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Six-Word Cancer Memoirs

By PearlPoint Nutrition Services August 28, 2013Pearls of Wisdom Blog

According to literary legend, novelist Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. He wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Inspired by Hemingway’s creativity, SMITH magazine brought the concept to national attention when they asked readers to tell their life story in just six words.

Our communications team loved this idea and recently challenged PearlPoint staff to write their own six-word memoir. Telling your life story in six words was tough. The word limit forced everyone to be creative. After some great personal stories we ask our team to write PearlPoint’s six-word story. Here are three of our favorites:

  • Cancer creates crisis; PearlPoint creates comfort
  • Throughout cancer, we are with you
  • Changing times, changing lives, enduring mission

After that afternoon of story sharing I was struck by the value of writing and sharing our experiences. In a recent interview with Cancer Today, author and ovarian cancer survivor Susan Gubar shared her thoughts on writing through her cancer journey: “It’s a wonderful thing for people to do even if they don’t intend to publish. It helps you understand. It also can help heal some of the psychological damage.I think most writers would give the same advice, which is to write every day.”

Writing can help us process and heal, and is also a great way to celebrate the courage of survivors and co-survivors as well as encourage others in their cancer journey. Whether you are a survivor, co-survivor, caregiver, family member, friend, doctor, or nurse, you have a story and we invite you to share it. If you would be willing to share your six-word cancer memoir, email us at

Below are some examples of six-word cancer memoirs from staff members. We hope you will join us by sharing your own experience with cancer.

  • Studying for finals, coping with cancer. Abby, Oncology Content Coordinator
  • One minute joyful. Another minute scared. Susan, President & CEO
  • Find ways to control your outcomes. Tracy, Director of Client Services
  • Helping others manage symptoms during treatment. Emily, Registered Dietitian
  • Creating a new conscientiousness. Ever resilient. Megan, Program Manager
  • Scared, shocked, sad; hopeful, supportive, caregiver Jackie, Office Coordinator
PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

Author PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

PearlPoint Nutrition Services is a program of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

More posts by PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

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