I just did some housecleaning to the blog, which was much needed and long overdue. I also did some updating that I should have done a long, long time ago. In case you missed it, I was in Self Magazine in October! I added a link to the online version on the Press page (above).
In mid-September I got a facebook message from a friend from high school, saying that she'd seen the article and me in it, and I should be proud. I was interviewed at the end of the summer and I didn't know what they'd published because I did a fairly lengthy email interview with a reporter and provided a substantial amount of information. I was honest and thorough in answering all their questions. When I got the message, I called Barnes & Noble right away to see if they'd gotten the magazine in. They had, so I drove there and bought a bunch of copies. So why didn't I want to share this when it happened? Go read the quote. I said all the things they published, but I wasn't sure what it said about me. Sure, it was all true, but it still made me cringe to read what I'd shared about the ugly emotional part of cancer. The part where I felt abandoned and wasn't at all strong or brave, manifesting all the emotions I felt but couldn't put into words through tears shed while driving. Sure, the second half of what was published was the uplifting side where I overcame it and embraced health in the form of running, biking, and peace with my body. But back in October, this was overshadowed by the first part and I was not entirely comfortable with what I had shared with the entire population of women who read Self Magazine.
Not long after that, the thing showed up on Facebook and I was tagged. I fought back the urge to untag myself, because I didn't want to be the person who was ashamed of admitting to being emotionally vulnerable while having cancer (as I type that I realize how ridiculous it is that I felt that, and I am grateful I didn't untag it).
I have made a point of being honest about the emotional damage cancer did to me, and now that I've come out on the other side, I hold my head high and admit that it was hard and ugly and took years of writing, running, and reflecting to recover from. I do this because I want other YA survivors who are feeling like I did to know that what they're experiencing is normal, and more importantly, it gets better. But something about seeing that honesty next to my picture in a nationally published magazine caused a knee-jerk reaction of shame for me, and that is why I didn't share it in October. Like so many things, time has been my friend, and now I have the perspective to see that what I said was exactly what I wanted and needed to say, and there's no shame in telling the truth, even when it isn't pretty.