In late 2014, I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. From the moment I received this news, I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of my circumstances. I was experiencing the most vulnerable moment of my life, which was going to require extraordinary strength to get through. I would soon learn that this realization is the cruel dichotomy that accompanies any serious health diagnosis.
The goal of patient and empowered™ is simply to share my personal experience with cancer, with the hope that it may be helpful to anyone trying to navigate their own cancer journey. One of the biggest learnings I took from having cancer is that when you are forced into being a patient, you need to find a way to feel empowered.
In my personal experience, I found empowerment through two primary sources. The first was through listening to the stories of others who had firsthand experience with cancer. The connections I forged with patients and caregivers who understood what I was feeling provided me with the comfort and validation that I desperately needed.
I gained my second source of empowerment through writing. I have kept personal journals since childhood and have always found the simple act of telling a story to be a deeply powerful and cathartic experience. Through cancer, my writing practice took on greater importance and meaning. This planted a seed that told me there may be other patients, family members and friends who are seeking, or could benefit from, personal stories about the cancer experience.
Every week I will share a story on the blog; with topics ranging from how I processed my diagnosis, got through treatment, engaged my family and friends, and found some amazing resources along the way. In no way should anything I share be considered medical advice or a recommendation to be followed. I am writing purely from my own experience to share what I learned, what I wished I knew beforehand, and the many things I am still figuring out.
I am grateful to be sharing these stories as a cancer survivor and for my family, friends, doctors and nurses who took on my battle as if it were their own. Cancer is a club that no one seeks admittance, however, now that I am here, I am committed to being an active and vocal member.
I welcome feedback about this blog, as well as any stories you may want to share. Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Blog Design
The blog was designed by my dear friend and frequent creative collaborator, Karalee Serra, owner of Artisan Marketing Group.
The artwork featured on the blog was created by Maine artist, Ben Baldwin. I have admired Ben’s work for over a decade and I am honored that he agreed to design such beautiful imagery for patient and empowered™.