I believe I read somewhere at Newsvine that posts published at this website become the property of Newsvine and may not be published elsewhere without permission. Anyone know if this is true?
Now that I’ve published a memoir about my early life (Pomegranate Jelly, A Cold War Family Preserved), I’m thinking this blog about ovarian cancer serves as a memoir about my late life. Of course it doesn’t have to become a memoir; it’s here to be read. But imagine it reaching a wider audience, people who don’t visit Newsvine. Could the posts perhaps be useful to others facing ovarian cancer (or hoping to avoid it)?
I suppose I’d be happy just leaving it be and focusing on a memoir of my emerging adult life, or my middle age life, or any of the other many chapters of my life, not in any particular order, sort of like the cinematic Hobbit + Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
I’m not even sure Pomegranate Jelly is a memoir, technically speaking. It’s about my parents —where they came from and where they were going as young adults starting out in life — and their family – my sister, brother and me. I became fascinated with my parents’ early life on an assignment at the Navy base where I lived as a small child. My mother and father were well-educated liberals, pacifists at heart, who took the path of opportunity working for the “military-industrial complex.” My father, an optical physicist, moonlighted for the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago during World War Two, just after I was born. He then took a job with the U.S. Navy and we moved to China Lake, a made-to-order community in California’s Mojave Desert. My mother, educated in history and the Classics, followed his lead and eventually joined him in developing lenses for reconnaissance photography after he had developed and patented Panavision’s wide-angle lens system used for wide-screen movies. The book is about their work/family trajectory, so perhaps it’s more of a biography.
I am sure that Pomegranate Jelly is not a recipe book, even though it’s stacked on Amazon’s cyber book shelf along with Smucker’s Pomegranate Jelly. I was warned against using that title, but I had my reasons, and once I chose it my mind couldn’t be changed.
Getting back to the idea of a wider audience, Marc is negotiating a book signing/reading at the college where he teaches (and where I’ve taught a few classes), and I’m vacillating between excitement and trepidation. I tremble at the mere thought of public speaking, and my head still feels like it’s about to burst from the discussion Marc and I had about it last night. Of course my head might feel that way because of the chemo infusion of Doxil I had a couple of days ago, I don’t know.
I was hoping that having a serious form of cancer would cure me of the public speaking panic potential. I mean, I’ve been facing death for the past year. What could possibly be more frightening? Giving speeches, that’s what. Really. Research has shown us that the fear of public speaking is more common than the fear of death. And I can testify to that. It causes a flight-freeze response such as I’ve never seen flying, facing major surgery, riding a dangerous horse, or being mugged in South Jamaica, New York. Deer in the headlights, and I spent most of my life avoiding it until I discovered Inderol, the beta blocker that prevents that physiological, sympathetic system panic and shut-down without messing with the ability to think. Now that I mention it, there has been some research showing that Inderol might also make chemotherapy more effective. I’m not sure if that’s the case with Doxil, but it’s something worth looking into.
Maybe I can get myself ready for book readings while upping the odds for survival. An unintended benefit of writing my memoir (er, parents’ biography).