Thoughts During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 1st, 2011

2009 Walk for Awareness: Our Fight Against Breast Cancer

Most of us often think about cancer, but I suspect we do that more during October because it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s true what they say, I’m sure—everyone’s life has been affected by cancer. My experience in that regard has involved people I care about, but also has been unique to that of a writer. I have had the privilege of interviewing people who have had cancer and individuals who have lost loved ones to the disease. By phone, in person, by email, people have put their trust in me to tell their story and spread their message.

When I first did these interviews, I was uncomfortable, worried that I would either not ask enough or be too probing. I didn’t want to upset anybody or cause concern about the outcome of the interview. It was particularly difficult to speak with somebody who was not in remission or living with a poor prognosis. I soon realized that the people telling their story had conquered fears far greater than those associated with being the subject of a publication or feature article.

I’ve been told that it is validating to see one’s own thoughts and feelings in print. If that’s a service I provide, I’m glad. But I suspect it is the writer and readers of these always inspiring stories who benefit the most. My very best wishes and thanks to all who have so generously shared with me their thoughts, feelings and occasionally a few tears. Writing about people touched by cancer is a truly awesome part of my life.