Sunday, May 2, 2010


I am sitting in a hotel in Philadelphia, happy to have internet access once again. (If there’s not a support group for this addiction, there should be).

I just spent the weekend at the LBBC (Living Beyond Breast Cancer) Conference for Women with Advanced Breast Cancer. The speakers were informative, the breakout sessions were interesting, and the food was tasty and plentiful.

But the best part of the conference were the attendees themselves. About 200 women attended, some young and some not so young, some bald, some wearing wigs, some looking amazingly healthy, some struggling with symptoms and/or treatment side effects; everyone looking for information, for advice, for answers, for hope.

I attended a session this morning called Creative Coping: Healing through Writing. The facilitator had us do several exercises where we wrote free-style for 5 minutes. As some of the women shared what they wrote, you could feel the connection in the room. We didn’t know each other, but we didn’t need to; no judgement, no need to explain. It felt like a weight lifted to be with people who understood.

Here are a few random lines that I made note of because they moved me.

I’ve come back. Again and again, I’ve come back.

We huddled together, my sister and I, knowing that I am going to die.

Because I have a season…

One of the exercises we did was to look at a picture of a flower and write whatever comes to mind. I chose a poppy and here’s what I wrote. I’m no poet (and keep in mind that we had 5 minutes to write, without thinking about it!), but here it is, for what it’s worth.

Poppies remind me of Theresa.

Theresa, painter of poppies,
mother of young daughters,
friend to her bosom buddies.
Theresa, feisty, determined, opinionated, concerned, talented, bold, loved.

I carry Theresa and the other women that have gone from my life, not as a burden,
but as internal companions; reassurance that I can follow on their path and that my family will be OK and carry on.

Theresa, Carol, Sue.
These sisters of my heart will always be part of me,
And their examples continue to guide me on my journey.
I feel their love and strength as I carry them with appreciation for all they brought into my life.

What I'm grateful for today: That I am not alone.

The prodigal son returns in: 7 days


Beverly Chen said...

Your poppy poetry is beautiful, Chris. I think of Theresa, too, every time I see a poppy or a poppy painting.

patricia said...

me too. beautiful words by a beautiful woman about beautiful women ?'blessed'? with bc.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I followed your link, from your comment on Laurie's blog.

Are you interested in joining a group blog for women living with mets?

If you are interested, email me at: