I want to thank all of you who have emailed me directly or commented on this blog since I launched it. It is too much for me to respond to each of you individually, but I read every word you say and feel deeply touched by many of your responses – some from dear friends, others from complete strangers.
Your feedback to me personally is very affirming of my decision to make my story public and gives me courage to continue when I question its value (and my sanity)! It’s like being cheered on from the stands while I run the race of my life, spurring me to run it straight and true just when I want to wimp out in a fit of self-doubt or drop to my knees in despair.
I am especially grateful for the public comments and private emails I receive from other people with cancer. It is a privilege to hear from you and humbling to know that I have expressed something of your experience through my own. When ‘my story’ becomes ‘our story’ I know I’ve been of service to something bigger than my own desire to heal, a grander narrative about a disease that wreaks havoc on the lives of millions, yet calls us into an ever-deepening relationship with ourselves and That Which Made Us.
When that happens I remember the universal nature of vulnerability, the place where we are ultimately and perfectly human, where we finally understand that we are not in control, not exempt and not alone.
And when that happens my words pass into a tributary of consciousness that belongs to all of us who live with, and die from, this disease. I voice something that wants to be voiced, often by those who cannot find the words to say it or dare not open their silenced throats to wail, scream or sing.
These are the moments I stop referring to myself as a ‘blogger’ and proudly, but humbly, call myself a writer instead.
Apparently it is the blogging custom to post recent comments only and let historical ones fade into oblivion, but I have broken with that convention by creating a comments archive as an ongoing record of responses to my journey. This will only include comments posted on the site, not emails to me which I assume to be private.
Obviously I didn’t create this blog for social chit chat. It will attract those who seek a deeper, more authentic conversation about what it means to live well, love well and even die well. Your comments are testimonies to my story and this archive is my testimony to your stories. I am listening keenly and bowing in gratitude for your part in my healing. Thank you for bearing witness.