Essays

First-person narratives about what it’s like living with illness, from people who know.

,

Why I'll Never Be Okay With Having A Chronic Illness

Everyone expects me to be okay with my condition. I'm here to tell you that's not how it works.
,

Getting My Life Back After Open Heart Surgery

James Beard- and Julia Child-award-winning author Linda West Eckhardt lives for food, family, and dogs. But what happens after the cookbook writer gets her chest carved open?
,

How Chronic Illness Helped Me Perfect My Craft

By writing poetry about the migraines that have afflicted me since my twenties, I gained a mastery over my craft I might otherwise never have found.
,

How I Diagnosed Myself Reading 'Alice In Wonderland'

After years of being ignored by doctors, reading Lewis Carroll led to me finally putting a name to what was 'wrong' with me.
,

My Threesome With An Eating Disorder

Dating is hard. Dating while trying to keep your anorexia in check is even harder.
,

To Tattoo Or Not Tattoo? After Breast Cancer, That's The Question

After a mastectomy, I felt mangled and ashamed by what I had lost. For me, micropigmentation was the answer.
A blind woman with occult macular generation standing before Denali.
, ,

Regaining Sight Of Her Happiness After Blindness

Losing her vision from occult macular degeneration could easily have placed Ashley J. Smith in a downward spiral. Instead, she chose joy.
A blonde woman with short hair having tea in an all-pink room.
,

How I Became A Pink Person

I never really liked the color pink. But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and pink became the color that connected me to fellow survivors.
,

Breast Cancer and the Mom-God Fantasy

When I elected to have my breasts removed because of the BRCA I mutation, my twin daughters had to suddenly come to terms with my mortality.