I Want You To Know…

20121024-144852.jpgI have been neglecting this blog, and the list of posts I intend to write is growing rapidly. There’s some pink fatigue, things are busy in life, at work…and just to make sure I have no time to get into trouble, I am taking a new writing class this fall.

This past week we were asked to write on the prompt “I Want You To Know.” I am not sure why the #bcsm community was on my mind that evening, but it was very much in my thoughts as I wrote the following:

 

I want you to know that you’re not alone on this journey. It is so complicated when we begin…the cacophony of new information, advice and decisions, the pressure to make quick and vital treatment choices; the fear, the anxiety that can stop you in your tracks…you’re not alone in this.

I want you to know that the decisions you are about to make, though vitial, are ones that you can master. There are people ready to help you – to learn this new language, to answer your questions, to dig deep into the research with you, or just let you cry.

I want you to know that there are others who have walked this path before you. Women, and men, who have been where you are now. And while their paths may be different, they will intersect with yours again and again.

I want you to know that we will be here. Any day, any hour. I have lay awake at 3 AM, terrified, alone in the dark. I don’t want that for you.

I want you to know that we are here to help. This is a strong and vibrant community, and while you may not know us yet, we are committed to your survival, to your well-being, and we stand with open arms whenever you need us. I want you to know we will help protect you.

I want you to know you are not alone. We are tens of thousands strong.

I want you to know that it will be hard. You will be frightened, overwhelmed, confused. You are still not alone.

I want you to know that there is nothing you can say to scare us, or send us away. We don’t know where this journey leads…but I will be at your side, wherever it takes us.

I want you to know that cancer will not win. It will make you stronger, even if it weakens you. It will teach you to love in ways you never knew you could. It will give you insights, and power, and courage. And even if it manages to overtake your body, it will never overtake your spirit.

I want you to know that you can do this. And you will not be alone. I just want you to know…

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61 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NotDownOrOut
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 15:25:47

    Thank you so very much for such a stirring and inspirational message. My cancer was not breast cancer, but I have found much comfort in the community to which you belong. So much heart. So much caring. You are all heroes.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 16:19:50

      Oh my…thank you so much. But really, we’re just regular people putting one foot in front of the other. We are all stronger in community!! XOX

      Reply

  2. chemobrainfog
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 16:59:00

    Lori….
    This is beautiful and now I have a woman on the plane next to me who thinks the turbulence is making me cry. I want YOU to know how much I’ve learned from you… about life and living. About learning and sharing. About staying in the moment. About giving back… and how we are IN SYNC ….. I wrote about my 3AM meltdown today… and how I realized I was not alone thanks to someone halfway around the globe.

    xoxoxox

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 08:51:47

      My response from last night didn’t show up…:-( Or maybe I wrote it on your page. I get us confused sometimes! I’m always here for you, my #fearlessfriend! XOXOX

      Reply

  3. Jody Schoger (@jodyms)
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 18:29:00

    I want you to know how beautiful this is, Lori. Everone should have this nearby for difficult moments. Because in cancer and in life there will be difficult moments. But this lovely words, form a path for handling them.

    Thank you so much.
    Jody

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 18:36:57

      Thank you Jody…and I want you to know how life-changing and life-affirming the chat that you and Alicia launched has been, for me and for SO many others! XOXO

      Reply

  4. Janet Bishop
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 19:35:32

    We stumble around at first, and then we find our sisters (and brothers) who are on this journey too. Thank goodness for sisters like you who let us know someone cares and truly understands what all of us go through, no matter how serious or simple our each case may be. Thank you for being you!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 19:49:08

      Thank you, Janet. There are times when I wonder if being in THIS community isn’t my calling. I am so blessed to have walked this path with so many wonderful people. The least I can do is pay it forward…I HATE cancer, but I can’t help but embrace the connections it had offered me…life if good!

      Reply

  5. Jan Baird Hasak
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:20:53

    Beautifully said, Lori. We with a cancer history support each other in so many ways. I love how you support our community. xox

    Reply

  6. DrAttai
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:35:11

    This should be required reading for anyone newly diagnosed – to give them hope and support. Beautifully said.

    Reply

  7. Brandie
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:39:28

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. ❤

    Reply

  8. hopeforheather
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:44:29

    Thank YOU SOOOOO much for this! I only wish someone could have told me this same thing. Just incredible. 🙂

    Reply

  9. hopeforheather
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:45:37

    Reblogged this on hopeforheather and commented:
    This is just beautiful. I came across this in a blog I follow…and no matter what your journey (health crisis or otherwise)…read this and then be still.

    Reply

  10. Karen Sutherland
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:53:03

    dear lori,

    what a beautiful, reassuring and loving message. it made me cry, i felt so touched. though i am not a blogger, i feel so blessed to have been received with open arms into the BC community, doing what i can to lend support through my comments. i hope you FEEL just how much your wonderful gift of writing, the words that flow from what i know is a heart that yearns to give back and to help others, leaves an imprint on the hearts, minds and souls of all who read them.

    gratefully, and with love

    karen, TC

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 21:34:50

      Thank you, Karen….we are all so blessed to have one another. I can only imagine where I would be had I found this community 10 years ago, when I was first diagnosed. I am so blessed by the strength reap from ALL of you.

      Reply

  11. The Accidental Amazon
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 20:58:09

    Perfection. I’ve just been on FB chatting in a small breast cancer group I belong to, helping a woman with ‘what next’ questions. And we were all echoing your thoughts. We are so fortunate to have one another. Thanks, Lori, for the perfect way to end my day. xo, Kathi

    Reply

  12. vivianalvina
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 22:30:44

    This made me cry it is so beautifully written. Even though I am not dealing with cancer I deal with so many health problems and this was so touching because your right no matter what it is we are not alone there are many others with some of the same problems I have and even if they are not the same problems they still have many and it is great to have the support in our trials. Your in my thoughts and prayers I found this in hopeforheathers blog. And feel so blessed by reading it.

    Hugs and Blessings,
    Viv

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 10:21:05

      I hope they were good tears! It is quite amazing how much strength we can draw from one another, isn’t it? Thank you for your warm comment and be well!

      Reply

  13. BlondeAmbition
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 22:33:57

    Lori … I want YOU to know how moved I was by this beautiful post. So many of us have not met in real life yet the bonds here are as strong as some of our life long relationships. As AnneMarie has said, social media has a way of cutting through all the nonsense. You’ve made me feel less alone and I’m so proud to call you my friend. xo

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:42:49

      I feel exactly the same way…we are so blessed to have forged such deep bonds. I can only imagine what the NY meet-up is going to be like if/when I get there! XOXO

      Reply

  14. Renn
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 22:43:05

    This is such a sweet, succinct and lovely way to wrap your arms around anyone who is newly diagnosed. Agree with everyone’s thoughts above: Required reading. The BC blogosphere rocks!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:44:24

      This group really is such a beautiful thing, isn’t it. People are so skeptical about the Internet, but I am amazed over and over by how much we lift each other up!

      Reply

  15. Debbie
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 04:29:09

    Awesome Lori. This is a great piece that talks to that loneliness and fear that invades a person when they are first diagnosed, or even those recurrence diagnoses. Beautifully written. Deb

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:58:08

      Thank you so much for your kind words. One of the hardest parts of feeling alone is taking the first step out in search for another. If this could just make those steps easier for one person….

      Reply

  16. Nancy's Point (@NancysPoint)
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 05:30:51

    Lori,
    This post is a perfect example of just how powerful words can be. I wish I could have read them when I was diagnosed. But you know what? They still comfort me now because I know no matter what, there is this amazing group of supporters “out there” who truly care. Thanks for being part of it. Thanks so much for this wonderful post. I hope you got an “A” on it!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:59:59

      Thank you Nancy! Piece wasn’t graded, but the overwhelming feedback I have had here is so much more important. Words DO matter, they can change everything! I am always grateful for yours! Thank you for stopping by!!

      Reply

  17. mainelyhopeful
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 06:08:54

    Perfect 🙂

    Reply

  18. feistybluegecko
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 06:39:42

    This post is beautiful and heartfelt, Lori. But more than that, it really spoke to me after our “conversation” thanks to Twitter’s direct messages last week. You reached out to me, because of exactly that – you wanted me to know. You wanted me not to be blindsided, to give me an advance inkling of details you were about to share, knowing that it would have a specific pertinence for me. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and consideration, and for letting me know. What a considerate, selfless and sincere friend you are. Thank you for sharing the things you want others to know. Philippa xoxox

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 17:03:09

      Thank you Philippa. The last thing I would ever want is to make your journey harder! I do hope that tweetchat helped, and I will be here to share whatever you face, whenever that might be. (That means I have to stick around…it’s not all selfless!). You are in my thoughts and prayers. XOX

      Reply

  19. Beth Gainer
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 07:53:37

    Gorgeous post, Lori, and so comforting to so many, I’m sure. This is a giving post, and thank you for giving hope to others. I wish that when I was diagnosed, I had the support that now is so widespread in the online community. I want you to know that I appreciate the person you are and appreciate your helping so many in the world.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 17:05:44

      I, too, wished there had been this kind of community 11 years ago for my first go-around, especially as a young woman! It is, however, an honor to pay it forward…we are a remarkably lucky group, aren’t we?

      Reply

  20. Marie
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 12:27:05

    I want you to know how much your beautiful words touched my heart Lori. Meeting you online has been a life enhancing experience for me and this post is one I am going to share widely with everyone I know. Much love to you xxx

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 17:07:41

      I feel very much the same, Marie. It is often hard for me to imagine that you are SO far away! Your blog has inspired me from the day I stumbled upon it, long before I had a clue what I was doing here or whether ANYONE cared what I had to say! I am honored that you re-blogged it! Thank you.

      Reply

  21. Editor
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 12:29:10

    Reblogged this on Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer and commented:
    An exquisitely beautiful post, written from the heart of someone very special.

    Reply

  22. Susan
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 12:49:02

    Lori your words are so eloquent and you really have this wonderful way of including your readers in you cancer journey while they reflect on theirs. You have so much power in your words. Thank you for your open reflection and candid expression of what is happening around you. XoXoXo-Susan

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:56:19

      Thank you, Susan…I do think there is a universal chord that unites all of our journeys, be it breast cancer or any other challenge. If I can be some small part in giving it voice, I have hopefully done a bit of good in my corner of the universe. And I am most certainly blessed by all the wonderful people, like YOU, who have crossed my path. XOX

      Reply

  23. Laurie P.
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 13:16:05

    This is truly beautiful. My first mammogram is January, 2o13. This has been an interesting year of decisions, options and anxiety. Thank you for writing it in words my heart can really feel.

    Reply

  24. Facing Cancer Together
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 14:16:41

    A very beautiful post, and essentially bang-on for what so many of us need to hear. ~Catherine

    Reply

  25. Lindsey S
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 15:55:53

    Lori, thank you for your words. I still am awake at 3am and wonder if anyone else out there is feeling overwelmed and sad–a year after my final reconstruction surgery. Actually the anniversary is coming up in two weeks, so maybe that is why I am feeling a little more emotional right now. Thanks for saying what many of us are experiencing! 🙂 Lindsey

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:47:11

      Oh Lindsey…so sorry for the anxiety you’re experiencing these days; I ASSURE you that you’re not the only one! If you’re on twitter and feeling anxious, tweet out the hash tag (#bcsm). We’re a global community and you will usually find someone who has been ere too. Hugs!

      Reply

  26. BreastCancerSisterhood.com
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 18:04:01

    This may be the most heartfelt, beautiful and loving post I’ve ever read. I’m speechless, Lori. You’ve captured what all of us are feeling; what we’re thinking and in a perfect world, what we want to say to those who come after us. Thank you.
    XOXOXO,
    Brenda

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 29, 2012 @ 10:50:18

      Thank you so much, Brenda. It was a WONDERFUL “exercise” and cut right though the not knowing what to say that so many experience when we are with someone in those terrifying, messy early days!

      Reply

  27. rannpx3
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 21:50:05

    “It will make you stronger, even if it weakens you.”
    Lori, A beautiful and compassionate post.
    Thanks for the love.
    Tight hug!
    Rann

    Reply

  28. Audrey
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 23:54:23

    This is a beautiful post and uplifting message. Very moving. Thank you.

    Reply

  29. al banta
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 19:17:08

    Lori, Would you mind if I use part of this post with my cancer support group? What an incredibly beautiful post. i have never read anything as compassionate.
    Al B.

    Reply

  30. CJ Corneliussen-James
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 10:12:17

    Lori,
    Beautifully done. In the early 70s, an exchange student lived with us and this was her favorite song. It brings back many memories. Your post is so poignant and brought the song immediately to mind. Thank you for this.

    Reply

  31. marsha472012
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 12:41:01

    Lori,
    That is absolutely beautiful and very touching. Thank you!
    Marsha

    Reply

  32. Trackback: I Want You To Know… « Reader's Choice
  33. SimplySage
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 04:33:32

    Beautiful. I have a good friend who needs your community. I will share it all with her.
    Peace on your journey,
    Alexandria Sage

    Reply

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