Sharing to Help Others
At one level, your life story is not about you at all – but about how your experiences can help others.
When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, it helped me to read about what others had experienced with the disease. I especially appreciated what friends and even strangers wrote in cards and emails about what they had gone through, giving me hope that I, too, would overcome the illness.
My life stories include not only my firsthand knowledge about non-Hodgkin lymphoma but also about depression, which I was diagnosed with 25 years ago and have lived with ever since. Even though depression runs in my family, the stigma attached to any mental illness often results in overwhelming silence on the topic. Consequently, I had to find my own path to treatment and coping. I trust that my openness about what happened to me and how I dealt with it will be helpful to younger members of my family and anyone else who finds himself or herself reading about it.