Being Grancer has become one of the greatest privileges of my life. With over 140,000 visitors and 420,000 views, I am kind of a big deal in the small world of young breast cancer patients and their loved ones.
I tell it like it is in my very special verbal diarrhea fashion. Meaning there is no sugar coating or beating around the bush that you lost when all your hair fell out during chemo. Reading the truths about cancer treatment and recovery in a point blank manner cuts out the bull that so many books and blogs feed to us to make us feel the faith.
Don’t get me wrong, I want you to feel the faith too, but more than that, I want you to feel like you are not alone in the craptastic stuff that you are walking through.
So I spew it out. And I am so humbled and grateful that you are all reading. I told a medical professional today that I feel like my cancer was worth it because I know that I have helped people near and far. I am like your own personal cancer Santa bringing the gifts of cancer realities to your homes in cutely wrapped packages of self deprecation and humor.
As a byproduct of the exposure I have created for myself, comes the responsibility to be available both with my time and energy for those who reach out to me. Hearing from my new cancery friends and their families has been one of my greatest joys.
But you know what? Sometimes I don’t want to be Grancer. Or perhaps more accurately, Grace isn’t capable of being Grancer. Get ready for me to speak in the third person for a hot sec…
Grancer lives in a virtual reality of words and photos. Grancer exists when Grace has the energy and wherewithal to put on her Grancer hat and write her little heart out.
Grace however, is a woman, mom, doula, laundress, chauffeur. Grace does not have the capability to be transparent and look for silver linings all the time. Grace gets tired, pissy and oh, oh so cranky.
What happens when someone who knows Grancer, meets Grace?
Most of the time Grancer pops right out and is ready to commiserate, hug it out or kvetch.
Sometimes though, Grace just isn’t ready for it or capable. Sometimes Grace is just a rundown mom who is at the grocery store at 7:30am because she needs bread for her kids’ lunch because she forgot to get it the day before. Sometimes when Grace sees an email from someone about Grancer/cancer, she dreads opening it because she was having a cancer free morning and now she has to face reality again.
When I started writing I had no idea that I would become a Bloggess. I just needed a place to inform my friends and family about my health. Once it turned into more of a widespread read, I was thrilled to have a platform with which to reach people in similar situations. Once those people started reaching out to me and recognizing me, it became wildly exciting and humbling. And now that I am a tiny bit of a figurehead, I sometimes get overwhelmed and exhausted by both the topics of cancer and myself.
I have been scared to tell you all this because I am very afraid that it will cause people to back away or not contact me. That is the opposite of what I want.
I am telling you because it is a part of my odyssey. I am frighteningly human and not only get sick of hearing myself talk, but I get sick of being reminded of my cancer experience so often.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the risk/benefit analysis of being Grancer (I love a good pro/con list). The truth is this: As hard as it can be sometimes, the good far outweighs the bad.
Might I want to crawl into a hole when I see your email about connecting? Yes. Will I quickly scurry out of that hole and write you back with my full attention and intention? Yes I will.
Will you recognize me at an event and I seem exasperated? Perhaps. But ultimately will I be grateful for your acquaintance? No doubt about it.
Please continue to reach out to me whenever you need a cancery ear. Please say hello to me if you see me out and about.
But remember that Grace might need a second to duck into a phone booth to put her Grancer cape on. It is always with me, but sometimes it is buried under the layers of chapstick, broken toy pieces and candy wrappers an the bottom of my purse. C’mon, did you think we’d get through this blog without a Clark Kent/Superman reference?