Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SHOCK AND AWE

Yesterday, I received an email and the subject line said something about this blog being chosen as a best something or other.  I have 5800 emails (is that the damn plural of email anyway?) in my AOL account and another 2900 in my gmail account.  Un.Read.  I scan the subject lines and rather than delete the junk, I just let it pile up.  It's like the mail that's strewn about my office.  I just let it pile up until it stresses me out. Then, I generally close the door so I don't see it.  THEN, the phone rings at 8AM and I know there's a bill buried somewhere.

It's part of the new me.  It's chemobrain fallout and for those of you who want to continue to fight with me about the nuances of what happens in my brain, I have NO problem going toe to toe.  One year ago, I was a ball of speculation. Today, I'm armed with information.  I'm pretty sure I can locate studies pointing to what happened in different areas of my brain and how the pathways may be severed (for lack of a better, more medically acceptable word-OR a word that I dropped thanks to one of those aforementioned nuances).  I think I can tell you what drugs are believed to have caused which problem.  Thing is.... there are a number of issues and it seems EACH of those three drugs in that chemo cocktail caused a different issue.  That's my unscientific "observational" study on a single subject. Me.

Today, WHO cares?  And why..... within those nearly nine THOUSAND emails (seriously, is that the plural version?), is the intriguing subject line:  Chemobrain selected as one of the best blogs of 2012.  I was in the midst of trying to help my South African "emotional breast cancer activist" friend, Kwanele hunt down some information.  It was hours before I saw that email.  I opened it, half expecting to find a message inviting me to join some sort of blog network.  Except, I wasn't invited to join anything.  The editors of Healthline.com assembled a list of the Best Breast Cancer Blogs of 2012. There are 23 blogs on the list.  TWENTY-THREE and this blog is one that was selected??!?!

How can I not share my excitement here?  There are thousands of blogs about breast cancer in the blogosphere.  To say I am honored, humbled, stunned, speechless, grateful, still shaking my head in disbelief (and did I mention I was stunned) isn't an understatement.  It's beneath several understatements.  It's a joke, right?  Definitely.  Still, I clicked the link and this is what I saw:


23 Best Breast Cancer Blogs of 2012

As many as 12% of women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. This terrible statistic – about 1 in 8 – has affected more than just the numbers spouted on websites. It has affected the lives of women everywhere.
The brave women and families in the blogs listed here are dedicated to sharing their personal journeys with readers so that no one else has to feel like a statistic. Read about their first minutes coping with the diagnosis, the true impact of chemotherapy, the triumph of recovery, and the pain of relapse. Then cheer them on to the cancer-free finish line.


I began clicking through the blogs and I recognize a number of them.  Some are new.  Some are on the roster on this blog. Still others are blogs I have read and THOUGHT I put on the roster.  I will fix that (as soon as I clean the mess on the floor in my office so I don't have to keep answering questions every damn day about what I'm doing).


Chemobrain

Chemobrain is something many breast cancer patients can relate to – blogger AnneMarie especially so. A survivor with a passion for helping others, she has brought her blog a long way in the past few years. She makes no apologies for her opinions on treatment, healing, and surviving.
Strong advocacy and character meet verve and pep on Chemobrain. Stop by to stay up on breast cancer research, treatment news, and the opinions of a woman who has her life – and her cancer – under control. One thing is for sure – she’s got the spirit of a survivor.


I'm not sure who they are talking about but I am determined to live up to these words.  Especially the part about having my life under control!

Thank you, Healthline and especially to the editors who decided this blog was worthy of such wonderful recognition.  And kudos to all of those with whom I share this honor.  Not playing favorites AT ALL, but some of these bloggers have become real, true friends and part of my network of support.

Can you indulge me a moment?  Not being all cheesy here but I am absolutely overwhelmed to have my name mentioned with the likes of Ann, Catherine, Kathi, Katie, Lani and Nancy.  Besides admiring their work, in one short year, they have become my friends.

And a very special shout out to Angelo Merendino whose photographic blog of his life with his beautiful Jen rounds out this list.  

I'm star-struck.  How did I wind up in this circle?  Thank you, again to the folks at Healthline.  Speechless.  Still shaking my head in disbelief.  



breast cancer blogs


And a HUGE thanks to the Visible Ink team at MSKCC.  I doubt I would have had the courage to hit the publish button without their encouragement.  A piece of this belongs to Judith, who founded the program and Anna who mentored me. Starting to sound like a freakin' Pulitzer Prize or something.  I'll shut up now.

31 comments:

  1. Let me be the first to congratulate you. What an honor. I am so proud of you. Love, Mom xoxox

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    1. My best cheerleader since day one! This was a pretty good distraction for a bit of time, right?

      I love you, Mom.

      xoxox

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  2. Congratulations my friend! WOW! I'm proud of you! Cyber Hugs! Barb

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    1. MY first blog buddy.... you found this blog in the very beginning and have been reading ever since.

      Thanks, Barb!!

      xoxox

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    2. Never miss a day my friend!

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    3. I can't keep saying the same thing over and over again, but I am STUNNED by this whole thing!

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  3. So well-deserved. Congratulations!!!

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    1. Oh, Bud, thanks!!!

      Hard to believe none of this was even part of my life a year ago..... This is thrilling for someone who simply stuck my toe into the water as a means of finding a way to accept what I couldn't change (for now).... my CHEMOBRAIN! It's a bit O-Henry-ish.....

      Love,
      Lou

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  4. OMG - AnneMarie, this is WONDERFUL!!!! And they're right - you have been informative and inspirational and passionate. You've been a comfort to me when I thought I might be losing my mind. Congratulations - now go out and CELEBRATE!!!! Love ya! Ellen xoxo

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    1. Ellen,
      This makes me smile! THIS is what the whole thing was all about...... letting people know they weren't losing their minds Your words mean so much to me. It's now noon-I can celebrate without having to use the "it's 5PM somewhere" excuse!
      xoxox
      AnneMarie

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  5. Yeah AnneMarie! Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!

    best,

    Jean, NBAI

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    Replies
    1. Jean!!!

      Thanks so much. I remember getting the invite to PerSe (where WE met) and I remember thinking, "Ummmm, don't they know I'm just goofing around here?" How interesting that the current post on your fabulous blog is about Social Media Support. None of this would have happened without social media.

      Hugs and thanks,
      AnneMarie

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  6. AnnMarie

    Congratulations! You are very deserving.

    John

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  7. Your post is mistitled. No shock, no awe. You have more than earned this, and it's just grand to see your hard work recognized.

    Congratulations.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhonda!

      Those are really such kind and sweet words. I know it sounds "trite" but it means so much to me to see your comments!

      :)
      AnneMarie

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  8. Congrats! And on the feature in MSKCC's Bridges, too!

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    Replies
    1. And, THANK you..... Yes, indeed... The feature in Bridges!

      In fact, I have to forward that to a friend who is in touch with TSA (no kidding) to open up a discussion about how to deal with breast cancer patients.......

      YES... thank you!
      :)

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  9. AM, I felt the same 'cheesy' glee, especially seeing you & so many of our pals on this list. Big hugs. Nice to be noticed, isn't it?

    Oh, and by the way, my entire house & yard look exactly the way you described your email/computer. Buried under here somewhere is a house & a yard. I think I've actually forgotten how to do housework.

    xoxo, Kathi

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    Replies
    1. I'm still shaking my head. I really should go pay my token one bill for the day.....

      Congrats, to you!!!

      xoxoxox

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  10. Congratulations. Don't think I ever knew anyone who won an award before. Keep calm and carry on.
    Vicki xxx

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    1. Thank you, Vicki..... The way I keep walking around in sheer disbelief (and I am SO NOT KIDDING), you would think it was the Nobel Prize for something!

      Enjoy your trip..

      xoxox

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  11. Ann Marie,

    Congrats to you my friend! I am not shocked you are on the list, but I am in awe of you. Your posts are always from the heart and full of passion. What can be better than that?

    Happy, humbled and honored to be on this list with you.

    And on a side note, I can't seem to find that email. I don't even know if I got one?? Does that give you some idea of where my head is at these days? Or not at? I gotta go through my trash email now and try to figure out what happened...maybe I'm not really supposed to be on this list...

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    1. TRUST me, Nancy, you most definitely belong on the list. And I feel the same way about standing beside you! This was just completely unexpected.

      I want to set the record straight on the cupcake people but I'm going to leave that to Alli. She did a fabulous job!

      Always on to the next thing.....

      xoxoxo

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  12. Bravoooo AnneMarie !!!

    Suzanne :)

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    1. I'm sending one GIANT hug your way, Sue. Thanks so much......

      Hugs and LOVE,

      AnneMarie

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  13. Congrats to you, you do a great job, and I have come to really enjoy this part of my day, seeing what you have to say, what you have learned and what you can share with us in cyberspace.
    Thank You for Making a Difference in my Life!
    Your Friend,
    Chris, Texas

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    1. Thanks so MUCH Chris!! You most certainly have made a difference in MY life, too. I treasure our "cyber" friendship and I'm grateful that this blog brought so many wonderful people into my life! People like YOU.....

      xoxox
      AnneMarie

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    2. I am thrilled for you. Yaaaaaay .

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    3. Denise... Thanks so very much.... xoxox

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  14. AnneMarie of course you are on the list. Your blog is awesome. It's really nice though to see yourself get recognized. You are making a huge difference and I am so happy for you. Congratulations!
    XoXoXo-Susan

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