Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Kathleen F. Chapman
An Artist's Book: Forgiving the Anger of a Cancer Chick
During the past year, I've created a book while dealing with my diagnosis of breast cancer. This book deals with different aspects of my journey as a cancer survivor and has been tremendously therapeutic for my emotional healing. It began as a way to give a voice to my suppressed anger -- an anger that was clearly interfering with my quality of life and my ability to heal. As the book developed, it took on a life of its own. It slowly moved away from my personal journey and toward the stories of other women fighting breast cancer.
As I found my own voice, I came to realize that these women also needed a voice, and I knew I could validate a small part of theirjourney too. By documenting their journey, I came to see the quiet beauty and strength of these women, which in turn helped me to feel less wounded. This allowed me to see that I, too, might be beautiful, even though I had spent my survivorship feeling irreparably damaged and ashamed.
Now I move forward, grateful to lose my anger while learning to heal, thanks to the women who shared their vulnerability with me. I told a small piece of their stories but they have changed my own.