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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I am pleased to have Laura Hedgecock as my guest blogger this week. She has a wonderful message to present from which any one of us would benefit. Thank you, Laura, for sharing about the powerful and healing benefits from writing about our memories.

Write about memories —even when you’ve lost the rose-colored glasses.

No one expects your life to be all raindrops and roses.

They just want to know you better.

Writing is Therapeutic

     *Writing can be therapeutic for anyone. (See Write about Memories: It’s Therapeutic! for reasons why writing is healing.)
      *For those traveling a difficult road, it can be doubly therapeutic to write about memories.
      *The Cancer Supportive Care Program at Stanford Cancer Institute explains: “Through the process of writing about our experiences, we can find healing as we explore the impacts of cancer on our lives.”

      Healing from writing isn't only emotional and spiritual, but also physical:           
In How Writing Heals Wounds — Of Both the Mind and Body, Maia Szalavitz reports that a University of Auckland (New Zealand) study “showed that the calming effect of writing can cut physical wound healing time nearly in half.”

You Don’t have to Write a Memoir to Write about Memories

     You don’t have to want to, or have the energy to, write your life story to share your memories:

     * Think episodes
         *You can share whatever comes to mind
            *Use ideas from my site www.TreasureChestofMemories.com
               *Adapt any program you choose.
                  *There’s no right or wrong way to write about memories.
                    *Add narratives to scrapbooks,
                         *Or rant onto paper or screen —and decide later if you want to share it or edit it.
                             *Use a voice recorder and talk about your memories
                               *Have a friend or relative interview you on video tape.

Writing connects you to your loved ones

     When you write about memories, you build connections with your current and future readers. You’ll also create springboards for conversations.
     This is my favorite soapbox because I’ve been on the receiving end of a gift of shared memories. As my grandmother faced the end stages of her breast cancer, she revealed her gift to us--a spiral notebook filled with a lifetime of her writings. Her Treasure Chest of Memories included humorous anecdotes, memories of relatives, and personal reflections.

     A treasure it is! Grandma died the year I graduated from college, so I was never able to enjoy a woman-to-woman relationship with her in life. However, through her memories, I connect with her, repeatedly, throughout the differing phases of my life.

When you write about your memories, you can write about your cancer

     I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to cope with cancer. I don’t. I don’t want to know. I’ve gained insight, however, from Karin Diamond, whom I met at a Writers Conference. Karin is living with/trying to survive lymphoma and finds meaning and comfort from blogging about her battles. Through her blog, Karin connects not only with her loved ones, but also with all who read her posts.

     When you write about your memories, you can also share your needs with loved ones. Do you want them to call? Leave you in peace? Would you rather they not ask, "How are you?" unless they really want to know? Let them know how they can support you on your journey without smothering you.

You don’t have to write about your cancer

     The same Karin Diamond wrote a beautiful article for The Huffington Post: “Cancer Is Not All I Have.”

      It’s not all you have either. Your disease--your pain--isn't what defines you; it's the setting of
      your current chapter.
      You have memories, stories, and anecdotes that you can tell.
      You've had other struggles.
      You've experienced adventures and joys.
      However you want to share them, your memories are a treasure.
© Laura Hedgecock 2013


Laura Hedgecock blogs resources and content of her upcoming book Treasure Chest of Memories: How to Capture and Share the Stories of Your Life at her website www.TreasureChestofMemories.com. She’d love you to visit her site and explore more ideas about writing your memories. 

Her memory-sharing pinterest board, http://pinterest.com/lauralhedgecock/sharing-memories/, includes many other non-writing ideas, as well.  

You can also connect with Laura at:


  1. Writing is healing. It has helped me relive the pain and then put it away so that I could move forward. Great guest post.

    1. Kathryn
      Thanks so much for commenting. Your stories of survival and pain is so inspiring to the rest of us.

  2. Sometimes I write a special memory on a colored 3x5 card and leave it on my desk for later, so I won't lose track of what was so inspiring at that moment. I agree, writing helps us move forward.


    1. My writing has helped me through several difficult times. My book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir is the result of journaling, which helped me to heal and be strong through such a journey.
      Kathryn and Christine, I so appreciate your sharing with us.

    2. I like the 3 x 5 index card idea. I usually grab a random envelope or junk mail, then have trouble remembering what I wrote on. I'm glad writing moves you forward. Share your story.

  3. Hi Karen and Laura,

    I cannot say enough about how much writing has helped me get through some tough times. I love the line in this guest post, "You don't have to write a memoir to write about memories". So true. Writing most definitely brings added healing and when you share what you write with others (when you choose to), the healing is even greater. Thanks for the terrific guest post, Laura and thanks for sharing it, Karen.

    1. Thank you, Nancy, for your feedback. Memories are so special and they can be so healing.