Thank you for visiting my blog for A Pathway to Peace, which I hope can be a resource—in some small way—for cancer survivors and co-survivors in the future.
Initially, I wrote A Pathway to Peace to archive our experience with Bridget’s breast cancer. Enduring the struggle was profound in many ways, and though it was painful, I did not ever want to forget it. I wanted it to be a reminder of all that we had and, more importantly, all that we could become.
Mostly, I wrote the book for our boys. Andrew was too young to have any recollection, and Jack would vaguely remember our experience. I wanted them to learn about Bridget’s strength and faith and openness through her illness. I wanted them to know what it really meant when they wore a T-shirt that says “Mommy fights like a girl.”
Once I had finished the first draft, I expanded my goal beyond simply recording our past. I wanted the story—if possible—to help others. It was a lofty objective, but I had a lot of help. Frank Kovarik, an English teacher at St. Louis University High School, provided invaluable editing support throughout the entire writing process, and several family members, friends, and colleagues offered feedback to my manuscript. I am extremely grateful for their input, which was key to adding clarity—and, I hope, value and meaning—to the story.
A Pathway to Peace, written sporadically over seven years, is my best effort to capture the love and light and hope that exists, even thrives, amid cancer’s darkness and unknown. I had never been able to find a book from the perspective of a ‘co-survivor’ that was not laden with pessimism, cynicism, and negativity. Hopefully this helps fill that void.
If I am successful, the story will not end on the last page. Rather, it will be the beginning of a dialogue—in part, through this blog. How can we spread more awareness of breast cancer and fight to end the disease? How can we help other families struggling with cancer? Please, join the conversation. Share your story. What has inspired you to endure cancer? How have you helped a loved one with the disease?
If we don’t talk about it—if we don’t remember it—complacency will consume us and cancer will continue to define our limitations and fester the fear within. It is easy, even comfortable, to forget about it. Frankly, I like to do so. But when we recall our own experience and rally to help those in need, cancer becomes its own worst enemy and we prevail.
When one gets cancer, or we have to care for somebody with cancer, we can choose to do something about it. We can raise awareness for the disease. We can pray. We can keep a positive attitude. We can support a worthy cause. We can raise vital research funds. At the very least, we can talk about it.
Together, we can…so let’s do!