Saturday, August 30, 2014

Calling All Authors: Can You Relate?

...Cancer...and so many other things...can get in the way of your writing. Life is interference. But you have to live...before you can truly write about it.
...My first child, my daughter, has cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Lukemia. She first got it last year and was diagnosed April 19th, 2013, then finally went home from the hospital after a four month constant stay. Exactly one year later, she just checked back in to battle the disease again on her birthday, August 5th.
...Unless you have watched someone you love suffer in this way, or unless you've fought the fight, it is hard to relate to the torutre of cancer or comprehend the slogan 'Cancer sucks'. But it does. It really, really does.
...I'm facing deadlines, but they'll have to wait. Even if I never get the book that's contracted out, I'll spend as much time with my daughter while she is in the hospital and once she gets out - until - we now she's back in remission - as possible. And then I'll finish editing the book.
...Living life is more important than writing about it, but writing about it can help with the living it part.
...I'm a teacher, and that makes my time away from work even more valuable. There's only so many hours in a day, and back to school came all to fast this fall.
...I went through a divorce a few years ago. That slowed down my writing. Then I picked it back up again.
...So the cancer won't stop my writing. It'll only slow me down a bit...and then I'll be back on the wagon, and hopefully, I'll have my daughter at my side.
...Mysery loves company. Email me if you want to share your story a about loss and love, or just talk. Venting is great medicine.


Big Mike said...

Yes, I've suffered with cancer on a personal level five years ago, and it was hell, eleven months in the bowels of he who rules over flies. Now, each time I learn of someone else enduring the demoralizing turmoil as they burn you with radiation and poison you with toxins, causes my stomach to knot. Prayers be with your family for what they must now bear.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Carmen Fox said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. For me, it was my nan. Stomach cancer. We assume it's from a lifetime on high doses of ibuprofen, which led to an ulcer, and ultimately, we suspect, cancer. Then she got better. She couldn't eat much after the op, but she was fine. For a while. They found spots on her lung. They called her in to check her out. Before we knew it, she was slipping away. A few days later she was gone.

It happened so fast, I didn't have time to book vacation time and visit her.

She lived into her 70s, still too young if you ask me.

This only gives me a glimpse of what it must be like for you. My nan part-raised me, because my mother was at work, and we were very, very close. Still, to see your child go through the pain and the uncertainty, trying to explain her situation to her by drawing on a life she hasn't yet lived, must be heart-wrenching.

My nan got me started on writing, so when she passed, writing was the best way for me to keep her with me. Perhaps you could use your writing to connect to your daughter. Not necessarily by writing for her, but by discussing storylines. It will tap into the creative part of her, the one that is also associated with happiness and hope.

All the best.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Right, Carmen, storytelling is healing and diverts attention from the fight with the best.

Rebecca, we have been fortunate not to have a lot of cancer in the family -- with one exception, my 71-year old favorite cousin , expat in Brazil.

It's always too soon to lose those we love. Losing a child is unimaginable. I’ll be praying for her recovery and increased strength in making that happen. Take care of yourself, too.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Correction, the BEAST, Mike calls it the beast.

Gabriella Austen said...

Cancer is a terrible disease and I'm so sorry for your family. Several close family members struggled through various forms of cancer so I know the long, hard struggle you face. The good news for me and hopefully for you, is they survive. I will light a candle for you daughter.

olgagodim said...

So sorry for you, Rebecca. Cancer definitely sucks and it affects more people every year. But children are the worst. My heart is with you.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Rebecca, Our personal lives do take a back seat when one we love is stricken. It's hard to believe that three years ago I received a call from my much younger sister. She had been diagnosed with untreatable cancer of the liver. I promised to be by her side the moment she needed me. That call came only a couple of weeks later while I was away at a writing conference. I dropped everything and flew to New York to be by her side for the next two months. Emotions ran the gamut every single day. I thank God for the excellent Hospice services, especially the counseling and emotional support. Yes, the writing can wait.