Sometime in everyone’s life we have been required to write a paper, whether it be a book report, what we did over summer vacation or a graduating thesis. I can remember struggling with the required word or page count for certain writing assignments and wondering how I could stretch my writing to fill the requirement. This could be making things up or doing more research.
I have never been one to keep a journal and write down my thoughts and feelings in a book on a regular basis. The best I ever did was writing books for the girls about their early lives. I kept up pretty good till they got to be older and then time just seemed to slip away and I got behind and just stopped writing. At least the girls have details about me being pregnant and the first few years of their lives to add insight as to things that happened to them.
Before Heather was diagnosed with cancer I did not write much except for a few emails to people telling them what might be happening with Heather. Of course as cancer hit and my time suddenly was not my own I could not keep up with all the updates that family and friends wanted. I could not text long messages about the details of things and found it not a good was to keep up with people. I had been told about the CaringBridge as a way to get info out for lots of people. When I began the posts in the early morning hours of April 11, 2008 I never dreamed or imagined what that would turn into. People asked me if I was going to journal Heather’s cancer journey and I told them I did not have time to do that. What I did not realized till later was that I was journaling it I was just doing so with 100’s of readers following. I found myself being open, honest and venting my feelings and frustrations about everything that was going on. I found it very healing and very therapeutic for me to blog on the CaringBridge.
When Heather died I tried to continue blogging but felt that was Heather’s story and not mine. That was when I created Confessions. I have found myself really being healed by the blogging, journaling, writing or expression of my feelings that I have done for the past five years. Wow, yes it has been five years of journaling this experience that I have been on. I see how far I have come from the first few posts to now. It is really quite something to see the last five years of your life written out in such detail.
In the beginning our family struggled to have a reason why cancer happened to Heather. Of course there is no reason why it just did. Neither Heather nor I asked to be on this journey and neither did our family. But we were on it nevertheless. We could sit and do nothing or try to get through it the best way I or we knew how to. From the very first moment I had a camera in my hand documenting in photos the journey. It was not for some gross exploitation of Heather, but she wanted the photos as well. She wanted to have a view many years later at what she had come through. The photos began with the first cut of her pony tail taking 24 inches of hair off, until the casket was placed in the hearse and driven away. They are very powerful photos and tell an incredible story. Between the journaling I was doing and the photos I hoped to write a book some day and explain our journey. It isn’t anyone else’s it is personal and private but I felt it could help someone struggling to understand blood cancer and what happened.
Heather and I talked about writing a book many times during her treatment. She wanted to have a book about her struggle and felt it could be a reason, not the reason why she was chosen for this trial. I began My Porcelain Doll book a little over 6 weeks ago and I am proud to announce that I have finished the manuscript and it is currently in editing. The book contains 35 chapters, 8 parts, 244 pages, 73,329 words for right now. The beginning word is “IN” and the last word of the entire book is “HAPPY.”
Currently I have been working on the nearly 80 photos that will be in the book in classic black and white. I am very proud of what I have written and the current feeling is the book is a very easy read, full of vivid emotions and a page turner you don’t want to put down. I am excited and scared all at the same time. Instead of trying to remember the details of what happened I had it all written for me on the CaringBridge blog.
In writing a book I have realized that this is not as easy as it sounds just to sit down and write a book. I had most all the information in front of me and did not really have to create much but just the basic things of the dedication, table of contents and acknowledgments. This is the very beginning of the book and could be the part that helps the reader purchase the book. I began with one set of chapter titles and ended with several chapters being added and several chapters titles changed during the writing process. For the most part all of the chapters came together very easily and I felt good about them when I was finished but I did struggle with a couple of them and still feel they are not as strong.
I will keep up posted as to the progress of the book but this is an amazing piece of work that I am very proud of and I cannot wait to begin the second book. I printed all the pages and placed them in a three ring binder; as I looked through the printed pages I was overcome with emotions and tears. This is a dream come to reality and it feels good.