On Celebrating & Freedom

Today marks the one year anniversary of #BCSM Chat*. The anniversary chat, held this past Monday, highlighted how much we have grown and how important this group has become to all of us. Together we have celebrated good news, shared wisdom and honored those whom we have lost. While we “meet” weekly, we also know that others are only a “bat signal” away if we need support or have a question any day (and thanks to our international flavor, at almost any time, too!).

On Monday, as we discussed what the group has come to mean to each of us, I got to thinking about freedom. I know freedom and cancer don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand seamlessly, but for me they do.

If you know my story, you know I am a 10+ year survivor who, after nearly two years of watching a tumor marker blood test rise and rise, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer nearly a year ago. As I reflect on the changes in my life since that day last September, one of the most significant changes is that I am free to live without the fear of recurrence. As I wrote in a previous post, the other shoe had finally dropped, and while there was suddenly plenty to worry about, there was also freedom.

I marvel at the freedom granted by my mets diagnosis.  While I may wonder at times how the story ends, and I occasionally worry about the impact and side effects of treatment, as well as possible drug resistance, they all pale when compared to two years of living with the Sword of Damocles hanging from a precarious thread.

Being free, I am able to take action. Being free, I can make fully informed choices about how I will spend my time. Being free, I can stop worrying about the expectations of others and be true to myself. Being free, with a clear sense of what the worst-case scenario looks like, I am able to celebrate sharing each day with those I love most.

Today is the fourth of July, and as Americans we celebrate our freedom. I pray that each of us have the awareness to USE our freedom today!

*If you don’t know, #bcsm is a twitter group of breast cancer survivors, supporters and doctors who participate in a weekly hour-long chat to learn together, support each other, and share their experiences. If breast cancer has touched your life, I urge you to join us (you can safely lurk!) on a Monday at 6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern by going to www.tweetchat.com and typing “#bcsm” in the search box.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan Baird Hasak
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 14:51:51

    Lori, I just love this post. Freedom and cancer really do intersect, in a cosmic Venn-diagram sort of way. Your perspective on having mets is eye-opening to me, making me realize how much I have for which to be thankful (even though this is not Thanksgiving Day). Thank you very much for your perspective on Independence Day in the U.S., a chance for us to demonstrate our independence from whatever chains have bound us. xoxo


    • Lori
      Jul 04, 2012 @ 20:08:51

      Thank you, Jan! Your response crystallized for me where I think I was going with this piece. Passover represents the broadest sense of defining “freedom”…escaping that which binds us. Very, very fitting…thank you!


  2. Facing Cancer (@cancer2gether)
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 16:56:53

    Happy 4th of July. Cheers to freedom, in all its empowering forms.


  3. chemobrainfog
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 19:04:49

    Safely home….. So sorry I missed BCSM. I’m going to read the transcript now….


  4. Beth Gainer
    Jul 06, 2012 @ 02:40:28

    Lori, this is an incredible posting. I never would’ve linked mets to freedom, but your perspective does it perfectly. I hope you live a long, long life, and you continue not to have that Sword of Damocles over your head. Beautiful post.


  5. Nancy's Point (@NancysPoint)
    Jul 06, 2012 @ 12:55:13

    I marvel at your perspectives. I think you are pretty darn amazing. Thank you for being part of this wonderful #bcsm community. I feel we are all linked by so much more than cancer.


  6. Susan
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 08:55:26

    Lori I love the way you put mets together with freedom. Having watched my dearest friend go through thie process of primary chemo with me and my recurrence, then hers with mets it is great to see you experiencing the freedom and joys that come with life in general. The best part of the process is getting to enjoy the good days and there are so many of them. You continue to write thought provoking blogs that I enjoy reading every time you write one. I am also still thinking about your son and imagine him enjoying his summer at camp. Thanks #FF!


  7. Jody Schoger (@jodyms)
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 10:09:38

    Lori –
    How did I just find this amazing post:) What a wonderful spirit and friend you are. YOU give us courage, and not the other way around.


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