My new project

A riddle for you:

What do these two things have in common?

Look very closely. Can you see it yet?

Having some trouble figuring it out?

Here is a hint: The person on the left will soon be inside the magazine on the right.

Ohmygosh, you’re becoming a fashion model?! you are probably asking yourself.

No, no I am not. But thanks for thinking that. I’m flattered.

I will, however, be joining the wonderful Elle Canada magazine as a columnist, where I will be penning my own monthly column for one year.

This is something I’ve known about and have been working on for awhile but I’ve had to keep it a bit of a secret, because if I spoil everything, then no one will want to read about it months later when it’s published… alas, I have been living under a shroud of secrecy. But now you know, and I’m excited to share this new development with the world.

I am so grateful to Elle’s amazing editor-in-chief for taking a chance on me and giving me this opportunity. I’m sure “national magazine columnist” was probably on my list of dream future scenarios for myself, back when I was a little girl. I started this blog as a simple diary, a way that I could chronicle my journey through the unthinkable. And now it has become this force that continues to open so many new doors for me. I’m sure there is some sort of life lesson takeaway from that, but I don’t feel like exploring whatever that may be right now. All’s I know is I’m pretty excited to flip open that first issue and see words that I wrote, attached to my name, smack dab in the middle of perfume ads and celebrity interviews.

The first issue is September and will be on stands soon (I wasn’t paid to say that, I swear). If you’re Canadian, you should be able to easily spot it (or you could just subscribe, which costs next to nothing). And if you’re not Canadian, there should be plenty online to keep you entertained.

I don’t have a link or a spoiler or a preview to share. All I will say is the column will be about me and this next phase of my life. I will be doing lots of cool and fun things and living my life the best that I can, and writing about it as I do.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It should be a good one.

Cancer break

Lately I’m finding it very difficult to write about cancer stuff. I sit down at my computer, almost every day, feeling inspired to write a blog post or work on this “book” that I haven’t touched or really thought about in a long time. And then quickly, the motivation goes right out the door. I put on another episode of Scandal and instantly forget about whatever it was that I felt I needed to get down on paper (and by “paper” I mean “computer”… but that obviously sounds way less romantic and writer-ish).

I’m not sure why this has been happening, but I think much of it is due to the fact that I am majorly cancer’d out. I have not had one day where I haven’t had to think or speak about cancer in a very long time. It is exhausting thinking and talking about such heavy things all the time.

I keep trying to have a day where I don’t think about cancer once the entire day, but I have not come close to succeeding. People say that eventually the day comes where you realize, “Hey, I haven’t thought about cancer in a week!” Honestly, I can’t imagine that really happening. I might think about it less on certain days than others, but the idea of it being entirely absent from my thoughts just seems impossible right now. It is such a major part of my life. I didn’t invite it in, but there it is, and its presence is constant.

I read up on the “cancer news” all the time. It might not be the best idea, but I really can’t help it. This is my universe. You might work in marketing, or finance, and you probably keep track of what is going on in those sectors so you can stay up to date and feel in the loop. Well, it is the same for me. My world just happens to be a bit less flashy and a bit less “something to talk about around the water cooler.” But I like to keep informed. I want to know what’s going on. This is my life, and my health, after all.

Cancer is not just something I had, or something that is in the past. It has become a huge part of my life. I used to get emails from people asking me for movie or music recommendations. Now I get emails asking for advice about getting through chemo and radiation. This has become my new area of expertise. When people have a friend who is diagnosed, they send them to me. The cancer guru. The Dear Abby of planet cancer.

And really, I’m okay with it. I love helping people, however I can. I like reading about clinical trials and drug advancements and understanding a very complex world that until recently, I knew very little about. I am a passionate person and I become highly invested in whatever it is I am currently working on or learning about. And, as unfortunate as it may be, my “job” and my “work” has been cancer for over a year now. I am drawn to books and movies about cancer. I like talking to people about their own experiences with cancer. I suppose, like anyone, I want to feel like I belong. And as much as I want to just be a “normal” young woman, thinking about things like work, and social events, and all that regular-people stuff… that is not my life. It is part of my life, sure. But so is cancer. There it is, and there it will always be.

But all that to say that sometimes, I just need a break. Sometimes I am literally so tired from thinking about it and writing about it, living and breathing it, that I need to lie down and take a nap. Sometimes I just need to turn my brain off, from the research, the statistics, the drugs, the fear, and the reality. Sometimes I just need to turn on the TV and watch The Bachelor, which is pretty much the opposite of thinking about cancer. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to watch The Bachelor premiere (and you should too, so we can talk about it) and I’m going to give myself a whole hour, free from cancer, free from the heavy stuff. You might need a break from your screaming baby. Or your beeping Blackberry. Or your cancer. Whatever it is… sometimes, we all just need a little break.

Oh lordy, now I really wish I had a Kit Kat.
Oh lordy, now I really wish I had a Kit Kat.