Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Must read for cancer writers and bloggers

During my guest blogging stint at CureToday.com I enjoyed a good conversation with my editor about how quickly we run out of words when we are writing about cancer.
Even if you use every cliche and metaphor in the book, by the end of an article it's a struggle to find new "attributions".
I loved this article from the New York Times on just that dillema.

image from zazzle.com


  1. Thanks for the link to the article. Dana Jennings put into words how I believe many cancer patients feel especially after treatment. However, while going through treatments the cliches and metaphor helped motivated me to do everything I needed to do to treat and prevent future cancer. I used many of them on my blog during that time.

    Now that I'm out of treatment (9 months) and not in the "heat" of all the emotions that goes with it the words are harder to come by. My hair has grown back. I'm not sick or burned. Those cliches don't seem to fit the feelings and emotions I have now. I'm not sure what words fit at this time so it becomes harder to write about having had cancer.

  2. Thanks for sharing this article. I agree; the cliches just don't cut it. The one thing I don't agree with is the statement, "You’re here, the cancer has arrived, and the disease is going to feed until your doctors destroy it or, at least, discourage it."

    I think we all have a role in our healing by the choices we make in our lifestyle, attitude and spirit. Doctors only do a small portion, in my humble opinion. I've learned from my experience interviewing "survivors" for my book that people who look beyond the medical treatments and also take responsibility for their health and well-being are the ones with the best outcomes.

  3. Great article link! Dana really summed up how I felt during treatment. I hated those cliches of fighting and battling cancer, I cringed when people told me how brave I was. I sure didn't feel like I was fighting anything, and I certainly didn't feel brave. I think it was more like treading water, trying to just get through day, hoping for the pain to stop. I didn't look like myself, didn't feel like myself, and I was scared all the time. But I persevered. And I got through it.

    After, I realized, hey, that was really brave of me! I'm a fighter! I think the cancer cliches kicked in for me after treatment, and I like them! I draw on those cliches and metaphors today, and they remind me of what a strong person I really am.