From writer to cancer survivor to writer again.
When I began writing my blog I named it “My Story Right Now” because I was desperate to have my cancer diagnosis be a part of my life and not my whole life.
I was diagnosed in 2009. I spent the summer of that year getting various tests to discover the reason for the lump in my breast and saying, “This is not my story.”
But it was.
I spent 3 years in active treatment with multiple surgeries, setbacks, and complications including a double mastectomy and chemo. I was bald. I gained weight and I felt like hell. Exhaustion was my middle name.
I was also a wife to my husband and a mom to our two kids. I was actively working to save my life and to raise them and be a wife. During the summer of tests and waiting for that impending diagnosis I created a creative writing course based on my own technique for writing and coaching and taught it to 6th graders while going through chemo.
My life was cancer centric for a time.
As the craziness of those 3 years came to a close I stayed active in the cancer community with my passions and concentrated on my family life.
Included in this time was fundraising for several charities and raising over $200,000 for two different groups and another 50K through generous donations given in my honor to others. I also seriously focused on teaching Breast Self Exam to teens and pushing the idea that we must all be comfortable with our own bodies and know them well enough to recognize change.
This idea is still one I am passionate about but I am getting back to my passions from before that adventure.
Back to my writing…
I have always written. Always.
I wrote my first song when I was about four but couldn’t write it down so I sang it to my dog. It was about her anyway.
Knowledge and wisdom are a gift to be shared.
It always makes you feel better to be helpful. So I began coaching in earnest. The plan is to eventually make my course an online experience but for now I am doing it through my downloads and newsletter and private one on one sessions.
For those of you who followed me through my cancer journey…thank you…from the depths of my heart.
Knowing you were reading helped me. Trying to be brave and positive for you helped me to be positive for me.
Writing is such a gift.
At its best it heals the writer and heals the reader. While my focus is on writing now and building a community of writers and readers I will still blog from time to time on cancer and its aftermath. It just isn’t “My story right now.” It was a part of my life, but not my whole life.
For those of you joining this blog to learn more about writing…thank you.
You are energizing me to teach more, to reach further into my tool bag and share my knowledge with you. In turn it is reinvigorating my writing. Thank you: we have much to learn from each other.
My life now: The people: a husband of almost 27 years, two daughters 15 and 19, a dog-almost 11 year old Labradoodle who occasionally appears on my insta, my mom, my brother, my friends.
My life now: The work: writing, coaching authors, selling books, working for my family biz (dad’s books are still selling really well–which doesn’t happen without the passionate work of my mom and my brother and a bit of help from me.) Honestly can’t wait until Mom sees Hamilton–so much of that show–is our life–“Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story.”
I still donate to charities that do the work I admire. I am just not running large events for them.
So if you wonder if my focus changed is me denying cancer–it isn’t.
I am simply headed back to what I love to do. What I must do. What I cannot go through a day without doing. I must write. I must honor the creativity in me and my expression of that. We all should.
My rough schedule–with room to wiggle due to family life:
Sunday Morning: Writing Tip posted on my Twitter: @LAmourAngelique starts soon so follow me and check it out.
Monday Evening: Usually on Twitter for the #BCSM tweet chat-stands for Breast Cancer Social Media
Midweek: Blog Post-usually Wednesday but not always.
Newsletter: First Sunday of the month with tips, thoughts, events geared toward writers.
Facebook Page: Angelique L’Amour, Author
And if you want to know more about how I honor my health –that shows up more on social media than on my blog–(hmmm, maybe I should add a piece now and then).