Connect (With Me)

facebook_box_blue_64 twitter_box_blue_64 linkedin_box_white_64

Blog Tags

Latest Blog Entries

  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...


A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Cancer-versary Contemplation, 2015 Edition

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: solipsistic , reflect , life , lessons , identity work , cancer

Birthday blogging! It has become a tradition (though like everything else blog-related, I’m a week or two behind on it this year). I blog on my birthday not because my birthdays themselves are necessarily all that remarkable or awe-inspiring, but because this regular anniversary provides me with a built-in opportunity for reflection. And my birthday is a reflection “two-fer”, because for me, birthdays are always double-entendre: it’s not only the day I was born, it’s also the day I was told I might die (to be all overly dramatic about it...what I mean is that it’s also the day I got my cancer diagnosis in the doctor’s office). So every year on my birthday, I get to reflect both about the general place I find myself in in my life that year, and about the continually unfolding, deepening lessons I’ve learned from my trajectory through the identity of cancer survivor. I’ve already done some reflecting on the general place I find myself in this year in the last couple of blog entries, so this one is a reflection on the cancer journey.

And what a long, strange journey it’s been. January 22nd, 2015 marked my 23rd anniversary of diagnosis with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was 23 when I was diagnosed, so this year also marks a strange kind of halfway point—as of this writing, I’ve now been a cancer survivor longer than I haven’t been. This cancer survivor piece of me is thoroughly integrated now, and it’s harder and harder for me to remember being any other way. (Not that I particularly want or need to, except as a personal archeology issue.) Though the active part of the cancer experience (diagnosis and treatment) was “only” about 4 months of my now 46 years on the planet, the impact that the cancer experience has had on me over the years has been significant. It rearranged my priorities, gave me a new identity, taught me a bunch of lessons, and, as I’m continually learning to appreciate, had a huge impact on my psychological processes. Even 23 years later, I’m still finding new insights about the ways in which that diagnosis and treatment time affected my personality and the way I now live my life. Some of those ways are useful to me, and I want to keep them; some are not useful any more (though they might have been at some point), and I want to let go of them.

So in the spirit of this anniversarial opportunity for reflection, here are a few things I’ve recently been musing on when I think about the ways in which the cancer experience impacted my psychological processes. These are things that I want to try to heal or let go of (saying them out loud and trying to accept them as real is the first step, right?)

This web site and all content © 2017 by Julia Dvorin. All Rights Reserved (until you ask me nicely if you can re-use something; then we can talk).