Eyes Wide Open

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I’ve been through a lot in the past 20 years that only a handful of people know about.  I have shed quite a few tears, I have held in fear and anger, I have shut myself off from the rest of the world  unable to leave my home.  Basically, I have dealt with major issues in unhealthy ways and without the support I so desperately needed.

This past cancer scare opened my eyes to a support system I never knew existed and to one that powerfully uplifted me in ways I have never experienced, ever.  Don’t get me wrong, I have some of the most amazing friends that will jump on the next plane to Arkansas if I need them.  These friends will and have been by my side through the tough times without judgement or critisim.  They are true friends.

I discovered that by opening up and publicly sharing something so deeply personal that a support system that I didn’t even know existed came out of the woodwork.  I got text messages, phone calls, tweets, Facebook messages, Skype messages, emails and even flowers from my online community.  I went from knowing I had a few close friends to knowing I have an online community of hundreds who were sending me well wishes when I went for my biopsy and prayers for benign results.  I even learned of others that had or were currently going through the same thing. Others decided they needed to get their breasts checked out as a result of my openness.

Ted Rubin shared this quote in a comment that was all too perfect:

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~Jane Howard

Knowing what I know now has made the realization all too clear that in order to get through life’s troubling times I should share my experiences with others.




  1. I still get tears when I see that status! I am so thrilled!

    And when I first started sharing personal stories I was scared but found that there were others who needed to read what I had to say. I LOVE my online friends and supporters! Again… just wanted to say, “Yay!” :)

  2. You should always open up Courtney. You are a beautiful person and we want to share in your life! I was so happy to hear/read that everything turned out like this! I just KNEW it would! I’ve been sending sparkles of course. See you in a week! YAY on both counts. Relax this weekend, you deserve it!

  3. I experienced this very same thing when Will was in ICU for two weeks in June. I was humbled and in awe…. I still am.

  4. It is so hard to open up about things so personal such as this. I am/have been going through the same thing for about a year! I went in for a lump in the left side, and they found a lump in the right side!!! I look at that as pure luck. I handled the news well but the reality of what this really meant hit me sitting their in the waiting room in the hospital gown. I’m now on mammo #3 and we’re following the progression/lack of. Thank you for sharing, and yes, you are loved. :)

  5. So happy to see your results…what a relief! (I am about to leave for my 2nd mammo here in a few minutes!) Hope to have a few more answers by the time I leave).

  6. What awesome news … I’m celebrating with you!

  7. I am so happy to see this news, Courtney! You sharing helps yourself and so many others…so glad you did!

  8. I just let out a huge sigh of relief for you. So happy for your good news, and it makes me remember to “feel myself up” more often.

  9. Best wishes!Your blog is very good!


  1. [...] invited me to this event. Courtney Velasquez, VP of the Social Fabric Community and author of Discovering Arkansas, was amazing! My online connection to this woman did not lie to me. She was everything I’d hoped [...]

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