Before I was ready to start posting about my nearly 2-year journey with cancer, I thought about why? Why me? What would I write about?
Why would people read my story?
Because my story is just that – my story. It’s not one of an unusual cancer or rare disease. I wasn't on the precipice of death or undergoing experimental treatment. In some ways, pieces of my story are not terribly uncommon, though in other ways, of course it is.
It is not the extremity or rarity of my story that inspires me to share, and I don’t think anyone’s experience needs to be any of those things in order to be valid, and valuable. Each story (cancer or otherwise) is individual, meaningful, and full of potential gems.
I write as a way to heal and move energy, for myself and for others. I share as a reminder that our experiences are unique but not solitary, even when what you're going through feels painfully isolating.
Stories can help us connect and resonate with others. Within them are threads that can bring us closer, regardless of differences or inexperience -- the foundation of compassion and empathy.
Recently I met a male cancer survivor who had gone through a hormonal cancer treatment that induced a state of menopause. Having also gone through a medically-induced (but thank heavens, temporary) menopause, I could relate. He is man, I am in my early thirties; neither of us should be personally familiar with the woes of menopause, but we are.