Friday, October 16, 2015

Stolen Joy

"I don't want you anymore
Cause you took my joy

I'm gonna go to Slidell and look for my joy
Go to Slidell and look for my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy"
 - Lucinda Williams

Me and Pickle ... we are Terrier Tough
so don't even Fuck with us
Photo: Kris Hundt
  I have always loved the song "Joy" by Lucinda Williams, she belts it out in such a forceful way that you think Joy is some sort of physical object that you can take back and put in your pocket. According to Rolling Stone Magazine the song was originally penned as a kiss off to an unfaithful lover, Williams says "Joy" has always been a song "of triumph – a 'kick in the ass, screw you, motherfucker, I ain't takin' this shit no more' – song,".

Over the years cancer has stolen our joy countless times by taking Scottie dogs from us. A year and a half ago our sweet girl Pickle was diagnosed with bladder cancer and she is still hanging in there, she is terrier tough. In March I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and so once again cancer has darkened our door and stolen our Joy. I have had 8 rounds of Chemo, a bilateral mastectomy, and now radiation. Because of the stage of this cancer I will likely be in some sort of treatment for the rest of my life. They do not talk cure because it has traveled or metastasized to other parts of my body. They do think they can control the beast and I will have many more years ahead of me.

 I am doing great, my scans last June showed that I was kicking cancer's ass, and it was shrinking at that time. I have scans again at the end of the month and I am sure the news will be good.
I feel great, I should ....  I am working hard enough at being healthy. I have lost 30 lbs due to life style changes. I gave up both wine and Diet Coke, cut down on carbs and cut out sugar from my diet. I am exercising with Zumba classes. I am doing everything right, but still trying to find the joy, I know it is within reach.

For years I have wanted to find my voice on this blog and speak with more authenticity. I have always kept it light and business oriented, not wanting to get too personal. I try to educate other artists with tips and I try to inspire others that want to make a living at art, because yes it can be done. I could not get back to blogging until I was ready to share the journey I am on. I think I am ready to do that. I am heading in a great direction, cancer does not define me, but it has stolen my joy and I am going to get it back.   "I ain't takin' this shit no more." I may have to go to West Memphis, but I will find my Joy. I will find my Joy.

Me and Pickle
Photo: Kris Hundt


Sheila Finkelstein said...

Thanks, Becca, for bravely "coming out" and publicly sharing. It will make a difference for you, I'm sure, and for countless other people. I am so glad for you, Dan, your dogs and all of us that you are doing so well. To you ongoingly increasing and sustained health. Wrapping you in love.

Kristen Druckenbrodt said...

You are terrier tough, brave and beautiful and I'm so glad that you finally shared this news with the rest of us that care about you. I too am a breast cancer survivor and I remember how helpful it was to just be able to talk about what I was going through with those friends and family that were comfortable enough doing that. Nothing can prepare you for those experiences, but I did find it therapeutic to talk to others that had taken a similar path and had arrived at a good place. It sounds like you are doing everything right and I'm so glad that you are feeling well. That's a huge accomplishment after what you've been through. If you EVER just want to talk ... I'm there. Sending lots of good juju and positive vibes your way. Kristen

Rebecca Collins said...

Thanks Sheila, Thanks so much!

Moira said...

Thank you for sharing. It's not easy. I'm still reeling from your "coming out," but wanted to let you know how glad I am that your scans look good and you are feeling well. I'm going to private message you when I get my thoughts together but wanted to share that I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in both breasts last October. I had two lumpectomies, lymph node removals, and 6 weeks of radiation. I stopped blogging on Dog Art Today for many reasons. Mainly, I needed to be in a cocoon. People say and do weird things when they hear the word cancer. In fact, as I write this, I'm worried I might be saying or doing the wrong thing -- like making your cancer about me. So I will sign off but would love to connect and compare notes. Sending love and doggie kisses from my muse and male nurse Tyler Foote. xo, Moira

Anonymous said...

Bec! I've always been inspired by you. Your fantastic art, your strong business sense, your willingness to help others...all of the things are great strengths. I'm so happy that you're sharing your story. There are many women who will learn from your experiences. Your personal experience gives you strength. You've always been an ass kicker. Keep kicking it!!


Rebecca Collins said...

Thanks Moira & Eve... I am so glad I did come out to my on-line pals. You guys have been creating with me for a long time, your support means the world to me.

Rebecca Collins said...

Thanks Kristen, I love hearing from other survivors, especially artists that I know to be strong and healthy.