Joanne Brown offered a group on May 16 for cancer survivors.
She leads groups for cancer survivors on a regular basis, sponsored by the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico. She also led a group open to anyone on May 30, pictured below on the screen. Next to it, you can see a peek into what Joanne’s workshops looked like before the virus.
To join her online in the future or learn more about her work, visit her website: joannebrown.com
We thank Joanne for her leadership and the following writers for sharing their work with us!
No One Asks Me about My Cancer
by Barbara Krasner
No one asks me about my cancer. For six years now I’ve been without ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, but my child-bearing years had been long over anyway. I was hoping those body parts would have weighed something substantial, but the surgeon told me at best they weighed altogether just a few ounces.
No one asks me about my cancer. During my three radiation sessions, a plastic penis-looking device was shoved up my hoo-hah for six minutes. I counted. I sang to myself. I practiced deep breathing.
No one asks me about my cancer. When I received the diagnosis over the phone one Monday afternoon in July 2014, I just wanted to die. The saying that G-d doesn’t give you more than you can handle was empty twaddle. It’s more like the Yiddish saying, man plans and G-d laughs. I phoned my sisters. No one offered to come to my house. No one offered to bring me matzoh ball soup or a corned beef sandwich on rye. Instead, they cried for themselves, not for me. I would have to face cancer on my own.
No one asks me about my cancer. I mentioned to my son on Long Island that I was going to attack the Big C like The Thing from the Fantastic Four and clobber the invaders with my giant rock fist. He bought me a rubber fist and a Thing action figure. He took me to the hospital. He worked himself into such an anxious state that he fell violently ill and had to go home.
No one asks me about my cancer.
by Jeannie Bowman
Grateful for the sunshine sending
its light across the garden,
catching a glimpse of birds in flight
when I awaken.
Grateful for the man beside me, his
arms across my shoulders
encircling me with love and
Grateful for the voice at the other
end of the phone line
saying, “Hey Mom, do you
have time to talk?”
Grateful for the smell of coffee
dripping into a fresh pot
on a cloudy morning with
unexpected raindrops against the window.
Grateful for a computer and its
capabilities to bring into the room
writers pursuing the pleasure of
words when we can no longer meet in the same room.
Grateful for a walk into the
labyrinth, prayers on my tongue
silence as I center, and
the pathway out with renewal.
Grateful for passing a neighbor
Social distancing six feet, saying hello and
“How are you guys doing
In this crazy time of sheltering?”
Grateful to see the
purple mountains against a teal sky,
to smell the new juniper berries and
feel the tiny whiff of air behind the hummingbird.
Grateful for friends who reach out,
for those I can reach out to,
for those whose memories touch me,
for new memories being made.
Grateful for those little – and big – things
I haven’t noticed, don’t remember
at this moment, but all lending to
a truly good life.
Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!
For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.
We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!