Anyone who has spent much time around new media and blogs in the past ten years, especially in Los Angeles, has read or heard Xeni Jardin. She's one of the founders behind the hugely successful Boing Boing, where she announces today that a few days ago she joined the breast cancer club. Though she's acutely aware that it's been inside of her for longer. Excerpt:
This is how I arrived at knowing.
Two friends of mine were recently diagnosed. When news of the first came, I felt sadness. When news of the second came a few weeks ago, I felt a different kind of shock. I'd never had a mammogram. Even though I was ten years younger than the time they say you need to start, it felt like time to start, and when her news came I thought: I need to do this right now. For my friends, for me. Solidarity. Something small I can do, some little action against the big unknowable that swoops down without warning and strikes the ones we love.
Around the same time, I'd became aware of a funny stiffness in a spot on my own body. But anomalies in women's bodies come and go all the time, and it was a fluid whatever-thing, something that would pass, definitely not a lump, nothing that my waking, speaking mind would grasp as danger. This anomaly must be misplaced anxiety, my logic-brain tried to explain to my lizard-brain; maybe it's me wanting to make my friend's bad news all about me....
"The first thing you're going to learn about working with me is that I'm a straight shooter," Dr. Funk said. Her voice was steady and reassuring.
"That's how you know you can trust me. I'm going to tell you everything, and I'm going to tell it to you like it is."
That's the easier part of the post to read. She describes in brutally honest detail the first minutes after receiving the diagnosis and the move into immediate biopsy: "My fingers were cold and shaking, and I couldn't hit the numbers on the screen...." The post has received 350 comments in the first nine hours or so since it went up.