I read such an unusual and refreshing blog post the other day. It was a guest post on Bringing up Goliath and written by a bloke.
Breast cancer tends to be an overwhelmingly female terrain, not surprising given that the disease predominantly affects women. Therefore much of the Breast Cancer blogosphere is put up there by women. I do follow some blogs which are written from a male perspective, and these tend to be from the husband or partner of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. And there are not many of these blogs.
This post, however, was written by the brother of the blog’s author. And just to add an extra dimension, we learned that their mother had also been diagnosed with breast cancer a number of years earlier. The post highlighted the very different experiences these were. Yep – the same guy but two very different and harrowing experiences.
It really opened my eyes. It made me think of how different the experience is for the different members of my family. It went on to remind me how much pressure men and boys are to hide their emotions in many contexts, and just how much goes into suppressing and banishing feelings.
There is a certain young man in my life who has said that he finds my blog hard to read. I could understand and respect that, much as I tried to encourage and persuade him to read my ramblings. I better understand his reluctance now. This post has brought a whole new realisation of the complexity of the different dynamics in a relationship and how this impacts on a cancer diagnosis. And how much the cancer diagnosis has a variety of meanings and effects for the assorted people in our lives and at different times in our lives.
It also highlights the complexities of our various family and other relationships. This really reflects the very different dynamic that tends to characterise the relationship between mother and son compared to that between brother and sister. There is then a different pain and fear experienced and this leads to distinctive reactions and responses in the way that those close to us deal with this challenge.
I know that my eggshells rant was very introspective and self centred. Thank you, Bringing Up Goliath, for the welcome reminder to me not to wallow in my self absorption and to consider the way that cancer has affected us all.