It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thank you to this month’s IWSG co-hosts: Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! Today I will be writing about my experience writing about my husband’s cancer journey on his CaringBridge blog, as I answer the IWSG Day question for May:
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Maybe it doesn’t qualify as an early experience, but it has by far, been the experience with the most impact. I always loved writing, but I didn’t know if other people loved my writing. Then, I began to tell the story of living with his cancer. At first, he was the one writing on his CaringBridge. I didn’t feel like it was my place. But after a while, he got too sick and too fatigued to put the words on the page.
So I took over writing the CaringBridge posts.
In those early CaringBridge posts, I simply reported what happened at his appointments, what decisions we were faced with, and how people could pray for our family. My husband was a well-loved man who knew a lot of people, so these things were important. Then, as like got harder, we faced a lot of life and death decisions. More people became interested in his story because of who he was and how unusual he was to have survived as long as he had with stage IV lung cancer. Originally, doctors estimated that he had 6 months to live. He lived 6 1/2 years.
His life was also interesting because of how he chose to spend that time.
He made so many memories with family and friends. He was always taking someone out for breakfast so he could encourage them. Dan had a constant desire to support the people he encountered each day, It was hard for him to accept when his health made these things difficult to do. He especially loved his 6 kids and had a desire to live until our youngest graduated high school.
The CaringBridge was a powerful medium.
I was able to share our experiences with friends, family, and even strangers.
As you can see, since we first started the CaringBridge, the site has had 1.378 unique visitors. They have visited his site 105,914 times! That’s pretty amazing.
One of the things that surprised many people was how open and frank I was when I would share what we were experiencing. This was something I often struggled with. More and more, though, I am seeing how important these things are to talk about. So I plan to write more about living and dying with cancer. Particularly what it’s like utilizing in-home hospice and having children around in the process.
These are important topics.
And someone must find value in them. My book Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, is a finalist in the Midwest Independent Publishing Association’s Book Awards. I am hoping it wins an award. For all of you Insecure Writers out there, this is the book, whose manuscript I threw in the trash, more than once. Thank goodness my husband coaxed me into pulling it back out. Oh, how I miss him…
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.