Journaling Cancer in Words and Images
by Harriet Claire Wadeson, PhD, LCSW, ATR-BC, HLM
Cancer imposed its own special kind of helplessness as I was cut open and parts were either removed or irradiated and blasted with chemicals that destroyed cells and interfered with my physiological functioning. People turn to a number of outlets under this kind of duress – religion, meditation, music. For me, I needed to do something. Writing and making art were my saviors in times of trouble or pain in the past, so it was only natural for me to turn to them to help me through cancer.
by Linda Goss
I’m in the light,
But I’m not out
Of the woods.
A Journey Completed
by Alyssa Phillips
My story has a happy ending, but it didn’t exactly start out that way – at all. In order for me to tell you how I got to where I am today and what I learned along the way, I must first tell you where I began.
The Trouble with Hope
by John Ptacek
I had a strained relationship with hope before my wife was diagnosed with cancer. To me, hope was a high waiting for a low, a fix with a nasty flipside. Far from the precious entity exalted by legions of poets and philosophers, hope was just another coordinate on the pain and pleasure cycle, existing in infinite balance with its opposite.
My Doctor Fired Me!
by Michele Forsten
“You’re no longer my patient,” Dr. L, my trusted gynecologist of 15 years, told me. “Where do you want me to have your records sent?” What had I done to deserve this? Argue relentlessly about a bill? Get caught stealing K-Y jelly? None of the above. What I did was try to take care of myself the best way I knew how.
by Joanie Shawhan, RN
I do not send Christmas letters, not because I am lazy or too busy, but I rarely have anything newsworthy to share. I am unable to testify to the exploits of talented, gifted, brilliant, amazing, or perfect children, as I have none. I am not the proud owner of a clever pet, such as a chocolate lab that consumed a string of popcorn from the Christmas tree and carefully rearranged the cranberry strand over the bare boughs.
One Hat, Two Hats, Red Hats, Blue Hats
by Joanie Shawhan, RN
My sister said, “We have to make this fun!” I had just had surgery for ovarian cancer. I was devastated, in pain, scared, and unsure of my future. The chemotherapy would make me sick and bald.
That’s What Friends Are For
by Katharine Hoffmann
Just when life seemed a little too easy, I received a phone call from my doctor. She said the results from my Pap smear came back abnormal, but not to worry, “it’s probably just nothing,” she reassured me. The samples were sent to the lab for further testing, and a few hours later, I got another phone call. “You have Stage IIA cervical cancer,” my doctor told me.