Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Well, what do you know?

Two posts in a week...this hasn't happened in some time. 

Tonight I came across a blog post from fellow blogger, Nancy.  Nancy does a great job addressing the "invisible" scars cancer survivors carry with them.  You can read her post here: Nancy's Point
Thank you Nancy for addressing an issue that is rarely spoken about...

So, I'm not sure if it is because I am approaching my 5 year cancerversary in December...or the loss of a few friends from this horrible disease, but I find myself thinking a bit more about the cancer journey.  Like Nancy shares in her post, cancer is a string of losses and some of us have some deep invisible scars that few will ever know--that is our reality. 

But along with that reality, I am beginning to understand the gift that has been given to me through my losses. You see, by staring death in the face--I know my time on earth is limited. This knowledge propels me towards a life I may have missed had I not traveled the cancer journey.  While it angers me the barbaric treatment that cancer necessitates--like chemotherapy and radiation--and some of the long term side effects that many of us experience frustrates me---THE GIFT OF LIFE IS SO WORTH IT!!!!! 

Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with me...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

National Novel Writing Month

Even though it was almost five years ago, I still remember a conversation with my oldest daughter that altered my life.  You see, we had just met my oncologists and learned about my treatment course. To be honest, it was very frightening...hearing that even though I had my breasts removed, I only had a 30% chance of cancer NOT returning.  Is it an oxymoron to say that we were thankful I could take chemotherapy which would increase my odds of survival to 70% survival?

It was in this conversation with my daughter that I discovered a passion that laid dormant in my heart.  I remember telling her, "You know, K, I'm really proud of my life. I know I have made mistakes, but I tried hard to be a good wife and mother. I work hard at my job as a nurse. I have good relationships with my family and friends....but if I had a chance for any would be to try my hand at writing."  Thus began my journey with Caringbridge, and at the completion of treatment--blogging. 

It is hard to believe how my life had changed once I opened up my heart to explore writing.   I met new people who quickly became my friends. I loved learning about the craft of writing. Yet, it seemed the more I learned about writing, the less I knew...

and the further away I walked from treatment--the more my passion once again got buried with the details of every day living.  It's been a struggle to find the time to write, and when I have the time--I find FEAR stops me from ever taking the next step.  Who am I to write? What do I write about? What could I possibly have to say that hasn't been said? So many questions tripped me I stopped writing--and went back to living on excuses. 

Not sure if it is because I am approaching my diagnosis date, surgery date, etc...but lately I  find myself pondering...and pondering...and pondering. Struggling with the question did the cancer journey mean anything? AND how come I couldn't find time to spend with my newly discovered passion--writing.

I came to this conclusion: the excuse and FEAR is the stumbling block. 

When a writer puts words to paper, there is a risk.  What if no one likes my words? What if my thoughts don't make sense? What if my grammar is all wrong? What if, tomorrow, cancer returned?

Do you know what "if" means? ..."I fear..."

As many of you know a few days ago we started the month, November.  I don't particularly like November.  The only thing good about this month is Thanksgiving.  (Which, incidentally is my favorite holiday.) So, how am I going to get through a month that I don't particularly like when I keep doing the "IF" dance?

Well...are you ready for this? I changed my dance steps and joined a challenge.  The challenge I joined is called NaNoWriMo, also called National Novel Writing Month.  In its 15th year, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) expects a historic 500,000 writers to join the largest writing event in the world.
The challenge? To write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. Half a million people
on all seven continents (including one very chilly writer at Antarctica's McMurdo Station) will set  aside the time to write their stories this November.
So there you have it...while I haven't written fiction since a child...and don't really have any ambitions to write a novel, I am excited for this jump start in rediscovering the passion of writing.

How about you? Have you had to learn new dance steps when it comes to doing the "IF" dance?

Happy November!