The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Posts by Michelle Lawrence

Survivor, Chronic T-Cell Lymphocytic Leukemia

Can You Hear Me? Do You See Me?

by Michelle Lawrence May 15, 2024

I will not leave my bed this morning. Unshowered and in my PJs, I lay. My body is too heavy—laden with pain and sorrow. These later years are so different in my cancer journey than my earlier years. My cancer stayed, but in 15 years, the support has faded.

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Cancer’s Crash Course in Relationships…

by Michelle Lawrence April 30, 2024

Cancer is a disease caused by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. It has uncontrollably killed my relationships and then has divided my surviving relationships into abnormal categories. These categories are: cancer is slowly killing us, cancer made us stronger, and cancer left us somewhere in the middle. Cancer has impacted my friendships, and I haven’t found a treatment that works yet.

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What Was I Thinking?!

by Michelle Lawrence April 9, 2024

It had been a long, hot day, and my best friend offered to make me a bath. This was a simple yes or no question, but not for me. I paused for a few minutes to ponder her offer. I have factors to consider; I have chronic T-cell large lymphocyte leukemia. This past year, I have also taken on a mystery disease for fun, which has all the symptoms of chronic heart failure, but my heart is healthy.

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Aliens

by Michelle Lawrence March 20, 2024

As I slowly transition out of the shower, I glimpse myself in the mirror. I don’t recognize my body. I see bright-colored stretch marks, dark and angry bruises, cuts that won’t heal, and scars I can’t place. Unsolicited weight gain, sagging skin, and multiple chins.

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Surviving Survivorship: The Big C

by Michelle Lawrence February 28, 2024

The big C. The big C represents cancer, but change should be considered (I see the word change and sing “cha cha changes” in my head every single time). Change is a spectrum and is inevitable. Change can be good or bad, or something in between. It can impact you a smidge or profoundly, or something borderline. Cancer changes almost everything, especially perspectives.

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Cancer and Loneliness Are Besties

by Michelle Lawrence February 7, 2024

Cancer and loneliness are besties. They bond over the fact that each cancer journey is unique to the patient. They can gossip about how different we are and how cancer impacts us. The rumors are true; our treatment options, treatment plans, socioeconomic impact, family impact, etc., will all differ.

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Is This Mic On? Testing…123…Testing…

by Michelle Lawrence September 25, 2023

What we say to each other matters. Most of us know that but often speak before thinking. I know I have and will; I am human and make mistakes. I try to ensure my language is helpful, supportive, and sassy. I have learned that disclosing your cancer diagnosis invites people to share unsolicited thoughts, cancer stories, medical advice, opinions on your lifestyle, and so much more.

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Infertility Chose Me

by Michelle Lawrence July 19, 2023

I didn’t choose not to have children; my body decided for me. My heart and brain were left out of the decision. More than a decade later, this is my first time writing about this. My heart still hurts, and tears roll down my cheeks as I type this.

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Dual Diagnosis: Cancer Patient and Survivor

by Michelle Lawrence March 6, 2023

I consider a challenge to be a surprise; it sounds more fun. What I was concerned about at the beginning of my cancer journey are things I don’t even think about now. For example, managing the side effects of medication; I have that down to a science. I am a chronic cancer patient, and the unseen challenges/ surprises of survivorship might be slightly different than you think.

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A Letter of Love

by Michelle Lawrence October 19, 2022

Dear newer Michelle,

STOP. Pause. Please take the time to really listen to what I have to share. Sit down in a quiet spot, in the sun in the backyard, in your favorite chair. Take a deep breath. Ensure you will be afforded peace and quiet so that you really absorb what I am saying and take self-inventory. This letter is a letter of love that I want you to take to heart. 

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