A funny thing has started to happen. About once or twice a week, I will get recognized while I am out and about.
Now let me clarify, I am just your average minivan driving, yoga pant wearing suburban mom, but since I have plastered my face on an overwhelmingly candid blog, people have started to notice me. Either that or it could be the fact that I look a lot like this spineless hedgehog.
When I started this blog, I had no intentions of grandeur. I thought my friends and family would read it, allowing me the peace to not have to actually tell my stories over and over. I never thought for a second that it would become something that thousands of people would read (as of today, Grancer has had 89,265 visitors).
Once I realized that people farther and wider than just my pals were reading, I thought that perhaps I should clean my writing up and not be such a transparent spaz, but that moment passed quickly. All I know is transparent spaz. That is me. If strangers wanted to read my special brand of crazy, then so be it.
With a wider readership does come some extra responsibility. I started hearing from people around the country that I was giving a voice to, say, a mother who has breast cancer but chooses not to talk about it. Or women who, themselves, are recently diagnosed and are looking to my story for a glimpse into their future. That level of responsibility is giant and can feel overwhelming.
I have to be honest and admit that I write this blog at least 50% for me. Writing how I am feeling and cutting and pasting in terrifying photos of myself is a way for me to relieve myself of some of the burden of living this life. Once it is written down, some of it leaves my already cluttered mind.
The fact that I am helping other people with their own situations was a bit of a surprise and now has become somewhat of a life-affirming bonus.
I have always wanted and hoped to find a way to help people, but I am far too lazy to sign up for the Peace Corps or even a weekend of Habitat For Humanity. I became a doula and childbirth educator, which is very fulfilling. I thought that would be where my influence would find its permanent home.
And then I got cancer, had a mastectomy and LOTS of drugs, my sister built me a WordPress site and told me to type something and now here we are. I fell ass-backwards into a platform by which my kooky musings are helping people around the world. Who’d have thunk it?
When someone recognizes my sunken in eyes and shiny bald head at the deli counter, I have a moment of pure joy mixed with panic. When I write this blog, I have the time to think about what I want to say, but when I am spotted in public, I worry that I won’t be the cool, funny Grancer that they want me to be.
Sometimes (most of the time), I am just an over-tired, cranky broad who doesn’t have a quip at the ready for such chance encounters. I don’t handle compliments very well and get all awkward and stuttery. Either that, or I geek out and get overly excited that someone cares and make a fool of myself by falling all over their kind words.
The moral of the story is that this whole Grancer thing was a happy accident. I don’t know what I am doing. I am turning my verbal diarrhea into public verbal diarrhea and, for unknown reasons, you all are tuning in.
I speak not from authority or even educated guesses. I speak from my gut. I write what I am feeling, my perspective, my own special brand of paranoia.
I remember after I had my first baby I wondered where the book was that actually told it like it is. None of this, What to Expect When You Are Expecting bullshit, the real deal stuff that actually happens that no one seems to talk about.
That is what I am hoping to accomplish here. By posting a photo of my wounds, drains, oddly shaped fingernails, I want readers to get an idea of how this breast cancer shit really goes down. I hope to communicate these heavy topics with a dash of levity because if you can’t laugh at this insanity, you are doomed.
So if you see me at the Dollar Tree wearing the same clothes I slept in (and possibly also wore the day before), please do say hello. Be ready for me to be super awks, but know that I am super grateful for your time and attention. If you don’t already know someone who is going through breast cancer or has gone through it, you inevitably will know someone facing this beast someday and hopefully my rambling will come in handy.
And one last thing, feel free to lie to my face and tell me I look much more beautiful in person.