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.