Compendium of EMWA–January

com•pen•di•um [kuh m-pen-dee-uh m]

noun, plural com•pen•di•ums, com•pen•di•a

1. a brief treatment or account of a subject, especially an extensive subject; concise treatment: a compendium of medicine.

2. a summary, epitome, or abridgment.

3. a full list or inventory: a compendium of their complaints.

So, my January Compendium of EMWA goes something like this:

Things NOLA

One of my favorite things about living in places like Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans is living in a city that is a prime location of the film and music industries. Going into a restaurant and recognizing “Coach” sitting at a nearby table; riding the ‘L’ and coming alongside a taping of an ER episode; taking swing dancing lessons in LA and having Gina Davis (who towers over me!) pass by me on her way into the dance studio; passing by Ludicris and his family on the street; and having such actors as Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, and Jessica Lange filming at my school (the season ending of American Horror Story was filmed a couple of weekends ago in one of our science rooms) are all novel experiences. It’s not often, however, that I get their take on a place I’m residing in. David Byrne (former lead singer of Talking Heads) has been in town recently and wrote a 3-part piece about his experiences in his Journal. So interesting to hear his take on this complicated city. He covers everything from FEMA inspection signs to great restaurants to, of course, local music and I’m impressed.

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Things BC

Chris at Chris’s Cancer Community shared the poem of a friend of his this month in A Life After Surgery (Breast) that really struck home.  Here are a couple of her great lines (I highlighted those that were especially meaningful):

“Cancer’s not a journey, it’s a slog,
The media says fight to be “top dog”;
I’m being me, my mutilation’s fine,
I just can’t be a health freak all the time!!!
Whilst I look slightly changed, I’ll jolly on,
So why are you embarrassed -that’s just wrong?
Your fearing re occurrence cramps my style,
Could fashion be one boob, once in a while?
The sorrow gets me down because you see,
I’m actually rather proud of being me.

I’ve realized my body’s an illusion,
You’ll grow old too, and cells are a confusion…
There’s definitely beauty still within,
But wanting it outside too, that’s my sin!
I’m not the same, but can I still be normal?
I want some frills, not function or formal,
I’ve conquered getting out, I would like swimming,
But plunging necklines limit somewhat gym’ing!

It sure is difficult feeling stylish around here when the fashion is all about the plunging neckline!

I started following Lisa Bonchek Adams’  blog and Twitter account over a year ago, around the time that her breast cancer metastasized. She is a wonderful writer–and teacher–who has helped me understand the challenges people face when they are diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She has an avid and, it turns out, extremely loyal following. A couple of weeks ago, two journalists, a couple, Emma Keller of the The Guardian and Bill Keller of the New York Times wrote pieces that basically attacked Lisa for her use of social media to share her experiences with breast cancer and life in general. While angry at the Kellers, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the social media community that has circled around and supported Lisa. There was some amazing writing about this whole situation, including pieces by Nancy at the Pink Underbelly, Elizabeth at My Eyes Are Up Here, Renn at The Big C and Me, and Nancy at Nancy’s Point. Marie at Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer even dedicated her Weekly Round Up to Lisa Adams, masterfully weaving together the writing of over 20 writers/bloggers who shared their insights and opinions. The backlash against the Kellers actually resulted in an NPR piece Dying in the Digital Age–When Should the Conversation End?–and Lisa’s Twitter following increasing by over 8000 followers!

And that will be a wrap for this month’s Compendium of EMWA. Trying to make this monthly in 2014!

4 thoughts on “Compendium of EMWA–January

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