Showing posts from June, 2013

Ready to Fly

This is a poem I wrote in Bonnie Maurer's "Healing Power of Writing" breakout session during the Cancer Support Community's Survivors Symposium that I attended a couple weeks ago.  We were given about ten minutes to write a poem using "I am" to begin each sentence. 

Ready to Fly

I am suddenly a changed woman.
I am breast cancer woman.
I am a HER2+ and ER+ woman.
I am a surprised woman.
I am a scared woman.
I am a tough decision making woman.

I am suddenly a changed woman.
I am a humorous woman.
I am a strong woman.
I am a tough woman.
I am a don't need help woman.
I am superwoman.

I am suddenly a changed woman.
I am a scarred woman.
I am a woman without breasts.
I am a woman with little hair.
I am a woman who doesn't feel beautiful.
I am a woman whose body has changed.

I am suddenly a changed woman.
I am an accepting woman.
I am a woman who had cancer.
I am a woman who grew new wings.
I am a thriving woman.
I am ready to fly.

~Lori Tragesser

Butterflying from a Cancer Survivor to a Sur-Thriver

Cancer Survivor...not something I ever dreamed I would be calling myself, especially at 42 years old.  But here I am...a survivor joining a group of over 13 million Americans other survivors.  Now while that is a large group of people, it is actually only about 4% of the population.  So now that I am a survivor, what do I do?  Because the journey certainly doesn't just end here.  Somehow the survivor now needs to become the sur-thriver.
     The first thing I decided to do was attend the 9th Annual Cancer Support Community's Survivors Symposium in Indianapolis.  On June 15, I had the privilege to share my day with about 100 other cancer survivors.  It was on this day that I realized how important other survivors are to my journey.  It is such a powerful moment when others confirm your feelings, isn't it?  The reality that you are not the only one going through this.  You are not the only person who is dealing with these is very comforting!
      The hi…

The New Normal...How Do We Establish a New Normal in Our Lives After the Cancer is Gone?

Two weeks ago, I was so happy to be finished with my chemo treatments!  Wow, what a relief!   I went to get that chemo infusion every week while keeping my family's schedule together and going to work...somehow I pulled through it. You can walk away with a real sense of pride, because you did it!
   I knew the 12 weeks of chemo would be the worst of what I would go through. So I thought that even though I wasn't finished with everything else, I could still get my life back to normal. And of course, I felt like everyone else was waiting for me to get my life back to normal.  But I am quickly learning that what we are really talking about is a newnormal.  How do we establish this new normal in our lives after the cancer is gone?  I know that this is a question that many of us are struggling with right now.
   I just want to feel like me and feel wonderful again. But I don't feel wonderful!  I am still exhausted everyday with weak and achy muscles.  I still have one more su…