It finally happened. I have a book for sale on Amazon: There was a Time
The journey started in 2011 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During treatment I tried to write about what was happening to me, but again and again, I had difficulty approaching the feelings I was having. I can’t say exactly when it happened, but somewhere, I found myself responding with poetry rather than prose. Perhaps it was the radiation treatments or the powerful emotions that treatment creates, but breaking away from full sentences to just the metaphorical language of poetry allowed me to better express how it felt to be a cancer patient.
There was a Time is a collection of these poems that attempt to share with you how it felt to lookup and see a machine spinning around my body shooting radiation at me. It is my way of both exploring the emotional impact and telling the story of what happened. I wanted to paint a picture of what happened. I wanted to communicate how my world changed under that beam.
But somewhere, somehow, how I thought about things – writing, story telling, and art all changed with this experience. The oddest part of this journey is poetry. Prior to cancer I rarely wrote poetry and even claimed to not like it. While I was studying English for my BA, I went out of my way to avoid classes that dealt in poetry. I was a confirmed lover and writer of prose, full sentences and structured stories.
Like so many things after cancer, things are different. The body is damaged and responds differently. The mind can be filled with fear and anxiety. The soul becomes weary of having to keep fighting and you just start responding differently.
Then another thing happened, but this happened before I was treated. In 2007 my mother died from pancreatic cancer. I was there when she was diagnosed, when she was told it was terminal, and watched her die after a short stay in hospice. From diagnosis to death in just a few weeks. At the time I grieved the loss and moved on with life.
But when I started writing about my cancer, I began to see my mother differently and took on a different perspective of the experience. Being a cancer patient myself, I began to see what it may have been like for her. The way she handled her last days taught me an important lesson about how to die with grace and understanding.
As I wrote poems about me, I also started writing poems about mother.
There was a Time, includes both sets of poems. Those from a cancer patient and those from a son standing at the bed side of his mother.
It is my hope that someone may find something in these poems that speaks to them.
That is my purpose in writing and making this book available, to express what it’s like to be on two sides, patient and family, of this thing called cancer.
The link above (and in the side bar) is an Amazon link where you can purchase the book, either for yourself or for someone you think might find it valuable.