Silence Isn’t Golden — and — Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside / Little Dog Inside Big Dog

cancer in my thirties breast cancer 30s 30's dog dogs

There have been times in my life when I have agreed with the title of that old song, “Silence is Golden,” by The Four Seasons.  But my silence here has not proven to be one of those times.  As the days following my last post crept to weeks and then to months, I couldn’t believe that so much time had passed.  But I still felt powerless to do much about it.

Call it the result of unrelenting exhaustion.  Call it the result of a muddled mixture of intense pain and a haziness induced by strong opioid painkillers.  Call it an inability to balance new/worsening symptoms with life and its demands.  Call it what you will, but whatever it was, I just wasn’t able to pull myself through “it” to find the energy and space to write to you.

I value our time together.  I value our relationship.  And I didn’t want to just pop in to do a quick, crappy post while I was in the midst of feeling as though I was caught in a tailspin.

YOU:    “So, is it over?  Are you better?  Is this going to be a terrific post that was well worth the wait?”

ME:      “No.  No.  And no.”

YOU:    “Aw man, I was hoping for something riveting and inspiring.”

ME:      “I’m sorry, this post will be neither.  But I figured that if I waited any longer, the gap would just widen and it would be even more difficult to return.  So I am here, for better or worse, with a crappy post just meant to let you know that I have missed you and that I do value our relationship — probably more than you’ll ever know.”

ME:      “And, given the nature of some of the emails I’ve received from some of you, I felt that some of you might be wondering if I’d gotten much sicker and perhaps moved on to the great blue yonder.  To be honest, I would wonder the same thing, especially because some of my “virtual” cancer friends (cancer bloggers or online breast cancer community friends) have disappeared in this way when they’ve died.  Silence.  Then, after a few days or weeks or so, a husband or best friend or mom will pop in to say, “Sorry, _______ died last month.  I know she’d want you to know.”

YOU:    “Well, I didn’t want to say it, but, um, yes, maybe “that” thought crossed my mind.  This is a cancer blog, afterall!”

Okay, all kidding aside, I wanted/needed to say hello.  I wanted you to know that you are still in my thoughts.  I wanted to respond to the kind emails and messages I’ve received.

And I wanted to apologize for such a long silence.

Sure, I’ve felt crappy.  Sure, I’m struggling to manage life and the boys and everything else while feeling so cruddy.  But you’ve come to mean a lot to me and I owe you more than this silence.  Plus, this is a cancer blog, so I should be blogging about feeling crappy and about the ins and outs and ups and downs of this whole experience.

I should.

I know I should.

But I wage this positive vs. negative battle with myself all the time.  In my day-to-day life, I try to be positive and upbeat because this is what is expected of me.  So it is difficult for me to give myself permission to be “Debbie-Downer” in my day-to-day.  And sometimes that cup runneth over to my blog, too.  If you’ve been reading all along you know that this doesn’t happen often — I usually don’t have much trouble “telling it like it is” and spreading some gloom here! — but it does happen sometimes.

I’ll try to elaborate a bit more on how life has been soon.  But for now I wanted to end the silence.  Close the gap.  Get back on the horse.

And I wanted to thank you for sticking by me.

I’d also like to know how you are doing…  During my silence I have not only been a bad blogger, but a lousy blog reader.  But it isn’t because I haven’t thought of you.  In fact, I enjoy reading your blogs far more than I enjoy creating posts for my own, so I’m certain I’ve missed you much more than you’ve missed me!  So if you have a moment, please drop me a line / leave me a comment to let me know how you are — and I promise to pop over to visit your blog soon.

And I will be back soon to fill you in.  Even if I just write crappy one paragraph posts.  I’ll shoot for “quantity vs. quality” rather than the “neither” I’ve been giving you!

p.s. For old times’ sake, I’ll include a few photos that happen to be in line with The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  Okay, “on purpose” rather than “happen to be.”  But you know how I like pictures!  This week’s challenge topic?  “Inside.”  Participants are asked to photograph “something” inside “something else.”  [There’s more to it than that, but I’ll give you the skinny version in case you are tired, too!]

You know how I love my dogs, so I’m giving you photographs of “Ginger Inside Kevin.”  Or “Little Dog Inside Big Dog,” because I refer to them as “Big” and “Little.”


Kevin is a Heinz 57 rescue who we brought to live with us after my dogsoulmate, Mattie, my mini schnauzer, died of cancer in 2009.  Ginger was a “Christmas/chemo/mastectomy/more chemo/radiation/and still more treatment gift” my sister gave me after I’d had a bunch of chemo and my bilateral mastectomy, and then was then destined to go through more chemo and radiation and other treatments.  My littlest sister, Laura, thought she would be a wonderful snuggler and that she’d make it easier to get through the difficult days, so she wrapped her up for Christmas…  And what a wonderful gift she was/is.

Well, ever since Ginger/Little’s arrival, she has ruled the roost.  Though significantly smaller than Kevin, she is definitely the alpha.  From the very beginning, she would climb into or onto Kevin and he wouldn’t move a muscle.  To this day, if she climbs into his curled up body, he stays in this position until she is ready to get up — mostly because she’ll bark at him if he moves an inch!  And since they are coincidentally almost identically colored, it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.  Most pictures of the two of them together look as though I’ve snapped a photo of Kevin with a small dog-like growth protruding from his neck or back.

A looong explanation for a few photos!:

breast cancer in thirties 30s 30's dog dogs ginger kevin

Can you find Ginger?

breast cancer thirties 30s 30's

breast cancer thirties 30s 30's dog dogs

Once in a while, Kevin builds up the nerve to *attempt* to knock Little off his chair. He is never successful…


***Good night and thank you for visiting.  Thank you for helping me through the dark days, even when you don’t know you are doing this…***


35 thoughts on “Silence Isn’t Golden — and — Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside / Little Dog Inside Big Dog

  1. Yeaaaaaaah! I’m glad you posted. I presumed that you were swept off your feet by those cute mini truckers in your garden, or that your blogging muse had maybe deserted you for a while as they do on occasions, but none of the rest. Sending you big gentle hugs. You rock. xoxo


  2. so glad to hear from you.. I am not a blogger, nor do I have cancer. I came across your blog by chance and have been amazed by your strength and courage ever since I first started reading. Once I started reading, I could not stop until I had read all your postings. The love you show for your children and your cute little dogs shows me what a caring person you are. I think your diagnosis anniversary is coming up-look how far you have come in these years and the impact you have made on so many people.. wow, you’re awesome, I look forward to every note from you no matter how small or crappy you think it may be. Hoping you are feeling better and stronger..xo


  3. I adore your blog. It’s amazing to read. That said? You owe me nothing. You pop in and write when you feel like it and don’t when you don’t.

    God Bless.


  4. Glad you are back! I know things are difficult but you are strong and will accomplish many things. I say a few prayers for you often. Stop and say hello again soon!


  5. It is SO good to hear from you. I was hoping you would have some good news, such as you had moved out and on with your life without a certain someone. I completely understand your being overwhelmed with the everyday necessities of family life, been there, done that. I was thinking about trying to answer an earlier blog of yours just to get some news. Remember you are always in my prayers, and I am sure lots of others’.


  6. I’m so glad to hear from you. Sorry that you’re in so much pain. A paragraph or sentence, is not at all disappointing, it’s just good to hear from you. Your doggy’s are absolutely adorable! Big hugs xo


  7. love you. i am glad you posted so peeps know what’s up…but you don’t need to apologize 😉 just pop in and say “i’m still here”. that will be enough i am fairly sure.


  8. Thank you for posting. Such cute dogs. Have you heard of the books by Dav Pilkey Big Dog and Little Dog? I’m thinking you did 🙂
    I’m sorry that you are experiencing pain and fatigue and I really admire you for I’m sure it can’t be easy. Certainly put my life in perspective as I am a ““Debbie-Downer” …I’m still trying to figure out if I was born this way have I become that way the more responsibilities fell in my lap, but than I look at you and others, and I think, what the heck is wrong me?

    btw, was wondering if you heard about the ‘no make-up selfie’ social media campaign and what is your take on it. I think it started in Ireland. Not sure if they are doing something like that in the USA…or in Israel.

    I can’t believe they are going on about being comfortable or not comfortable with makeup…I just hope that all the money they have collected will go for good use and not advertising and the people that runt he org. I hope it pays for treatment and research.

    I did post my own photo of facebook and twitter today.


  9. In a very, very teeny way…i can relate. i struggle with being upbeat, cheerful to be around in my life and feel horrible. i don’t know cancer, thank God, but i do know chronic pain and exhaustion. And i have a hard time writing about that in my own blog, how bad it is, how much of me is robbed due to fibromyalgia. This week, i found a pin on pinterest that has a little fairy with a caption, “My wings are too heavy to fly today.” It made me think of you. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be some version of perfect. Your wings are just heavier some days. 🙂
    i am really glad you wrote. i was getting worried.


  10. I am so happy to see you. While I am certainly not in the pain/situation you are in, I fully comprehend your inability to write. I’ve been living though a great expanse of cancer related fatigue and I can’t get my head around anything. Emails, posts, and reading lie unattended. I have trouble concentrating beyond reading news stories. Responding to a blog seems like a herculean effort most days. The cancer clinic says to rest and do what I want when I want but then I feel like a slug and want to do something which seems to make me tireder. However, I know this will pass as the treatment concludes.

    I will look forward to your posts whenever they arrive and I love the pics of the pooch.



  11. Nice to hear from you as always. Sorry to hear about the pain and meds issues. Hope there’s a way of tweaking that situation to improve it.

    I’m almost on my one year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. Still have some side effects from chemo (neuropathy being the most annoying – or maybe the runny nose when I eat or drink) but the seem to be on the wane. Still no evidence of disease. Am taking my tamoxifen and hoping for the best.

    I’ve been following another person who is going through a different kind of cancer. His name is Jay Lake and he is fighting colon cancer. He went through all the conventional treatments and is finishing up a NIH immunotherapy treatment program to see if that will work those tumors over. Sounded pretty amazing and thought you might find it of some interest as you note you like reading about other folks’ experiences.

    Nothing but good thoughts to you!


  12. i was so happy to see this update. i discovered your blog while looking for information about bilateral mastectomy as a friend recently underwent this surgery and will begin treatment for cancer. i found your story so compelling on so many levels – i too am a young mother and think we may even live in the same town (based on some of your pictures). thank you for sharing this journey and embracing your readers. in the words of some other readers, hope you feel better and stronger soon.


  13. Sounds like you are very busy trying to figure this whole Cancer Journey (thing) out. What a ride, huh? You must be experiencing many ups and downs. Based on my experience of ten years as a survivor, I know that sometimes these so called ups and downs can become very frustrating. All I can say about this is to try and be patient with yourself, even when you think your life will “never” be normal again.
    People used to say to me that, I would find a “new” normal. I would just look at them and think, “what the heck does that mean”? It would actually make me really mad. Later,…..a lot later,I realized that it’s just all part of this” turnover ” that comes from going through a tremendous ordeal / trauma, your body has experienced. And, through the course of all this- you will have learned strategies for healthy and successful living. (the things that make you feel great, and the things that make you
    feel not so great.) This is where the fine tuning comes in. I know that the information out there can be overwhelming, and that sometimes it seems ridiculous to spend precious time reading about crazy foods and such, but try and set aside just a little time for your own personal care and repair “updates”. There are many people who care about you, and I for one feel better knowing that you do have a network of support. Your animals are so precious!! Hey,…. Spring has sprung. I bet you and your adorable little boys will soon be hearing the little ducklings a-quacking! Love and peace to you always.


  14. Never thought for a second you’d died. I knew you’d be back. Happy to hear from you. In terms of my life, the cancer is stanlr, but I had a heart attack last Saturday. It wasn’t very painful at all and they installed a stent in me within an hour of my arrival at the ER. Now everything is more or less fine. I just need to take a bunch more pills – none of which have bad side effects.


  15. so lovely of you to be so understanding about how we all feel about you. thank you for giving us a big lot of hope to hold onto on your behalf. you are loved massively, and you are not alone. kevin and little – so, so adorable! wish I could reach through the screen and hug them!

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxo


  16. Always good to see a post from you L, no matter what the content just hearing your online voice brings happiness. You’re in my thoughts xoxox


  17. It is so good to hear from you, although having said that, you shouldn’t feel guilty for your silences. It’s not like you have nothing else going on. Love the photos of the dogs — so sweet. Take care of yourself.


  18. What a lovely way to let us know how you are. I speak for others when I say that I we are glad to hear from you and grateful that we all matter to you. I wish I could ease your pain or make life easier for you. Take care you,


  19. Your posts reveal an amazing and inspiring person. I often get emotional reading them. Still, like others have said, you owe me nothing. I’m thinking of you.


  20. I’m so so sorry you’re having such a rough time. It pains me that you feel the need to apologize. And in fact you’re wrong about something… It WAS riveting and inspiring 🙂 Very much so.
    I will be thinking of you as I go through my day. Xo


  21. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a reading one of your posts for a very long time. I mostly haven’t commented because I can’t remember my official WP PW. I’m a writer, and a blogger, 3 blogs and I have IBC, the rarest and deadliest. Which strangely enough always makes me giggle when I write it now. I decided just to go ahead a log in with FB to comment this time. On this day, you are responsible for getting me up and moving in a circle starting in family room, to the living room, across the foyer, past the formal dining room, through part of the kitchen and then back to where I started at least 15 times while my insane rescue dog (rott/lab) chased me, testing out the limits of my neuropathy. I often read what you’ve written to my mollycoddling husband, otherwise known as the knight-in-shinning-armor of this kingdom. I’m so sorry you didn’t get a good one. And the reason I even mention it is because, Mike is approaching 67 and feels he’s falling short. Our youngest son moved here from a place he loved to help. Breast cancer wasn’t on my radar, but when my daughter came down with Stage 3 colon cancer in twenties, with three small children under 4, I made a deal with God. It worked. We almost lost her, but she’s been cancer free for 9 years now. I credit my longevity (grin)(diagnosed 5/11)to eating a cancer killing diet. The chemo I’m on now almost killed me a year ago…my heart and lungs filled with fluid. However, I insisted on going back on it recently. It’s really a rough one though. Now they have a new trial they want me to try since the cancer wants to settle in my liver. I think I’m going to go for it. I’ll know in a couple of weeks.


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