The kick came for me in the form of breast cancer. Cancer has a way of showing up in your life, unannounced, and take up all the space in the house. It’s a visitor you can’t ignore. Rowdy. Overburdening. Demanding. Draining. It derails your routine, your plans, your work, your sleep, and your relationships. You are called to muster enormous amounts of energy, self-discipline, resilience, and courage to endure its visit. Those of us who survive are forever transformed. In ways we could never have imagined.
Cancer has kicked and transformed me in many ways. Some are still unfolding. I looked at my website and realized that I could not go back to what I was doing before. So here am I starting anew. A new blog. A clean plate. A new adventure. I’ve kept the domain, but removed all its content – except for one poem. Writing essays that don’t engage my heart seems sterile now, as a cancer patient. As if one could separate one’s mind, from one’s body and heart. More than ever, the experience of cancer give me the visceral understanding that they are all connected. (And we are all connected).
I joined a writing workshop for cancer patients. There I discovered a new voice I had never given space to speak up before. Out of fear of sharing my vulnerability. Or out of delusion. I mistakenly thought that a rational mind was enough to comprehend the world. (Isn’t it what our education teaches us?) When I made space from my heart to speak up, I was surprised to discover what came out, and how my writing touched others. With the encouragement of friends, I am taking the next (bold) step. Sharing my vulnerable voice publicly. For this, I had to share my cancer diagnostic. It was not easy. My motivation for sharing is to heal and support others. I was told that my writing would be beneficial to cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors. And possibly others confronted with the pain of loss and illness.
This blog is a journey towards healing and connection. Connection between my heart, my mind and my body. Connection between the personal (my story) and the universal (the human condition we all share). Connection between the land of the ill and the land of the healthy. Cancer is a black box that is hard to understand from the outside. As such there is often an understanding gap between cancer patients and people who’ve never had cancer. I hope that sharing my experience openheartedly will help create a space for deeper understanding.
I invite you to join me on this path of renewal and connection. Sign up here to follow my blog and be notified of future posts. I look forward to reading your comments and seeing where the conversation goes.