I started writing about my experiences as a wife and young mother of 3 with breast cancer. I began by posting them on my Facebook page. Soon my friends were asking how their own friends and relatives could read my words. I was writing about the darker, richer emotions I was feeling — aimlessness, fear, despair — but also the dogged commitment to always be strong with an enthusiasm for life.
I wrote about death, life, family, sadness, joy and sorrow. I thought it would only appeal to people with cancer, but I was wrong. Instead, the appeal has been far more universal. I receive emails from people who not only have had cancer themselves, but also those with family members who have had it. I hear from people who have experience with other illnesses, and also those who just want to know more about what it is like to confront mortality at an early age. The far-reaching emotional impact of illness affects many people, and they connect with my work.
In October of 2012 I learned that cancer had metastasized to my lymph nodes and bones. I now have stage IV breast cancer. Again I feel the need to communicate not only about the disease itself (true awareness) but also about its impact on my young family. My posts often give my insights into how to raise children who are resilient and can cope with inevitable hardship. The blog also will be a record of my love and devotion to my children. There is nowhere I would rather be than here with them.
My blog also directly focuses on grief and loss. On September 16, 2009 my family received news that my in-laws were in a car crash. My beloved mother-in-law, Barbara Adams, died instantly when their car was hit head-on by a truck in Wyoming. My father-in-law was seriously injured in the crash. My blog now includes writings about the grief process in our family, including that of my children. As with my writings about cancer, I feel that my expressions of grief and loss will resonate with readers.
I also write about our son Tristan. Born with congenital abnormalities in his spine and hands, as well as a rare condition requiring heart surgery at seven months of age, this vivacious 7 year-old brings us laughter and joy every day. Recently I have begun writing about our experiences with our beloved child who has had more than his share of medical issues in a few short years. To know him is to love him.
I started this website to allow public access to my writings. I keep a blog here as well as some of my more popular essays and poems. This is creative writing informed by my personal and academic background; my work examines the emotions of life-changing events.
My parents’ careers have indelibly shaped my insights. My father, a (retired) heart surgeon, gave me a shrewd eye for detail and an aptitude for processing medical information. My mother, a (retired) psychologist specializing in grief, loss, death, and dying, shared insight into the mind of the bereaved family member. My own academic background includes a graduate degree in sociology. Combining medical, psychological, and sociological sensibilities has resulted in a unique way of experiencing and describing cancer and other traumatic life experiences.
I am pleased so many people have connected to the emotions I try to capture in my writing.
I hope you will too.
Lisa Bonchek Adams