I have been away from my blog to focus on self-care. Do you see this photo above? That was me focusing on self-care nine years ago in the form of dancing and smiling at a friend’s birthday party. It is a blurry photo, but I am glad I did not delete it like I do with most blurry pictures. The details might not all be clear, but the joy in this photo is evident. This is definitely not a posed portrait. The birthday girl is not in this picture, but there is another old friend dancing behind me in this photo. I was looking through photos from this birthday a few months ago because I was reminiscing about this old friend. Unfortunately, he passed away. If it was not an intentional suicide, the few details I was given about his lead me to suspect it was an accidental self-inflicted death. Why? I knew from many conversations with him that he had a lifelong history of trauma, mental health issues triggered by the trauma, and suicide attempts.Continue reading
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:Continue reading
If you have been following my blog regularly, you are aware that I’ve lost a lot in the past couple years:
In March, I lost a lot of eggs, but it was to preserve my fertility as a cancer patient. Simultaneously, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March was a time that I lost a lot of direct contact with friends who were doing chores and errands for me during my recovery from my mastectomy.
As you could imagine, I’ve lost money to medical bills that accompanied my unanticipated cancer diagnosis. I also lost income by taking a leave from work.
I may have lost some other things, but those are the major losses that come to mind.
Recently, I learned that I have breast cancer. I started to post photos about my tests and mourning process without explicitly stating my diagnosis on social media. A few friends reached out to me to ask if I was okay. One of them was a friend I had not talked to in years.
“Hi, nice to hear from you, ” I replied to his text. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer.” Then I explained to him where I was in the testing process and where I was in life in general.
At one point in our conversation, he wrote, “I know you’re strong, so I know you’ll put up a fight.”
In my last post, I mentioned that several loved ones have been struggling with some of the most difficult times of their lives. In all of these cases, there were health issues at the center of those difficulties. At the time I wrote my last post, I didn’t know what would be the outcomes of their situations, but last night I found out how one story ended: one of my loved ones passed away.
My cousin isn’t here anymore because of sudden complications with his health, and I’m wondering what made those complications so sudden. Was it truly a medical mystery, or was this another example of someone dying because that person lacked access to adequate healthcare?