Cancer Is Crap: An Intro

When Leanne was asked to blog for Chatelaine for the month of October in 2008, about six months into her battle, she was reluctant. She hated cancer’s presence in her life already, without it becoming her public identity—she didn’t want to be Cancer Girl. But she loved to write. Leanne’s greatest gift (among her many) was her incredible artistry with language. Her ability to construct a brilliant, lyrical sentence, nail an argument, throw a perfectly timed witty remark defined her.

The blog presented an opportunity to write openly, frankly and freely about living with breast cancer and it became her voice of refusal to be crushed by the disease. Leanne was determined to live her life on her own terms and not allow cancer to change who she really was. And she never let it do so. It wasn’t Cancer Girl she became through the blog, it was the writer she always wanted to be, reaching thousands, touching people’s hearts, making them laugh, cry and care deeply about a woman they never met. She loved so many things about her life, but in the two years that she fought cancer, her blog, and connecting with its vast audience, was undoubtedly her most personally satisfying accomplishment.

For the next 18 months, Leanne’s blog (Chatelaine’s most popular) became a platform for her wicked humour, for her realities of what it is really like to have metastatic breast cancer, for her love of life and of her husband and baby daughter, for her hopes and her eternal optimism and for her to share the deepest, darkest fears of everyone who has ever been afflicted with this ugly disease. And it became, through her brilliant writing ability, her vehicle to reach out to thousands of people, most of whom she never knew, who were her army of hope. Through their responses to her posts, they strengthened her and they gave her the inspiration and energy to never stop believing that she could, and indeed that she would, survive cancer’s relentless grasp.

Her blog was the book she never wrote. It became her passion. Even on the day she died, she still wanted to write another post for her followers. She would be thrilled to know that her words may be read today by other women like her, young and not so young, who never chose this disease and refuse to become its victims. Her experiences, her emotions, her highs and lows are as relevant today as they were when she wrote them. We are as proud to share them as we are proud of her courage to write them.

And we know she would want you to contribute generously to the work of Rethink Breast Cancer and other similar organizations dedicated to helping others who are as determined as she was to live long and happy lives free of cancer, with love and with hope forever.

Thank you, for Leanne.

Leanne’s family has generously allowed us to republish her blog. Check back soon for the first post and follow along as we share Leanne’s inspirational story and voice with a new audience.

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