The Beginning

This past weekend changed my life. Or rather, it sat me down and forced me to realize that my life has already changed. I will explain.

It must be the season, or the radio silence on this here blog, but people are starting to ask me if I ever intend to blog again. I’ve experienced a lot since my last update. I went to Colorado, took ridiculously cute pictures of my dog, had some very late nights, and got my first clear x-ray as a person in remission. But I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. I had my blinders up and was aggressively moving forward. The cancer thing was behind me and if anyone asked, I was completely FINE.

I went into last weekend’s YACC Retreat Yourself East wondering how I would benefit from it. I thought it would be neat to connect with cancer survivors my age, explore Cape Breton, and freely talk about cancer in a way I can’t really do with others.

I was not expecting to discover I’d been bottling so many things up, or to have that bottle cracked open for me to pick through and examine. Turns out I am not fine after all. Actually, cancer completely fucked me up. It fucked everything up.

The strange thing however, is that after facing all my fears and hang-ups, I left Cape Breton feeling better. I didn’t “fix” anything, really. But instead came to terms with the fact that it can’t be fixed, and that’s okay. I can’t think of a time when I felt more true to myself than during those days at Cabot Shores. And not the pre-cancer version of myself I had been clinging to.

I went to the doctor the day after I returned to have a pain checked out and start the process of scheduling follow-up surgery on my busted arm. I used to get SO bitter about sitting in doctor’s offices and being unwell. But that is just my life now. My body doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, but that doesn’t make me broken. Apparently it took five days next to the ocean with 35 amazing cancer survivors to truly accept that.

It is with all of this that I say The Great Balancing Act is officially closed for business. I will be leaving a large chunk of the blog up for those who still want access to recipes, workouts, and especially the cancer-centric posts. I am by no means done writing. But I know that as long as I cling on to this blog, I will never step out of my comfort zone and tackle the writing I really want to do. I have finally come to terms with the fact that my life has changed, and I am ready to change with it.

Posted on July 25, 2012, in Cancer. Bookmark the permalink. 68 Comments.

  1. Susan – Coincidentally, I was just thinking about you earlier today. Wondering if you were well, if you were still writing. I understand the need to let all this go and I wish you all the best in the future. I have enjoyed reading your blog and encourage you to continue writing in some form or other. May you have a long and happy life ahead of you!

  2. I do believe when a door closes another one opens. I am proud of you to let go of your beloved blog. xoxo

  3. Take care of yourself and that sweet puppy.

    Thank you for sharing your life and experiences! Your voice will be missed.

  4. I’m happy on one hand that your cancer is in remission but sad that you are leaving your blog. I wish you nothing but the best in continued health, and a long and happy life.

  5. ediblebalance

    Can a person be proud of someone they don’t know?? Regardless, I am incredibly proud of you Susan. I admire the fact that you know what you need to do and you’re doing it. Not conforming to what you think others want you to do. We’ll miss you, can’t wait to see where we’ll see you next :)

  6. Proud of you for this decision. Truly. xoxo

  7. So proud of you! I wish you all the best in all of your future endeavors!

  8. Best wishes to you……

  9. Susan, I am SO glad to have met you, and I’m so glad that your blog helped us to connect. I wish you nothing but the best in moving forward, and I truly am excited to see the awesome things that will come from your pen (or keyboard) as you move along.

  10. Blessings to you, Susan, as you continue on your journey.

  11. Eric Robichaud

    Take it easy, Susan.

  12. Was just wondering how you were doing. Will miss your posts but wish you all the good health and happiness in the world. Maybe you’ll find another way to let us know how you are progressing.

  13. I LOVE when I see posts like this about why people are letting go of their blogs. Blogging is for YOU, so not blogging should be for YOU too! Good luck Susan and keep up the great photos of the cute as hell dog. xoxo

  14. All this means is that you’re ready to turn the page and start a new chapter. Things change. People change. Nothing is ever the same, and that’s not always a bad thing. Changes mean we can grow, whether we like it or not, and sometimes we outgrow our past.

    I would be super sad about this, but I plan to continue stalking you on Facebook, so there’s that ;) I worry, so it’s nice to have updates…and Buster pictures. Anyway, you survived. Now you thrive. Namaste.

  15. I will miss you dearly but am so thankful that i am still connected to you via other sources. You are one strong woman, inspiring, and am honored to “know” you. Keep in touch… please.

  16. Without this blog I would have never met my awesome East Coast friend; for that I’m eternally grateful.

    See you outside the blogosphere! Maybe in Tofino one of these days!!! :)

  17. miss_janet_pole

    Will miss your blog immenseley! (I still seethe whenever I think of those people who ignored you when you fell on the ice and were crawling in pain … I’ll assume they were tourists and not Canadians!)

    Plz do continue to post Buster pix on Twitter or we will go thru withdrawl!!!

    … And if you start writing elsewhere do tell us.

  18. Good for you! I’m so happy to hear you’re still cancer free. It was great to meet you at Blend and I wish you the best of luck. Give Buster a kiss for all of us!

  19. Best wishes to you as you move forward in your new life, Susan. I’ll be thinking of you.

  20. I’m so very glad that I had an opportunity to get to share your story through this blog. I found out about you when I purchased some delicious granola as a fundraiser for you and enjoyed reading your blog because of my interest in health and nutrition so I subscribed. You can never totally know how you may touch someone’s life out in the blogosphere, but I am sure you have touched many people’s lives in a positive way. I know you have done so for me. So, while I will miss this blog, when you’re ready to write again, I hope you will retain my email address and be in touch again. Best of luck to you!

  21. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You have taught so much. I wish you the most amazing life. Godspeed.

  22. There is so much depth to this short post. I don’t know what it’s like to have cancer but I know what it’s like to be broken. For me, it was when God asked me to step on the potter’s wheel. Too bad I can’t keep my balance on there.

    Your last paragraph got me thinking as well. Blogging is sort of like candy. I enjoy it but question its nourishment. Sonetimes I wonder if the immediate payoff keeps me blogging at the expense of writing/doing things I really want to do. I have to admit I’m slightly envious of your decision to stop blogging and move on with something you truly want to do. Thank you for sharing yourself and many blessings on you and your future.

    (ps I hope you still IG. I’ll miss Buster! ;-)

  23. Oh wow, it was just last night I was writing that email to you. Like others have said, I’ve never met you, but I’m really very proud of you for making this decision. You’re so strong, and it seems you’ve left your cancer treatment a stronger person.

    Hope to stay in-touch via other means. All the best for the future :)

  24. Beautifully put Susan. I’m glad to be getting my fill of Buster photos and semi-life updates on instagram. Good luck with everything in the future, I hope to read some more of your writing eventually because you really are good at it.

  25. Susan – Wishing you the very best! You have a gift for writing and I hope that it will do for you what you want it to do :)

    Also very happy to hear you’re still well and ready to move on to a new chapter! I will miss the updates, but to echo the others, the blog is for YOU. Best of luck my dearie :)

  26. Coincidentally decided to check up on you today, glad to see you are well! To echo everyone else’s sentiments, proud of you for the decision but also sad to see you let go of the blog. I’ll be facebook stalking you as well trying to keep up with you that way – you have been an inspiration to me in the kitchen and in life!

  27. I’ve recently seen many good things come from being fucked up for a bit. Good luck to you and your writing!

  28. Susan, I so much enjoyed reading your blog. As mom to a kid who went through treatment for cancer I found your writings so emotionally open and rewarding to read. I agree with you that it is essential to have connctions with others who know what it’s like to go through cancer treatment as they will understand you as no others truly can. I wish you the very best.

  29. Quite something, Susan… it sounds like you have been doing some important thinking/growing/stretching/healing.

  30. While I’m sad that this space will no longer be filled with your stories, it’s good to know that you have found a place to move forward. great things are ahead

  31. Kudos to you for moving forward in such a big way, Susan. You’re a superhero! I can’t wait to read what you write next.

  32. Susan I truly wish all the happiness in the world. You shared your journey and opened my eyes to many things. Thanks again for all your help on my running questions…peace out!

  33. Susan I’ll definitely miss your blog. I’m so happy for you, though, that you were able to begin to come to terms with everything you have gone through. You’re right – your life isn’t the same and it never will be the same but that doesn’t mean things are bad or broken … it just means they’re different. I know you’ll have an amazing life ahead of you and I look forward to the chance to read whatever you feel like writing if you ever decide to share it.

  34. Colleen Gibney

    Thanks very much for your blog, and I wish you continued good health.

  35. Oh, I so miss reading you, but I completely get it. Take care Susan and be well.

  36. I pray you will have much success and happiness in your life. I do hope you will occasionally check in to let us know how you are doing though. Reading your blog has allowed us to connect with you, almost as family, and though we all realize you have your own life to lead, we will always care about you and wonder how things are going with you. I pray your surgery will go well on your arm and you WILL get back to where you need to be. You only live life once and I guess its time for this chapter to close so you can extend into greater and wider pastures. Before you go, could you post a few of those really cute puppy pictures you took over the summer? He is such a cutie and I’m glad you have him to give you lots of needed comfort. As you move forward with your life, remember to keep God in things with you. He will always be there to help you with whatever you are facing!! Best wishes! :-)

  37. It sounds like this was the decision you were driving towards but needed peace and closure with it and to understand why you needed to close it up. And you found it. I hope you find peace continually and good health, always. Hope to catch up with you on other ways, Twitter and such. Take care. XO

  38. Wishing you all the best Susan. Take care.

  39. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! I will miss reading your blog, but hopefully I will come across some of your writing in the future. Until then, I will enjoy the cute pictures of Buster on Instagram :) XO

  40. i have loved reading your blog, but am so happy to hear you have a renewed energy. this sounds super cheesy, i know, but sometimes closing a door really does allow you to open a new one.

  41. Go Susan! Go get what you want and what you need. The internets will certainly miss your presence, but girl – you’ve gotta do what you gotta do. ALL GOOD THINGS!

  42. Penny Sheffield

    Rock on girl! You are one amazing gal, Be true to yourself always..

  43. I am so happy for you – happy that you know what is right for you! HUGS!!!!!!!

  44. I wish you the very best in your continued recovery and as you embrace your new life!

  45. Bye bye blog, hello book?! :-) I wish you well in enjoying this new chapter of life and all the writing possibilities it will bring. Thanks for the formal farewell!

  46. I just wanted to say that I love you.

  47. I’ve loved reading your blog but I understand why you need to let it go. You are a wonderful writer and person so I know whatever you do in the future will be just as successful! You have been a great help to me during my struggle with illness(turns I have a neurological issue called a chiari malformation). I appreciate that you took the time to ease my mind about my biopsy while going through so much yourself! I am sad to see the blog go but I will follow you on Facebook and enjoy your adorable doggy pictures! :)

  48. I will miss you Susan and also seeing a picture of Buster was a special way to start my day. All the best to you.

  49. It must have been a tough time at the retreat but I read this thinking “thank goodness for that!” I was beginning to get a bit worried about you. I’ll miss your blog but I am so glad that you are now able to move on with life. Never be afraid to admit that things are fucked up. It’s hard to take a new direction in life if you don’t know where you are to start with.

  50. Congratulations Susan, the only true growth is through trial… we may think we are growing at other times and I guess to some extent that is true but that growth is untested. Walking through the fire purifies the heart and what wasn’t real growth is burned up. Go with God.

  51. Sara Bostwick

    Thank you for sharing your story and be well…

  52. If you ever come down to Western New York or over to Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands, let me know. Some of the most beautiful, peaceful scenery ever. We’ll have a fire and ponder life.
    All the best to you. You are so brave

  53. Damn. I loved this post–mainly because I love reading anything you write–but also because it sounds like you really stumbled upon something during your time away. I’m happy for you. And I miss you, love you, and want you to come visit me.. since I can’t come to you. <3

  54. Wishing you the best, Susan. Thank you for what you wrote in this blog; May you never stop writing! Namaste.

  55. Best wishes to you…… you will be missed.

  56. I think of you every time I make pulled pork, lol. That sounds so random, yet I’m not even kidding. I’d never made it before you posted your recipe last summer & it’s still the one I follow, right down to the delicious PC smokin’ stampede sauce! Though I’m sad that you’re giving up the blog, I’m thrilled that you are doing well and are moving forward with your life. Best of luck to you! And, thanks for introducing me to the deliciousness that is pulled pork :)

  57. Thankyou for writing your blog Susan! I started following you as a concerned friend of Sara’s, I read many of your older posts in addition to following your cancer journey and in the end your blog has truly inspired me. I wish you best of luck with your future and look forward to reading what you do next!

  58. Maureen Curran

    I just started to read some of your blog today. I am almost 4 months post chemo from Non Hodgkins. My hair is growing is super curly so I googled images for curly hair after chemo and thats how I found your blog. It was very comforting to read someone who shares a lot of the same emotions as I do. Trying to go back to pre-cancer self is impossible and Ive just started to realize that. Reading your blog was comforting to know that I wasnt the only one feeling this way. Thanks:)

  59. kudos to you Susan. you are truly an incredibly brave person and i wish you the best in luck in all of your endeavours!!

  60. I wrote a big ‘old comment, deleted it I
    think by mistake …. but this anonymous quote sums up this post of yours to me-
    ” If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies”.
    Fly be free Susan ! But always know there are
    many of us out here that are smiling at your flight and high fiving you from afar.
    And thank you to you for your incredible and
    frank bloggIng this past year – you really made me think and feel, which to be honest
    I don’t experience from blogs…
    Wishing you an incredible life Susan
    ( but with Buster by your side how can it not
    be ?!!) Namaste.

  61. Go to youtube and look into dr morse he talks about raw food and how it can help. I read you are cancer free but because of that i urge you to look into a low fat raw vegan lifestyle and do a juice fast to cleanse your system. It wont hurt to try and might actually help you get yourself back. My mom died of non smoking lung cancer and i didn’t find out about all this this nutrition information until she was already gone. documentaries that might help with this info are “The beautiful Truth” & Forks over Knifes they are on netflix please dont ignore this message at least look into it and then make your decision. Sorry if i sound pushy i just dont want another cancer victim. watch the documentaries

  62. This made tear up, I dont know you other then what you’ve let everyone know on this blog. But, nicely said! Good luck with all that life brings you & all the fun times with buster & your family:)

  63. Susan, I don’t know you, I don’t have cancer. But I survived a fire with physical and emotional injuries. This was four years ago, and it took me four years to get to where you are right now realizing that the fire fucked up my life, and that it’s ok to feel that way. I am changed forever. I wish you the best of luck with your life and thank you for making me feel like someone understands me.

  64. Acceptance is tough to get to, but it helps when you reach that stage. I’m glad that the retreat was healing, and that you’re at peace with this blog. I look forward to reading whatever you write in the future. xoxo from DC

  65. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and putting yourself out there. I will really miss seeing your posts and hope that you continue doing amazing things!!!

  66. I still think about you and hope you are well, Susan! I’d send you an elephant statue if I could :) I do have a few extra posed in a circle from my trip to Thailand :)

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