Under Reconstruction

Image is an abstract image of brown and purple hues.

Photo from Flickr

I have not written on this blog for almost four months because I was preparing for, underwent, and have been recovering from reconstructive surgery. I was waiting for a moment to be inspired to write again, but maybe inspiration is too strong of a word.

When you are working to fulfill your basic needs, engaging in an activity that you normally love is not always the best thing. Sometimes when you try to do something and encounter restrictions or discomfort, reconnecting with the activity becomes more work than leisure.

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My Anniversary

Photo is of purple flowers.
Photo from Flickr

The following text is a post I shared with friends. Originally, it included a photo of me at the hospital, waiting for my mastectomy. In the photo, I was lying in a bed reclined back at about a 45 degree angle. My body was snugly tucked under white sheets, and my head was propped on a matching pillow. A light blue bouffant cap contained my thick, long dark brown-black hair. I wrote it this morning to reflect on the anniversary of my mastectomy. It goes like this:

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The Consequences of Authenticity

Photo is of a person in a striped, multicolored shirt, hat, pants, multicolored shoes, and bag around the shoulder. The person is posing in front of a stone wall with doors on both sides. The person is posing with the right arm stretched out straight along the wall and the left arm bent so that the hand is touching the face.
Photo from Flickr

Yesterday I was talking to a colleague, and she admitted that she feels like she has felt a “wall” in this pandemic among other crises in the world. She certainly is not the only one.

Recently, I was scrolling through social media and saw a forum from the Harvard Kennedy School titled Three Wednesdays in January: insurrection, impeachment, inauguration. I paused and smiled to myself. As a writer, I was impressed with the combination of alliteration and accuracy in that title. Whoever named that event deserves a raise.

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A Different Boat

Photo is of a field and the sky, which is partially dark and partially light.
Photo from Flickr

During the summer, I was in a meeting with colleagues across departments at my workplace. We were grappling with how to conceptualize the COVID-19 pandemic. A few people in the virtual meeting wanted to make sure that we were not making blanket statements about these times. One person emphasized that we were all in the same storm, but we were on different boats.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Sexual Activity During a Pandemic

I had a couple weeks off for a winter break. During this time, I finally had time to catch up on reading. Part of this reading included the Forbes article Sex Toys Sales Are Buzzing with Social Distancing from COVID-19 Coronavirus.

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Security

Photo is of leaves in different colors.
Photo from Flickr

I am examining what I depend on for security, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Neither you nor I may be an insurrectionist or domestic terrorist, but we all depend on something or someone for security.

The Trump supporters I know depend on him for security because he advances their capital gain. Who or what do you depend on for gain of any type in your life? 

Is it your partners, parents, guardians, siblings, relatives, friends, bosses, jobs, investments, properties, or other people and assets? 

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Proving Your Pain

Today I called an airline for a refund on a flight I had scheduled prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was quite an ordeal.

In November 2019, I bought tickets to travel to Austin, TX, in May 2020. I had no clue that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer weeks later, how expensive cancer be as I worked to improve and maintain my quality of life, how challenging it would be to interact with medical providers and loved ones, how much pressure it is to take care of others even when I needed care, how the COVID-19 pandemic would intersect with my cancer and fertility treatment, how emotional freezing my eggs would be, and how George Floyd’s murder would place the United States’ racism under a magnifying glass in ways that reminded me of the ways others and myself have experienced racism in this country.

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Thin Blue Line Flag

Photo is of a wavy thin blue line and a black background.
Photo from Flickr

Have you slept well? Last night, I was writing a letter to a journalist at a local newspaper. It is The Patriot Ledger. The following is this newspaper’s post on Facebook:

If you want to learn more about the “thin blue line flag,” here is an article on it from NPR and another one from Boston.com.

This flag made it to fire trucks in my city.

As a woman of color and a cancer patient and survivor—during the COVID-19 pandemic—and during an era of reckoning with racism—I have to pick and choose how I will invest my energy.

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Racism Is a Public Health Crisis

Photo from Flickr

Almost two and a half months ago, this article on racism being a public health crisis was published on Boston.com. The journalist Dialynn Dwyer quoted leading experts and hospitals such as the Dean of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the President of Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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