Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I’ve Had My Say

My art teacher reminded me of one basic rule last night: Know when to stop. Too often, artists overdo it, adding details to a painting that is already actually finished, ruining it in the process. I have done a lot of this in my artwork—extra lines that end up fighting with the rest of the scene and colors that don't match the original.

It’s the same with writing. As a writing teacher, I usually have to tell students that they have already ended an article, that any extra work only adds words but not meaning, perhaps even confusing the reader.

End when you are finished, I tell them.

Not helpful, they say. How do I know when I am finished?

Do you have anything more to say?” I ask.

Usually, the answer is no. They have exhausted the topic but don't feel secure to let it go.

So it is with this blog. I have been doing this for a tad over seven years and I now know it is time for me to stop. I have said what I have to say. I have gone as far as I can.

The world is far different in terms of triple-negative breast cancer than when I started. Other media outlets now regularly write about TNBC. And research has significantly increased, with the focus on metastatic disease and genomic testing. 

Women with TNBC are no longer the wallflowers at the breast cancer prom.  Fewer and fewer reports use the scary language—incurable, lethal, deadly—that defined the disease and the reporting on it in its early days. Yes, those words still sneak into some news releases, but that is no longer the standard.

So the time is right for me to move on. I will leave the blog up, as the information here remains current. I am not going to add to it, though. Instead, I am going to focus on general health writing, essays, and art. I am developing a more general blog on my website at It is a work in progress, so if you head there, be patient as I begin building a new body of work. And while I learn how to handle the blasted technology.

My book, of course, will remain a resource. And I will continue to give talks, but my approach will be more focused on overall health. And I will do writing workshops and coaching.

I have loved getting to know all of you and I appreciate how you have invited me into your lives. This has been rewarding and fulfilling.

But I have had my say.

Hugs to all of you.


Christi said...

My heart sank a little at first blush, but after I moment, I understood. You have done incredible work Pat, and you have been a compassionate friend, and valuable resource. Thank you for your passion for this topic and for comforting a newly diagnosed mama of two, three years ago. I look forward to keeping in touch. Love, Christi Dalecky

Patricia Prijatel said...

Thanks, Christi. I have really enjoyed getting to know you. And if you are in town and want to meet for tea, let me know.

Juanita Bainter said...

Hi Pat,

I am a 4 year Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor. I just received your book but had routinely checked anything, anywhere online for your comments and insight. You and your positive, upbeat attitude about this disease has been so encouraging to so many. Enjoy your time ahead and I will continue to enjoy checking in to this blog spot. So glad you are not leaving us altogether.

Best Wishes,
Juanita Bainter

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Thank you Pat for all your work in understanding TNBC as a patient and for providing comfort to those who are diagnosed and scared at what they first find on the internet. Are you going to blog on some other subject?
My blog first started as my reaction as a TNBC patient but cancer fortunately is just a bad memory. Yet my blog continues on as a photo journal of sorts. Good luck and best wishes

Patricia Prijatel said...

Sue: I have enjoyed our virtual friendship as well and have visited your blog and liked your diversity there. I will continue to blog on general whatever, but on my website at I have already transferred some of my non-scientific and non-TNBC specific pieces there and will add more as soon as I figure out how to do it. It will be low-key and fun, but will have a health component.

Patricia Prijatel said...

Wendee: I am glad the blog helps you. I will keep it up until it is outdated. Hugs.

Phyllis Jennings said...

Pat, let me add my gratitude for you, your book, and blog. Your voice and heart have provided intelligent clarity in the midst of much emotional ranting on this unfortunate topic.

So happy for you that you can move towards something new after shouldering this grave responsibility for all of us for so long! I'll look forward to your new blog and insights, most of all your thoughtful kindness.

Penny said...

I felt so sad, Pat, that you are ending your triple negative blog. What a great, one of a kind resource! But I am happy that you are moving on to other things you want to do. You were one of the most critical voices and information sources when I was first diagnosed with TN and then coped with a recurrence all between 2008-10. I have been cancer free since ever since. Your words and joy gave me something beyond hope and set the
e record straight. Thank you! Thank you.

Patricia Prijatel said...

Penny: Great to hear from you, and especially great to hear you are well! I am working on a new health-related blog I will let you all know about once it is up. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you have done on behalf of educating the world on triple negative, both in this blog and in your book.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your work with this blog. I have found it, and your book, very helpful over the past 3.5 years.