Some people react as if the glass is half empty, others as if it is half full. I am interested in our responses to varied situations and how we cope. Cancer has given me a gift to be able to relate to those with a severe crisis in their lives. Each crisis has a loss and a gain. I would like to think that my experience with cancer has given me compassion about human frailty. I see how little we are in control. What we need most is faith.

What becomes clear to me is that the causes are related to the cures. They are two sides of the same coin. If radiation can cause cancer, radiation can also cure it. Chemicals in the environment can cause the disease; chemotherapy can cure. There is a paradox at work here.

Hollis Sigler

Quotes from the art work of Hollis Sigler:
There is freedom in having cancer. My worst fear has come true. There is nothing
left to lose when one has lost her health. There is only gain. I am free to follow my heart’s desire.

Forty-two thousand women will die from breast cancer in one year, about the same number of people who have in the first ten years of the AIDS epidemic. Cancer is the leading cause of death in women ages 35 to 54. Cancer has become an acceptable epidemic. As someone who has metastatic breast cancer, that is unacceptable to me.

"Cancer Journals" by Audre Lourde
Lorde began writing her journal entries six months after her radical mastectomy; they illustrate her process of integrating the crisis into her life, retelling her experience from detection to follow-up therapies. Lorde's most passionate battle was waged against silence. "This is it, Audre," Lorde wrote. "You're on your own." Where was the model? she asked, seeking another voice to speak to her experience.

May these words serve as encouragement for other women to speak out and act out of our experiences with cancer and with other threats of death, for silence has never brought us anything of worth . . . May these words underline the possibilities of self-healing.

Audre Lorde

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