Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Killing Ink Cartridges and Trees

I did something crazy the other night. I stood next to my desk and fed innumerable sheets of paper into my printer. I put in a chunk about half an inch thick, the maximum amount my printer can handle. Then I did it again. And again. And again. Finally it stopped. When I flipped over the mass of pages the words that stared back at me were these: NO WORDS

Way back in May (I had to check to find that out- I could have sworn it was June or July) I wrote a post titled Write it Out. That post was a promise to myself to go back into the stories I'd written in the years before and finish my cancer memoir. Despite a busy summer full of tutoring and trips, I did find some time to revisit all those word documents. I picked up where I left off and I tried my best to fill the gap between the end of treatment and when I finally felt whole again. I thought about it a lot and I decided that point was when I stopped keeping my cancer a secret, which happened when I won the Lilly Oncology on Canvas competition a year ago.

I'm still ambivalent about what I want to do with this hundred-plus page document, but a request was made for a copy to read, so I printed it. I intended to pack it up in a big envelope and mail it away, but it's been sitting on my desk for almost a week and I kind of want to read it myself.

After I finally do read it, I'll address it to someone who met me in the middle of treatment. I say I am sending it to her because she asked, but I don't think I'd let just anyone read it. She is the fourth grade teacher I was randomly assigned to work with during my last semester of college. She was my student-teaching mentor and I can only imagine what she thought when I told her the first time I met her that I not only had cancer but was planning on student teaching while doing chemo. But she welcomed me into her classroom, taught me a lot, and along the way we forged a relationship that went beyond professional duty and have met for three hour catch-up lunches each summer since we worked together.

So when she asked to read it at our most recent lunch, I knew I had to print it out. Eventually I'll send it to her, and I hope she approves.

Hope, Love, Run,
-Marathon girl


  1. I really wish I would have found your blog sooner! We have very similar situations and it seems so rare to find someone as young as us going through this horrible battle with Melanoma. I'm glad it seems you are doing well. I'm currently working on starting a non-profit to support individuals with cancer, so I haven't been blogging all that much. I really hope we can connect, it would be nice to have a friend my age who understands all we are facing daily.

    Keep up the fight, we can beat this for good!

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