Writing Saved My Life

Writing saved my life. After my I lost my dad, I didn’t know how to have a conversation about anything else other than cancer, chemotherapy, hospice, and death. People constantly kept asking me questions about those and only those topics. No one in my family and close circle of friends were asking me about graduating from high school, or even starting the next major chapter of my life — college. And, so I kept answering those cancer-related questions time after time, and slowly my answers started sounding like they were coming from a monotonous, lifeless robot. Constantly hearing and answering heartbreaking questions at 18 years old made me think that this whole cancer thing was a societal norm. It’s only years later that I’m now starting to realize, that all of those questions and answers (which is just a small aspect of an ugly cancer death) is not normal for an 18 year old.

I felt like I couldn’t vent to anyone about my negative feelings and thoughts; but I never wanted to forget my goal, which was and still is, to always cope in the most healthy way possible.

I’ve always had an interest in blogs, especially blogs geared towards fashion and chic lifestyle enthusiasts, but I never thought about starting one myself. I actually tried to stay away from reading and writing about cancer at first, because everything I found to read about cancer was about the technical and scientific terms that I honestly didn’t care about at the moment. I was so tired of reading about the science of cancer. But cancer isn’t just about science and medicine because cancer doesn’t just cause bad cells. It causes emotions and heartbreak, strength and perseverance, hope and faith. Doctors, researchers, and scientists are always so proud for publishing cancer research in publications, which is groundbreakingly awesome because these findings provide a foundation for the advanced medicine and technology used on patients. But, what about the other half of the cancer story? The struggles, the tears, the fear, the depression, and so much more. I wanted to be the writer to the other half of the cancer story — the half that isn’t written about much.

So, I started writing because I felt like no one understood my pain, but more importantly, I didn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. I started blogging just three months after my dad lost his battle…and then, my writing story goes on from there.

Writing saved my life. My blog was my best friend during my worst times. I could always count on my Macbook or my journal and fancy, ballpoint pen. Writing saved my life when no one else could — and I am forever grateful I found my favorite coping mechanism.

And for those struggling with finding their favorite coping mechanism:

I highly suggest trying to let your emotions out in a creative way — writing, painting, dancing, and the list goes on. You will then start to see the light during these dark times.

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Another Magical Week at Camp Kesem: 2015 Edition

This past school year was my second year being involved in Camp Kesem. I had such an amazing time at camp this year, but unfortunately I had no time to write about it! Right after camp, I went to Chicago for a professional business conference — the vibes changed so fast for me! And directly from there, I went to Paris for my study abroad courses and traveled a little bit after that!

So, back to camp now…camp this year was incredible! I definitely got more out of camp this year in terms of my personal self and goals. It’s safe to say my sophomore year had it’s ups and downs, but it all led to stronger and deeper friendships within camp for me!

Purple Unit!

Purple Unit!

All the camp counselors!

All the camp counselors!

This year I felt a stronger connection with more kids, which was so rewarding! It was so fun seeing all of my campers from last year as well. Being apart of this rat-race type of life is overwhelming and exhausting, and camp is an escape from all of that. At camp, I’m surrounded by real people with real problems. I don’t have my phone to be updating my Twitter and seeing what my peers are up to on Instagram. I’m not anticipating for midterm grades that will mean nothing in my life in the long run. I’m not stressing over internship applications. I’m not even bothered by my own mediocre and trivial problems. I am just making sure every child at camp is having the best time and attempting to make an impact in their life. I’m reaching out to an overlooked demographic while also growing as an individual. One of my favorite things about camp is that one is so disconnected from the rest of the world, but so connected to inspiring individuals (counselors and campers) on a whole new level. Giving back to society, especially being so involved with Camp Kesem, is what gets me through the hardest times, and I can’t wait for camp next year!

To learn more about Camp Kesem check out my blog post from last year: https://copingwithcancer.org/2014/07/01/my-magical-week-at-camp-kesem/

To donate to Camp Kesem Davis: http://campkesem.org/ucdavis/donate-to-ucd