Writing Helps

I will never tire of writing the story of me and my experiences as a seven, soon to be eight, year survivor of stage IV anal cancer. A lot of my life is consumed with maintaining or improving my well being. I think I have something a-kin to PTSD only this one is caused by cancer not war. I understand that people are tired of my cancer and being included in my essays. I need to just “get over it” for God’s sake already. Just. Shut. Up. But, for me, talking about it helps. Writing about it helps more. I need to write. Sometimes, even when I don’t want to, if I sit and try I feel a sweet catharsis when I finish with the struggle with diction. I don’t expect that anyone understands my need to write to feel OK  inside. Let me try to explain it here.

Most days I feel safe and secure. Sometimes I am petrified. Even as well as things are going right now; things could change in a second and that cough that won’t go away, that pain in my side, that blood on my toilet paper, those could be my cancer coming back to lord over my days, my nights and my life.This musters up a cold sweat that words cannot explain. I don’t want to go back there. Writing helps.

Most days I feel care free. Sometimes I am anxious. The cough, the pain, the blood I described above that could appear at anytime cause a hum in the background of my life and across my mind everyday. This creates anxiety occasionally. Nobody wants me to express it out loud, but writing helps.

Most days I am happy. Sometimes I am sad. I have networked the hell out of social media and met many women like me in very similar situations. I witness the joys and the pain they experience as well. Many do not fair as well as I and many have passed away from this life. This makes me melancholy from time to time. Those around me want me to cheer up. Writing helps.

Most days I am able. Sometimes I am fatigued beyond words. I live in constant pain. I am in no way looking for pity for this. I’m in pain and that’s just a fact. I do all I can to minimize it and have no interest in narcotic use. Discomfort is my norm and I can’t remember what’s it’s like to be pain free. Some days it is a forethought to every single thing I do. Believe it or not, writing helps.

So, I am back to my blog. Reengaged as it were. Expressing my hope, my joy, and my happiness along with my fear, my anxiety, and my grief. Recovery from cancer is forever and lucky for me...writing helps.

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WOW! Ditto!!
Thanks for putting into words, my world too!
Big hug to all of us.
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Thank you for your post Michele. I do hope your friends and family understand that, as you put it, cancer is forever, and they don’t begrudge you expressing negative feelings that do come along with cancer survival much of the time. I’m glad that writing helps to fill the gap between what they can tolerate and what you need to say. It’s always such a balancing act. Best to you.
Exactly how I feel. Most days I am very positive and enjoy life to its fullest. However, there are those days when the dark cloud takes over, especially if I am feeling pain, or some other new issue. My mind always goes to the worst place. My family thinks I am overly sensitive and need to try and put things in perspective. Yes, that is true, but they don't walk in the shoes of a cancer survivor.
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Your words and writing bring me peace, I can’t thank you enough for sharing and for your honesty! 💗
Easterly, Michele like this comment
Thanks..as always Michelle.. perfect words.
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So glad you are writing again, Michele! You express all of our thoughts so eloquently, and I love reading your posts. When my treatment was over, I definitely felt like I was suffering from PTSD. These days, I live with a low level of chronic pain from my treatment, but when people ask how I am I say I’m great. Because considering the alternative, I really am great. Thank you again, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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So inspiring Michele! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family!
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I get it Michelle. Ca is still the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing on my mind at night. In between, I'm ok because my mind is occupied with stuff. I think it's why I stay here at bfac. I think it's very important to maintain contact with other survivors, friends for life.
Michele likes this comment
I’m so glad writing helps you. And your writing helps others, too. How sweet it is to read in your post, “...soon to be eight...”. Wow.🙋
Michele, Paula like this comment
Hey there Michele...PTSD is definitely not just about war, and you were at war in any case with That Beast...I think that writing has eased PTSD long before we knew what to call it, and your blog has definitely helped many many others with their struggle. Thank you for posting and sharing...HUGS
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I agree your writing helps many😀
Michele likes this comment
Michele, please don't ever stop writing. It may be a catharsis for you, but it is also for us. You are able to express so much through your writing that benefits us all.
I am so sorry you are in constant pain. You are a strong and amazing woman and I so enjoy your blogs. Please never stop. 🙂
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Poetically expressed and sung with a lyricism pleasing to the ears although difficult to hear...and so here is to writing, and how it both helps to enable survival as well as enhance it and add something to your life..and others..WRITE ON.... keep on writing on
Michele likes this comment
Beautifully written, Michele. I couldn't have said it better. Being a cancer survivor is definitely a practice in emotional and physical ebb and flow. I find that cancer often whispers to me "don't forget" in such ways as you have described. Sending lots of love and hugs your way, my friend!
Michele, Linda like this comment
Thank you Michele for sharing your gift with us for you definitely have a gift for expressing yourself in words. Reading your posts is comforting because it gives a voice to my own feelings and I realize I am not alone. To be discounted and discarded by others who don’t understand our pain is so hurtful and isolating. A nurse friend once said to me that people don’t realize “ cancer is a CHRONIC illness”. I feel that some people want me to just be healed or die. I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain Michele. You have used your talent to ease the suffering of many fellow cancer fighters and survivors. And we are so grateful. ❤️Paula
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Keep on writing!! Do what makes you feel happy!! You deserve to be happy and also your writing helps others... Praying you will stay cancer free forever!! Amen
Michele likes this comment
Not sure why but this latest blog did not show up in my mail box. Luckily I found it. Your writings have been such a source of help from my very beginning as a "newbie" on this site seven - yes seven - years ago & continue to give me a boost. So please don't stop. HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you & yours and all good wishes for the New Year. Hugs Annabelle
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Thanks for sharing, Michele. Writing helps me too. Whether it’s typing out in a post or handwriting in my journal. There’s an incebile healing power in expressing our feelings and thoughts. Hugs to you. Angela xo
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You were just with me a few weeks ago when I went for my CT. There was a new guy there and he was rushing and the needle hurt and pushing the med in hurt and I was over come... and while in the tube I thought I was going to lose it and then I thought of you and those hands of yours and I just let the fear go and and made it through another one, after going on 6 years of this... I just thankyou for always going to my appointments with me .. (in spirit) because it's such a comfort and support... love you .. hugs and always prayers Sabina.... Happy New Year my friend:)
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Sabina, Thank you for the lovely words...♥️
Keep writing Michele!
Michele likes this comment
Michelle, I have Stage 4 AC too and I look to you as an inspiration. Please don't stop writing and doing your good work on behalf of the foundation. I am sad to hear that you live in constant pain. Why is this? I had my first bout of sciatica about a month ago and it was hell. Fortunately, it resolved after a week on steroids. But hearing that you have a constant sciatica? However do you endure/manage it? And why do the doctors think you have it? Just know that you are in my prayers and also know that many people on this blog look to you for guidance and real help when they are frightened. You are almost eight years out! How I envy you! You give me hope that perhaps, I too can make it that long.Stay the course, Michelle. You are loved and you are needed.
Michele likes this comment
Your kind words came at a good time for me. I will answer all your questions soon. I am grieving the loss of my closest friend this week. I will be back in the saddle soon. Michele
My deepest sympathies to you. Take all the time you need.
So great to re-read this. Happy birthday!
Michele likes this comment
Thank you!! You're so sweet!!
Happy birthday Michele! Hope you have something fun planned!
Michele likes this comment

It's a 15 second birthday Diddy to bring you cheer and some happy breaths and say hope your day is just the way you'd like it to be
Michele likes this comment
Happy Birthday Michele and many many more. Enjoy your celebration.
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Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp


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