present leaving the ill-informed thinking we all waltz through this and live to be 90. I’d also like to see renewed honesty around body image, mutilation, amputation and scarring (physical and psychological) because that gets very little accurate attention via mainstream media either.

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    1. Thank you so much tw! Yes, I’ve been thinking about a post about the dis-honesty around all of these things in general–a meditation on keeping the reality around cancer honest, clear, and simple, because right now, with all the flowery metaphors, those things are lost. This week has made me less tolerant than ever regarding the metaphors.

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  5. I haven’t been on the computer much recently so it was a surprise to learn that Lisa Bonchek Adams died. And yes, I used the “d” word, it is factual, leaves no doubts and is straight to the point.

    I followed her for a while but, as I mentioned, I haven’t been on the computer much lately. I am saddened for her family’s loss as they no doubt will choose to remember her vibrant years prior to any illness or death-sentence-diagnosis.

    Glad you had an awesome day and shared it! 😀

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