cancer / fairy tale / hair / life / story / writing

Drains!

The drains are gone! If you’ve ever had surgery that required post-op drains, you know how awesome it is to be drain free. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google Jackson-Pratt drain. I chose not to take a picture of mine. It’s kind of hard to make them look pretty.

Writing about difficult subjects takes distance. At least for me. I can’t write well about anything I’m in the middle of. Can you? I don’t mean journaling, which is one thing. I mean, writing a story that speaks to other people, that conveys the emotion, trauma, insights of the experience.

I don’t plan to write a straightforward cancer narrative anyway. But I could add something to the Frankenstein’s monster story–the stitching and the bruising and the blood and the feeling of not being completely put together properly.

I’ve also got new thoughts on Rapunzel. Nothing like losing your hair to chemo to give you a new perspective on Rapunzel.

Life isn’t where I thought it was going to be. But that is often the case, isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Drains!

  1. Or you could merge the Frankenstein and Rapunzel narratives. I’d completely trust in whatever you came up with!

    In general, I’m with you on not writing about difficult subjects while I’m “in” them. That said, there are two other related topics that I’m also not comfortable writing about: (a) subjects which are difficult because I’m ashamed of them, even though I’m no longer “in” them; and (b) “permanent” but non-life-threatening medical conditions, which you’d think I would’ve gotten over after decades of living with them. I’m getting better about (b) but (a) will probably always be out of reach. Some writerly advice insists you have to be fearless — nothing off-limits, especially if it’s not harming someone else — but I can’t go there.

    • I’ve got my limits. When I figure out how to write about certain events without sounding like I’m making excuses or like I’m a complete fool or worse, I will write about them. Well, I think I’ve written about times I’ve been a fool, but there are levels of foolishness–sort of like circles of hell?–and I can travel down some of those circles and share. Others…no.

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