IN just a few short weeks, my book, The Faded Photo, will be releasing in bookstores and all online stores. It’s my first venture into women’s fiction and I must confess that the journey was rather interesting. I learned a lot and found that I really do enjoy writing in different genres.
The Faded Photo is about a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer. Most people who know me hear that part and immediately interrupt me to ask if it’s based on my own experience.
“No,” I reply for the umpteenth time. “It’s not.”
You see, Frances Snyder has a totally different approach to dealing with her breast cancer. Unlike me, she chooses to not include her family in the beginning of her cancer fighting journey and then, to her dismay, she realizes that she no longer can tell them. Clearly that is not me. Or is it?
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I faced it with a positive attitude and figured “it is what it is.” To translate that, I turned it over to God and figured that I would accept whatever he wanted for me. But I never hid that I had breast cancer from my family. I did, however, choose not to tell fan-base. It wasn’t until the night of my double mastectomy that I had no choice but to let everyone know.
But that’s another story.
After my mastectomy and during my chemotherapy treatment, I often went alone. I didn’t want to deal with people hovering over me and fussing. I found that most people didn’t quite know how to deal with my relaxed approach to treatment. When people did come to the Chemo Cocktail Lounge, they talked too much. It drove me crazy. Or, in one case, they didn’t talk at all. That also drove me insane.
I quickly realized that there was no one way that anyone could act that would please me during the hour or so that it took to pump that dreadful red cancer fighting medicine (toxin) into my body so it was just better to go alone.
I wonder if people weren’t a little relieved by that decision on my part.
The Chemo Cocktail Lounge is not a pretty place. Every occupant seated in a chair with a tube feeding their body chemo medicine has a story. A sad story. I met people there that I talked with one week and then never saw again because they died. I met people there that I knew from Little League or parents of my children’s friends. There are no happy stories in the Chemo Cocktail Lounge.
But each story is important. Like Frances’ story in The Faded Photo. Why did she hide her cancer in the beginning? Why didn’t she tell her family after it was confirmed? And how could she possibly think that no one would notice?
These are questions that you will have to answer for yourself, along with the question “What would you do?” if you were in her shoes.