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Archive | A Woman’s Cancer Book/My Eye Fell Into The Soup

These posts are excerpts from My Eye Fell Into the Soup, a woman’s cancer book compiled from journals wherein Martha Blowen preserved her experience of living with and treating cancer and finally succumbing to it in 2008.

Martha began writing a journal before I knew her and wrote consistently for the 31 years we were together. My own habit of writing a record of my life began in my early twenties—over fifty years ago. We might both have said, as did Anaïs Nin in the first volume of her first published diary, “I needed to live, but I also needed to record what I lived.”

Sometimes, usually on the weekends, we would sit together in our livingroom to journal, morning coffee steaming on a low table between us, but most often we wrote separately—I was an earlier riser. In the last years of Martha’s life, that writing time was likely to be at the Central Maine Medical Center’s Infusion Center as she spent interminable hours receiving a weekly dose of the prescribed, toxic chemical du jour. journaling about cancer was a natural for her.

With her permission, I selected a number of her journal entries and have compiled them into a book which is a moving account offered as one woman’s cancer book.

Below are excerpts from My Eyes Fell Into the Soup. I hope they encourage you to live your life with courage.
Read about about Martha’s early years in excerpts from A Sugary Frosting, A Girl’s Life in A 1960s New England Parsonage. Click Here.
how to turn a journal into a memoir

Turning a Journal into a Memoir

Steps for turning a journal into a memoir

I have been slowly revising my latest book My Eye Fell Into the Soup. This book is the first of a two-book set depicting the two years that Martha and I lived with her cancer illness. I have described some of the writing process elsewhere.

There was a time when writing / organizing / revising this so-personal manuscript was difficult, very difficult, but that is no longer the case. When I was first working on My Eye Fell Into the Soup, I would take it up for a few days and then put it down for weeks.

Revision is not as emotionally draining as creation

Now 8 years after Martha’s death, I am doing in-depth revision and it has proven to be very technical. The how to write a memoirfeeling part is long past. There’s something about checking the clarity of antecedents to pronouns, about making sure that characters that are so familiar to me are sufficiently explained, about going to an internet dictionary to ascertain that my word choice is indeed the best choice that takes feeling out of the process.

Turning journals into memoirs: are revisions permitted?

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A Cancer Diagnosis

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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DL: Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, […]

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Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008,  from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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Our First Evening Coping with Cancer

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008,  from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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The Pleura Is Full of Fluid

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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Draining the Cancer from the Pleura

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time. (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

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