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It started as a slight flame, a little warm but not uncomfortable. As my body showed more and more signs that something was wrong, the slight flame became a blazing and dangerous wildfire attacking my very soul.

The visual burning of flesh never leaves my memory. Damn you radiation. Damn you chemo. The dark marks left on the neck are a daily reminder of how you engulfed me and pushed my emotional state over the edge.

Oh burning flame, you tried to turn me into ashes, but I triumphed. I still feel the aches and pains from dancing with flames, but I keep on pushing on. It’s a slow recovery but resilient; somehow, always resilient.

You are ashes to me now. Putting you out nearly killed me. As if it wasn’t bad enough you burned my insides, leaving me barren, forever childless. I am a shell of myself, but again resilient. I will rebuild again.

by Megan-Claire Chase

How would you respond to the writing prompt, How the Fire Started?

This writing comes directly from one of our participants in our Unspoken Ink Creative Writing Group for young adult cancer survivors.  The participants meet for 2 hours each week, for 8 weeks during our Winter 2018 session.  This writing has not been edited since its original creation, showing the wonderfully raw and powerful prose coming from the courageous writing group participants each week.  If you’d like to sign up for future sessions, please email or sign up on our interest form.