Just thought I’d pause here to reflect on two and a half months worth of blogging. Firstly, I hope those of you who are following my posts are not too troubled by the non-chronological presentation of present and past. It is my intent to start with diagnosis and connect the dots to the present, but also to write about what’s going on in my life now. The present tense is super important in my tale, per the subtitle: LIVING with lung cancer. Were this a book, rather than a blog, there would be organized chapters. However, consider this the uncorrected proof.
As I recount the past four and a half years, I find that some of the retelling is quite painful. I don’t deny, but nor do I dwell, and writing about these experiences forces me to rehash the past in great detail. Can’t say I am always enjoying it. And yet, it has always been my intention to get it all down–for the sake of my children (a legacy if you will). At some point I decided that I would tell my story to a broader audience, and a blog seemed the perfect forum in which to share not only with my children, but with others as well.
Even given uneasy memories, I have discovered that the whole process of writing is something I’ve really taken to. I enjoy the ritual, and the sense of accomplishment that I am following through with an intention. I like the fact that it is somewhat interactive: see the numerous comments by Guillermo, in which he recounts his own story. His entries are like a little blog within a blog. I have enjoyed the participation of my family. My husband, David, proofreads most posts (his knowledge of punctuation is superior to mine) and my daughter, Jemesii, has helped me out immeasurably with the technical end. I have even made some new friends: people from the Lung Cancer Alliance support group who have contacted me after checking out the blog. It’s a great feeling, the ability to connect with people.
In a way it echoes an earlier avocation of mine; keeping journals. It was a habit I picked up in art school and which I continued until about five years ago–really, just about the time of my diagnosis. My journals were basically compendiums of sketches and jotting downs, collages and paste ins of anything that inspired me. They were a lot of fun, and though I never considered them a serious art form, they offered a spontaneity and lack of rigor that is sometimes difficult for me to find when painting. The little thumbnails are snippets from one of those journals.
When I realized that blogging could be a mixed media event: writing, pictures and even movies, I got pretty excited. I could tell my story, gradually get around to the sad and gory details (not too gory, as I’m not a fan of TMI), but also have some fun and post some pretty pictures. Yea! So, that’s what has been going on. I should reiterate though, that when I am writing about the science of lung cancer, I am dead serious in my approach. It is very important to me to not put any information out there that is incorrect. Some days I just get down to work and frankly, some days I just get down. Either way, it’s been cathartic, and each post about the past is like a closed chapter.
In my next post I will talk more about the weeks following my diagnosis almost four and one half years ago. Bear with me. It is a story that I need to take frequent breaks from; to concentrate on the present moment, and the glorious fact that I am alive.