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.
It has been seven weeks since you heard from me. Since I last wrote on here, I have been so busy that I recorded my last episode of Lunch with Lindsay in late August; however, I did not get to share it here until today. If you read my post on my other blog, you know that I am Forcing Myself Off of the Hamster Wheel in order to make time to blog again.
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.
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:
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.
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.
We did it again. My friend Becky and I created another Lunch with Lindsay video yesterday since our Monday lunch got interrupted with the installation of my AC by the maintenance man.
I specifically wanted to have a talk in which I compared my thoughts and experiences with cancer to those with racism. While that was a part of the dialogue, you will find out in the video that a text I received right before we were about to record our video ended up shifting my attention to other aspects of current protests against racial injustice. (If you want to learn more about what I originally wanted to discuss, read If Racism Were a Cancer.)
In our very organic and unscripted conversation, we grappled with protests, race, LGBTQ issues, cancer, mental health, spirituality, military, and more. If you watch the whole video above, you can observe how my friend and I truly give our unedited perspectives.
I didn’t sleep well last night. Today I will start a new segment of treatment for breast cancer, and I feel emotional about how my body, spirit, and mind will respond to treatment. I’m crying as I write this because I’m both nervous of the effects and also grateful to have access to healthcare. With that said, RACISM IS WORSE THAN CANCER. In the past few days, racism has caused me more sorrow than cancer.
When I found out I had cancer, nobody asked me what I did wrong or how bad the cancer was before showing me compassion and wanting justice in my healthcare. When someone experiences racism, there is always someone who needs to evaluate how bad the situation is before determining if the victim is “worthy” of compassion and justice.