Tuesday, December 22, 2009


i'm worried that i am turning into octomom. (you know, the woman who deliberately had septuplets along with her two other children in order to get media attention and have her own reality show, thus confirming her existance on this planet.)

a neighbor told me she has been reading my blog, and that she had always thought of me as a quiet, private person but that i have really put it all out there. she was positive about it though, saying her sister had gone through breast cancer and she felt like this was "a journey that shouldn't be sugar-coated." but still, i started wondering...

then i got a call wishing me well from a long, long-ago boyfriend who had googled my name as he waited, bored, for something to download, and up came the article in the local paper about jack's fundraising show, which mentions me as the impetus for the fundraising, what with me being a breast cancer patient and all. in other words, he read that i have breast cancer in the newspaper.

i grew up in the mid-west. we don't talk about our feelings or personal things there. we are friendly but private. i have broken the rules. not only do i tell everyone that i have breast cancer but it was even in the newspaper. who does that?

i'm not giving up the blog though. it started out as a way of updating friends, then it became a way for me to process all of this, to find some kind of meaning or humor or entertainment value in it--or not--and to share that with other people.

but now, having been happily living my privileged, protected life up to this point, i find myself in this dark existential place that i have always known was there but (not being all that much about my personal growth) had thought maybe i could avoid. and that place is by definition lonely, no matter how many wonderful, giving people you are surrounded by.

so i write, therefore i am--except that it only really counts for me if someone else reads it, particularly if they actually enjoy it or find it funny or interesting or irreverant or whatever. it crosses that gap, in a way that would be too much in everyday life. and that connection has become essential to me.

i feel for octomom.


  1. Katherine, you haven't lived in the midwest in a long time! We DO sometimes share our feelings here and support each other through difficult times. Looking back on highschool though, you're right, we were far less open than teens are today. Wouldn't have wanted anyone to think we didn't have ALL our s#*t together! Please keep writing. Your blog really helps me better understand what friends (in addition to you) might be going through when facing breast cancer, and gives me a chance to be a better friend to them.

  2. liz, sorry, truly didn't mean to offend. chad and i also lived in minnesota for five years as newly married young adults and then new parents and where we still have wonderful close friends, where people (in general) are friendly AND private. private doesn't mean that you don't share your feelings with those close to you--it just means that you keep them within a circle of family and good friends. as opposed to new york, for example, where for a lot of people they put their feelings right out there for anyone to see.

  3. I for one am glad you are sharing this. I know it takes courage to be this open, but you are speaking from your heart and it touching to read.