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Writing Sabbatical and Amazing Stories

Writing Sabbatical and Amazing Stories

I am on a sabbatical to finish writing a book I started during The Cancer Year. The book is about my path to taming the chaos of the life-abducting, major health calamity. I evolved from a fragile, emotional and physical trainwreck with a dismal prognosis to a survivor with a rosy prognosis, and then onto thriving because of the entire process. I don’t want the book to be solely about me though. To keep this from happening, I feel it is important to include the stories of other survivor/thrivors of major illness in this book. I reached out to others who have come out thriving, and I interviewed them. This week, I started listening to the interview recordings and I want to tell you about some of these amazing people. The interviews are layered with the trauma of each person’s illness and the positive attitude and fighter spirits that led them out of the major-illness abyss. These are survivors, many years out from standing on the edge of death. Their journey could have gone either way. For each, their post-illness life is very different from their pre-illness life on many levels. The same is true for me.

Surviving and Thriving

These stories are guides for us all. People like Lauren Chiarello of ChiChi Life in New York City who survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - twice! Heidi Bright who was not expected to live out the year when she was first diagnosed with an extremely rare terminal uterine sarcoma, and Samantha Markovitz who was diagnosed with ‘juvenile’ type 1 diabetes as an adult. She was taken to the local emergency room, near her death. Ketoacidotic coma in adulthood was her first presenting sign of this typically childhood disease. Her story is amazing. These are vibrant survivors full of life and thriving in ways they never expected before they were ill. Listening to their recordings, I hear stories layered with ‘The Path’. There is so much to learn from these heros. I’m mapping out The Path in this book. I want it out and available soon. I realize there is some urgency to the task, because I’m contacted regularly by people who have been newly diagnosed with a horrible illness. They have heard I’ve traversed The Path from gravely ill to surviving and thriving and they urgently want - and need - my advice. It’s in this book, our book, and I am going to finish it this month. I plan to get a prospectus done that I can send out to agents. Then I’m crossing my fingers for help on the next phase of actual publication. We’ll see how this next step goes. For more information, please see these related posts: