Thursday, September 30, 2010

National Breast Cancer Month

October is National Breast Cancer Month. There are many events, fundraisers, special happenings all around. One event is a Blanket Tour for  Diana M. Raab’s new book, "Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey".  Over at The Muffin, WOW! Women On Words has this to say about Diana and her book:
Diana’s latest book reflects her experiences battling breast cancer at age 47 and then multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, when she was 52. The book is part practical advice(she is a nurse, after all) and part inspiration, which takes the form of poems, journal entries, and friendly thoughts. To show readers the effect of healing writing, Diana also includes blank sections and writing prompts so the reader can contribute their own thoughts and writings. Diana describes her daily journal writing as “a daily vitamin-healing, detoxifying and essential for optimal health.”
Each day in October, a different writer has been selected to post something about breasts: cancer, surviving, and other related topics. Click on The Muffin link above to see the month's line-up.

I am honored to be one of the writers in this tour. Check back here on October 16th to read what I have to say; I'm hoping to be able to meet with a friend of mine who has already given me permission to talk about her story. She's been through breast cancer, the BRCA gene testing, and some big decisions as a result of the test; she's an inspiration and one of the shining lights in my life.

Here is one of Diana Raab's poems in her new book:

To My Daughters

by Diana M. Raab, MFA, RN

You were the first I thought of
when diagnosed with what
strikes one in eight women.

It was too soon to leave you,
but I thought it a good sign
that none of us were born

under its pestilent zodiac.
I stared at the stars and wished upon
each one that you¹d never wake up

as I did this morning to one real breast
and one fake one; but that the memories
you carry will be only sweet ones,

and then I remembered you had your
early traumas of being born too soon,
and losing a beloved grandpa too young

and then I had this urge to show you
the scars on the same breast
you cuddled as babies, but then wondered

why you¹d want to see my imperfections
and perhaps your destiny.
I caved in and showed you anyway,

hoping you¹d learn to be careful, as
if it really mattered, because your grandpa
used to say when your time¹s up, it¹s up.
May he always watch over you.