I was determined not to cry as I wrote this, damn it! I got through the title just fine, and then wham.

For those of you uninitiated in the twitterverse, get with the program! Imagine forcing everyone to say what they mean in 140 characters or fewer and you’ll get the beauty of it! And lest you think nothing profound can be said in 140 characters, you should join us for #BCSM tweetchat on Monday evenings (9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific) and then tell me what you think! (P.S. that “#” thing is there to help you search the twitterverse and track conversations, just as “@” helps you track people.)

Rachel Cheetham Moro was one of those who could sock quite a punch in 140 characters. She was clear, fierce and strong in all that she shared. And her voice rang out with urgency and passion right through her very last tweetchat on Jan 23, 2012. That night, when talking about the lonely road that is metastatic breast cancer, Rachel first wrote:


The other thing abt living with mets, is our worlds start to shrink. That’s where fearless friends are so important. #bcsm

I don’t think many of us immediately understood the deep power of her words that night, just as we did not understand that it would be her last tweetchat with us. Rachel died exactly two weeks later. #FearlessFriend is one of the many ways in which she lives on.

And now I have a friend who is facing some bumps in her road, and is living with the reality that we never know what life will send us next. As I read her most recent blog post it occurs to me that #FearlessFriend may, for me, need some tweaking. In some ways it has come to represent the myriad of online twitter and blog relationships that have been cultivated by and between cancer survivors and supporters (including previvors, docs, caregivers and more!), specifically in the #BCSM chat community.

But it’s a misnomer. Right now I am afraid. I’m afraid for my friend and what she and her loved ones are facing. In fact, we are afraid together, which is a much better way to be when you’re afraid. Out of respect for the “power of the hashtag” as my friend Jody (@jodyms) so aptly coined it, I’m sticking with it, but for me #FearlessFriend is so much more than it seems – it’s about those friends who can fear with you, and still be there.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vtashman
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 07:41:24

    Thanks for this post, Lori. Rachel was an incredible person and advocate. I love how her words live on and continue to inspire!


  2. Barb Bristow
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 08:58:37

    My new fearless friend Lori… I have always thought fearless friend to mean that we have no fear of becoming friends in light of the stupid common denominator cancer. We’re not fearful to get close to …to comfort – to cry together – to grieve together. But it is most certainly ok to be afraid together. Thank you for being my fearless friend without even giving it a second thought. Love to you. Barb


  3. Susan
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 09:31:25

    Lori I just love the #fearlessfriend word as so many times we want to sat the right thing. Thank you #fearlessfriend for also reminding us how great Rachel was.


  4. phxross
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 10:35:47

    I’m always here for you, whenever and whatever you need. No expiration date on that…..at least 35 years…..and couting 🙂 (Karin)


  5. Kathleen Hoffman, PhD
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 10:41:37



  6. Anonymous
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:23:50

    luv u!! i’ve learned from you – with you – what #fearlessfriend truly means and the importance of it….i am here with you, for you – and always will be. and, i know it’s vice versa. xo


  7. chemobrainfog
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 13:35:04

    There are tears blinding my eyes right now…. I didn’t get past the title and I guessed where you were going with this. I love you, Lori. You are a treasure and my world is INFINITELY better because you are my friend. My Fearless Friend. Thank you for these words….. Thank you for reaching out to remind me I am not alone. Thank you for the gift of you.



  8. NotDownOrOut
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 14:37:58

    Lori, you inspire all of us to be fearless friends to others. I am sad to learn of your loss of a dear friend.


  9. DrAttai
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 18:39:22

    #FearlessFriend does not mean that we are without fear. It’s that we’re not afraid to stand with and for those who need us. The horrible reality of cancer makes us all afraid. But we’re not so scared that we won’t support each other.


  10. BlondeAmbition
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 22:41:31

    Spot on, Dr. Attai … a beautiful post, Lori and I know of whom you speak. I would add the words ‘unconditional’ to all of the definitions above. Such a comfort knowing all of you. xx


  11. Nancy's Point (@NancysPoint)
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 07:15:43

    I’m sorry about your friend, Lori. To me being a fearless friend doesn’t mean we are not afraid. It means that no matter how afraid we might be or become, we will always be there for one another. I will never forgot that chat you mentioned. I’m grateful for all my fearless friends, including you, Lori. Wonderful post.


  12. Trackback: FEARLESS / SANS PEUR « Cancer inflammatoire du sein (CIS)

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