I’ve done it. After five painstaking months, I’ve completed the third draft of “Thank God for Cancer” (formerly My Cancer Story). If you’re a consistent reader of mine, you’ve likely noticed my absence from the blog. Now that I’m a Writer’s PA (first on Ratched, now on 9-1-1), finding free time is hard, especially when I was knee-deep into the hardest draft of any piece of written work I’ve attempted in my life.
Chapter 93: “Pay it Forward”
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As busy as I had proved to be, I wanted to do more to help others who were currently fighting their own cancer battles. It was another reason for my existence beyond those four colorless walls, and yes, it satiated my Survivor’s Guilt– but I personally wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my visitor, Mitch. And sure enough there was only one thing holding me back; I thought that oh too toxic thought: “I don’t know how.”
Luckily, I was asked by one of my former nurses to speak to a patient that was upstairs combating the children’s version of Leukemia, ALL. I had a brief moment of pause, not because she asked me to do it, but I wondered how I would navigate such a conversation with a fifteen-year-old. I was almost twenty-five, and I felt too far removed from my childhood. Then I thought of Tori, the girl in the hospital that was from Presque Isle. I seemed to talk with her just fine, and she was only fifteen then, so I decided to keep it simple. After my lapse in judgment, I said, “Yes, I’ll meet David.”
Chapter 91: “Reacquainted Passion”
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With that essay, I handily won the Brian K. Welch scholarship and with it, a renewed desire to reacquaint myself with my passion. Around the same time, a wonderful employee at NESCom informed me of an annual poem collective called “Crosscut,” which was accepting submissions. I hadn’t been focused on poems much lately, but I knew that it would be a welcomed reprieve from my Photoshop and video projects.
I wrote four for the book and believe it or not, two were accepted! I was overjoyed with their literal acceptance of my work! To me, it was a validation that my entire career wasn’t a fluke! Three of the poems had rhymed, and for the fourth, I played with the notion of revision, forcing myself NOT to rhyme. Here are the four I had submitted (the latter two of which, were chosen):
I can’t believe it. The day that put me into overdrive has finally arrived. Today is exactly two years to the day since I began sharing My Cancer Story. I realized this day was swiftly approaching back in November of last year, and thus, I typed feverishly to finish the first draft of this autobiographical novel as fast as possible, even though this story never began as a book. Continue reading
Chapter 86: “Broken Windows, Broken Relationships”
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This apartment was a surrealist breeding ground. Who knew that Travis and I could keep an apartment together? It was refreshing to have a roommate that did their share of cleaning, dishes, and trash removal. He even got the mail– without prompt! And we used to be at each other’s throats constantly!
Our friends, of both the former roommates and neighbor varieties, would also frequent our apartment. I remember one night, Shawn and I had been drinking a lot and I had seen Derek (the mutual friend that landlord, Trevor, and I shared) walk up our driveway. I thought it best to moon Derek as an innocent goof. Our windows were terrible at retaining any heat and were to be replaced soon; thus, I felt the cold exterior of the elements from outside upon my bare ass.
So today, I came across many revelations while reading the Whole30 book that made me realize that I have to reset my Whole30 food experiment. Find out what I did… Continue reading