I’m Still Standing


Elton John notwithstanding, I am still here. It’s been over 10 years ago that I started this blog and the world was completely different.

When last I blogged, I was awaiting a diagnosis and I have that; Grade 2, stage 2 ductal breast cancer, estrogen +, progesterone +, HER2-. After plunging full-bore into the terminology of breast cancer (and oh how complicated it is), this means that I have the ‘best kind’ of breast cancer to have. I caught it semi-early and it doesn’t have the rapid growth hormone/protein found in the HER2 test.

So, I went in and had a lumpectomy and some nodes removed to further test and type the cancer. More good news. The lump was taken out and there was no cancer discernible in the nodes. This doesn’t mean they aren’t there however, so radiation was recommended. I did not have to have chemo and they advised against it since I have a stent and some history of angina. Chemotherapy is hard on the heart apparently. So I began radiation treatment 2 and a 1/2 weeks ago. I have to visit the hospital daily for five days and have the weekend off. In total, 15 treatments. This is good too because the longer the radiation, the worse for your skin. Mine is just now starting to turn dark and red. For the most part, I am handling it well. Radiation is cumulative so I might be singing a different tune next month.

It’s been interesting these past few years when it comes to spirituality and belief. Meeting up again with folks from Deconversion on Facebook gave me a good mental kick to get back into blogging. Facebook is easy to just sit back and watch the world and the stories roll by without too much engagement, but blogging requires thought and planning. I miss the writing as well. For a time, even following the initial deconversion phase, I fell back into old spiritual and ‘god’ habits. When I married again and moved to England, I started going to a Quaker meeting with my husband because he was going. I thought I could be a Quaker because it was the best of God thought without the evangelicalism. Long story short, it was the final step toward my complete deconversion and acceptance of atheism.

The Quaker story is a long one, but basically British Quaker religion is politics. In fact I met quite a few atheists in the Quaker meeting! I couldn’t see how this could be and I realized that British Quakers were just a ‘Christian’ organization in name only. They were a method. I admire the Quaker way, which I can blog about at length, but they are no longer the Christian radicals of George Fox’s day. This helped me further clarify my own beliefs, or lack of them. Cancer also helped. I think I’d finally had enough of the mental hoops required to believe in a deity that cares about us. No such being exists. There is nature and the effects of nature.

Also helping me along this path is my sister who remarried an ultra-fundamentalist man. She became even more out there and weird and promptly dispensed her brain to the trash bin. She now actually believes that a change of diet will ‘cure’ my cancer (I find this infuriating because it implies it’s my fault I have it) AND, get this, she is now one of those stupid flat earthers because the bible said so, don’t you know. Oh dear. I could go on, but I won’t.

Thanks for reading this far and I shall write more. I promise.


Yes, I’m Still Here

Well, it’s been a weird and interesting few months! Following the news of my husband’s cancer, I went in for a rapid diagnostic breast exam and came out with a sore breast after a biopsy. Turns out the Doc suspects cancer and I’ll find out on June 7th. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all! As the saying goes.

I’m still working on disengaging emotionally from what may have been my codependent tendency to latch onto people and make them conform to my idea of said relationship. For example, my marriage.  I probably invested WAY too much baggage into this marriage thing and now I’ve reversed myself enough, taken a step back to re-evaluate, and come at it from a different direction so that I can see more clearly the person I married and what I do and do not have control over. Articles like this help me:

Dysfunction can occur if you misjudge the type of relationship that is required. Many people, especially those new in relationships, jump too quickly to the communal style. When they are wrapped up in the fantasy of new love they assume that they will be spending the rest of their lives together. They then give way too much of themselves, again, this can quickly lead to codependency.

That about sums it up for me. Assuming all along that I was the one with the level head, it turns out I can have issues of my own to sort out, perhaps laying an unfair burden on the other person! The stress of it all isn’t going to help me either, especially now.

Unlike my mother and sister who had and have made a fetish out of dieting and the foods they eat, I am not going to go down that route; thinking cancer is a result of diet choices. Cancer is such a complicated mix of environmental factors, our DNA, our ancestral history, and other things we can’t possibly understand, that believing you can control such a thing has to be classed with other mental disorders such as dysphoria. We humans do love to be in control don’t we?  Sure is devastating when we realize we aren’t.

My mother put herself in an early grave because she believed God was going to cure her without medical intervention. Uh, hello! How about IF there is a god, said god would use the things at hand such as doctors and medicine!! Why is it that God has to bear burden of ‘curing’ without anything else whatsoever. Does everything have to be a miracle? Is there something wrong with using the tools at had to fix things? Why? Anyway, I’m done with magical thinking.

I’ll let you know what the diagnosis is, but I suspect it ain’t good.