Friday, April 25, 2014


I Had Cancer is a great site where cancer fighters, survivors, and supporters can reach out to one another for support, an understanding ear to listen, or to ask the tough questions and get the real answers. They ran a fun contest asking people, if you had 5 words to say to cancer, what would you say?

I thought about this long and hard. What wouldn't I say to cancer? I've always wanted to give cancer a piece of my mind. But to say it in 5 words? Is that even possible? I want to go on a tirade! Spout hateful words in the face of cancer. I want to make cancer feel really, really bad for all the crap it put my family and friends through. It should feel ashamed of itself!

But finally, the 5 exact words I wanted to tell cancer came to my mind... they were uplifting, strong, and made me smile. You messed with the wrong girl cancer.


- J.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stay Classy

I'm always reminded that my mom was a classy lady. She was also a fighter and certainly not a complainer. Even at her funeral 11 years ago people came up to me just completely shocked. So many said that they didn't even know she was that sick. These comments didn't surprise me, she never really seemed that sick to me either. Sure she participated in walks, cancer research projects, documentaries, and she even spoke in Washington DC for better funding for cancer research, but she was never complaining, just letting everyone know that things need to get better. She celebrated her survivorship and was an inspiration to all.

As I navigated through my bratty, self-centered teenage years she never scoffed at my fears, anger, or sadness, no matter how small they were. She comforted me when I was sad that a guy never called me or when I didn't make the field hockey team (also that time in Pre-K when I decided on the first day of school, that it just wasn't for me). If I were her I'd just want to yell, "try slowly dying from breast cancer then get back to me with your problems!"

My job hosted a health fair about a week ago. There were a couple of tables set up about different breast cancer organizations. At one table I was checking out, a woman turned to me and said, "Do you keep on top of your breast checks?" I was caught off guard. I wanted to tell her that I already had breast cancer. That there was no lump I would have found. And that yes indeed I still check my reconstructed chest in case anything forms on the leftover skin. But then my mom stopped me. I could hear her say, the woman didn't mean anything by it. She's just trying to raise awareness. Don't be a smart ass. It's true. I just nodded and told her I check every day. She smiled back at me and gave me a pamphlet.

I miss my mom terribly but think about her every day. I ask her advice in many different situations. I like to think I know what she would say because she passed some of her classy-ness on to me, but I'm pretty sure it's just because she's always by my side reminding me not to cause a scene.

"You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?" ~ Albus Dumbledore

- J.