Paper Chain

writing group

I cleaned out my room today, getting rid of old clothes
most of which are too big for me now
as I’ve shrunk to a skeletal version of myself.
Gathering under my bed along with old chapsticks
and safety pins and crumpled receipts
were several hospital bracelets.

I’ve been saving them for over three years now,
hoping to make them mean something at the end of this-
a bracelet chain so I can count down the days
to the 5 year word:
or an art piece displaying the excessive usage of labels and
an ID number I’ll never forget: 612212
or proof for the future me that this really did happen
or a finish line I can break through–

I find them everywhere:
in drawers, coat pockets, the bottom of my purse and car
folded in my wallet
and under my bed
I have probably 200 of them

I plan to make something out of them eventually
I have a one-woman show in the works and I’ve been taking
copious notes of all the things that have happened
“ice bag boobs” after the highest fever my nurse had ever seen
“7 liters”: – my record-breaking peeing in a single day
“No, it wasn’t breast cancer, I just have really small boobs”
I don’t even need to explain that one.

There’s a lot of comedy, truly. And there’s a lot of white.
white room, white bandages
200 white stamps
200 white plastic wishes and fears
200+ white handfuls of foamed Purell

I plan to make something out of them
even if it is just a bonfire
to simultaneously burn away Cancer Girl
and offer up incense to the sky
Praise you stars, that I am still here
and I can still make things burn.

image via

#yacancer & #ayacsm…Connecting With Other Young Adult Cancer Survivors

connecting with other young adult survivors

Welcome to a new series here on Lacuna Loft!  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about different ways of connecting with other young adult cancer survivors.  Today we talk about twitter!

Have you thought about using social media to find other survivors (instead of using it to realize that all of your non-cancer-having-young-adult friends seem to be having an easier time at life than you are right now?)  Take control over the interweb info that you consume and gain some young-adult-cancer-having love at the same time!

Connecting with other survivors is a very powerful experience.  Knowing that you aren’t alone is a big deal…being able to share your good times and bad times with those who truly understand adds that extra bit of control to an otherwise frightening and out of control experience.  Using hashtags on twitter makes it super easy to find other young adult cancer survivors.  There is #cancerisntfree #ayacancer #stupidcancer #cancerislonely #yacaregiver #yacancer #ayacsm #youngbreastcancer …the list goes on and on!

The two best hashtags to connect with on twitter, right off the bat, are the #yacancer and the #ayacsm.  #ayacsm (adolescent and young adult cancer societal movement) is a monthly chat that occurs between advocates, survivors, and healthcare professionals.  Questions are asked and everyone present is encouraged to respond and interact with one another.  It is a great opportunity to meet other survivors and to engage with activists and healthcare providers to encourage age-appropriate care for the treatment of young adult cancer.

Get twitter and peruse this #yacancer hashtag and this #ayacsm hashtag…you will not be disappointed.

P.S.  #youngadultcancer on instagram