The Breast Cancer Diagnosis Club

Forgiveness, copyright 2013, Janet Hovde

Forgiveness, copyright 2013, Janet Hovde

Our family has a stunning prevalence of breast cancer on my mother’s side. Two of my maternal cousins, one about 5 years post-diagnosis, and one about 6 months post-diagnosis, were so helpful to me in my early days after diagnosis. One of them said, “Each step in and of itself is a huge step. The diagnosis is huge and overwhelming. You get used to it. The next step is surgery, which is a huge step. The next step is chemo or radiation or whatever. You take it step by step. Don’t look at the whole picture. Deal with today and tomorrow, not 3 months down the road.” The diagnosis itself was (and still is, 9 months later) a huge event. I’ll share some of it through more haiku:

Exhausting work is
Breast cancer diagnosis,
So much to process.
The diagnosis
Itself is a lot of work
Weary mind, big sigh.
The diagnosis
Wakes me up regularly
Weary body, sigh.
The diagnosis
Is overwhelming to me
Like a brand new job.
The diagnosis,
A club I never wanted
To join, ever, sigh.
The diagnosis
What do I picture it’s like?
Sad, bald, and puking.
The diagnosis
Not too soon for someone to
Bring us a good meal.
The diagnosis
Who do I tell, when and how?
What works best for me?

These postings started here. I invite you to write your own haiku (3 lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) and/or share this post with someone (you can use the buttons below). Thank you!


  1. Janet, your post has really touched me. You mentioned elsewhere that your art practice and your intuition overlap. It looks like it’s all overlapping with your own healing as well.

    As for haiku, I
    need to noodle quietly:
    Dogs barking: UPS.
    Harmony Harrison recently posted..I Will Eat Every Scrap of Color in This Room: Becoming ravenous for color while exploring the link between animal communication and artMy Profile

    • Harmony, It sure does ALL overlap. Healing and intuition and art are such integral parts of my life. Thanks for sharing your haiku! The big brown truck and a barking dog or two–they go hand in hand, don’t they?

  2. My friends are suffering
    What can I do about IT
    Send my love to them


  1. […] awareness, on the fringes of my consciousness, came to the front. Ah, yes! Two years today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One year ago next week, I received word of a close family member being diagnosed with breast […]

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