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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The Patient and Family Advisory Council

Photo by L. Laguna

This summer, I had an appointment at my hospital. I had a negative interaction with a medical provider. It was not the worst in the world; it was not the best either. Initially, I decided not to share my feedback with the hospital, but I later opted to call and share my experience with its staff. My intention was to take a developmental approach to the situation. As the environment of this country has evolved in the past couple months, I felt responsible for doing what I can to make it better. The following is a statement I wrote as part of my application for the hospital’s advisory council for patients and families.

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On an Island

Photo from Flickr

If I were to describe my life now, I would say I’m on an island. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to be cautious when I wander in public. I look outside of my windows, and I see people walking on the streets and riding in cars. On any given day, people are using different levels of caution with masks, social distancing, exercising, shopping, and hanging out at the beach.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Health and the Workforce, Race in New England, and Pandemic Vacations

Yesterday I caught you up to speed with my life in Lunch with Lindsay: Schools During a Pandemic and Allyship During a Movement. Today I am continuing to discuss what else has been on my mind so I am sharing with you my most recent video above on health in the workforce, race in New England, and vacations in the pandemic.

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What You Can Learn from Cancer Survivors

Six days ago, I went on a long walk to the beach and green space in my community. Consistently, I was frustrated by the people not wearing a mask or social distancing when they came near me. I vented my frustrations in an online group for breast cancer survivors and wrote this:

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Lunch with Lindsay: Reflecting on Life After Juneteenth, US History in Schools, and Screening Practices at Bars

More than a week ago, I created another video titled Lunch with Lindsay: Public Acknowledgment of Juneteenth, US History in Schools, and Screening Practices at Bars. I did not post it on this website right away because 1) I was busy with other things, and 2) I needed time to process the conversation.

As you will hear in the video that I posted above, my friends and I were observing many employers and companies acknowledge Juneteenth for the first time. Companies across industries were figuring out how to properly acknowledge and/or celebrate this holiday in a time where they are determining what it means to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all people, particularly Black people.

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What Is Your Guiding Light?

Photo from Flickr

On and off since my breast cancer diagnosis, I have not been sleeping well. When I went on leave to focus on my recovery from surgery, I had more time to focus on making sleep and other basic self-care habits a priority.

After my leave ended, I started radiation and returned to work within a day of each other. Again I had to learn new sleeping patterns as my daily schedule had drastically changed within only a couple days.

Then my radiation ended, and I had to readjust my daily work schedule and relearn new sleeping patterns. It is as if my body does not know how much to rest because it does not know what to expect.

My body sure was jolted by recent stories of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently Rayshard Brooks.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Work, Social Media, White Supremacy, Systemic Change, Global Movements, Elections, and Parenting During a Pandemic

If you couldn’t tell by now, the titles for my blog posts are getting really long. There is so much to discuss in the world that short titles do not seem fitting anymore.

When I first started Unfiltered Snapshot five years ago, you could tell by my earlier posts that it was meant to serve as a place for advice. The first post is titled Are You Really Looking for Advice? The tagline originally was “Raw Advice for Real Life.” That was the intention.

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