There are some major experiences that we can never really know what they're like and how we'll respond until we experience them for ourselves. Falling in love. Giving birth. Danger. The death of a loved one. Big potential milestones on the roadmap of life. How much of what we write, and how much of what we read, is really about trying to make sense of those experiences that manage to be universal, yet intensely individual, all at the same time.
We chose Shannon from Charming Bitch as our BlogHer of the Week because even if you have never been through what she has been through, her post, Say. Let's talk about cancer, cause that's FUN!! gives us that glimpse we seek...straight into the heart, soul and libido of a woman dealing with cancer way too young:
I promised myself I wouldn't turn into one of those people who get all, ''oh, my tortured psyche, let me show you it'' about cancer but well, when you're 35 and have endured months of chemo, radiation, various other indignities up to and including not one but two heart surgeries, sometimes it just feels WRONG to withhold all my new fangled WISDOM and LIFE EXPERIENCE from you great people.
Nah, there is no wisdom, at all. But my designer vadge is still not fully functional and whereas normally I would take advantage of an empty house to watch bad television and soft core porn and diddle myself senseless but in lieu of those fun-filled days, I will instead share my new-found want of kicking my own ass for not seeing the forest for the trees prior to a few months in the hospital doing battle with cancer. Oh, no, don't worry, YOU'RE WELCOME, in advance.
Shannon's forest is dense and lush and full of strong, sturdy trees. Her mother. Her husband. Her children. Her friends (and yes, they are on the Internet). She sees them...and wonders how she ever doubted their strength and the depth of their ability to love her and support her.
Some people may be most moved by her ode to her husband, her new admiration for her mother, the resilience of her children, but Shannon gets me with her musings on sexuality and femininity in the face of cancer of "the girl parts", as she calls them:
Being a woman has never been as important to me and as seemingly out of reach as it has been in dealing with these female specific cancers, and should you ever find yourself in this untenable position, don't lay down and believe the intrusive thoughts that you're ugly and un-womanly. Seek out ways to reclaim what makes you feel like a ''real girl'' and embrace them. Where it takes you may surprise you but wherever that may be, it's better than grieving what isn't actually gone. When you don't where you're going, any road can take you there. Genitalia is between your legs, sex and sexuality is all in your mind and cancer cannot take it.
That last part? Pretty good advice for us all, even if we have not been in Shannon's shoes.
For sharing the universal in her individual experience, Charming Bitch is our BlogHer of the Week. Congrats Shannon!
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts.
Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them
coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.
For Elisa, Jory and Lisa
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