I was determined not to cry as I wrote this, damn it! I got through the title just fine, and then wham.
For those of you uninitiated in the twitterverse, get with the program! Imagine forcing everyone to say what they mean in 140 characters or fewer and you’ll get the beauty of it! And lest you think nothing profound can be said in 140 characters, you should join us for #BCSM tweetchat on Monday evenings (9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific) and then tell me what you think! (P.S. that “#” thing is there to help you search the twitterverse and track conversations, just as “@” helps you track people.)
Rachel Cheetham Moro was one of those who could sock quite a punch in 140 characters. She was clear, fierce and strong in all that she shared. And her voice rang out with urgency and passion right through her very last tweetchat on Jan 23, 2012. That night, when talking about the lonely road that is metastatic breast cancer, Rachel first wrote:
The other thing abt living with mets, is our worlds start to shrink. That’s where fearless friends are so important.
I don’t think many of us immediately understood the deep power of her words that night, just as we did not understand that it would be her last tweetchat with us. Rachel died exactly two weeks later. #FearlessFriend is one of the many ways in which she lives on.
And now I have a friend who is facing some bumps in her road, and is living with the reality that we never know what life will send us next. As I read her most recent blog post it occurs to me that #FearlessFriend may, for me, need some tweaking. In some ways it has come to represent the myriad of online twitter and blog relationships that have been cultivated by and between cancer survivors and supporters (including previvors, docs, caregivers and more!), specifically in the #BCSM chat community.
But it’s a misnomer. Right now I am afraid. I’m afraid for my friend and what she and her loved ones are facing. In fact, we are afraid together, which is a much better way to be when you’re afraid. Out of respect for the “power of the hashtag” as my friend Jody (@jodyms) so aptly coined it, I’m sticking with it, but for me #FearlessFriend is so much more than it seems – it’s about those friends who can fear with you, and still be there.