Shannon Boyle

October 17, 2019
  • January 19, 2021
  • Member Stories

Boxing up cancer confusion


When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I bought a banker’s box and I got piles of National Geographic magazines and I sat down and made myself a Recovery Box.

I cut out pictures that represent me moving towards my healthy future, like dogs, turtles and a mermaid. I cut out creatures that are strongest and highest on the food chain – like a shark, a lion and a bear. I plastered these all over the outside of the box. Then I found healing pictures … people hiking, fruits and vegetables, flowers, whatever healing looks like to me, and I glued all of these pictures on the inside of the box. This became my Recovery Box.

You see, I don’t like the word cancer. I don’t want it in my world. I wanted a place in my house where I could put everything to do with cancer in one place and not have it sitting out where I would see it all the time. Also, I wanted to feel organized, to know where everything was, to know when and where I was going … to eliminate the confusion I was feeling. So all of my pamphlets, information, calendars – even appointment books – all go into binders and I put them in my recovery box and then I tuck that box away in the closet.

This feels good to me. I feel like I’m keeping a handle on my life.

Cancer blindsided me and recovery is a full-time job. I want to do it well.

Along with trying to stay organized, I also take programs at Wellspring including fly fishing – which I love! I’ve always wanted to try fly fishing, now I’m doing it!

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