Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Ernest Hemingway was a big fan of brevity; his most famous short story is a perfect example:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." 

Proves the point that you don't need a lot of words to make a point! Larry Smith, founder of SMITH Magazine, believes that too. Back in 2006, he created the tantalizing Six-Word Memoir® project with the following tagline: Everyone has a story. What's yours? Then he invited folks to tell their stories — in half a dozen words. No more, no less. 

My challenge to you all today is: Can you condense your cancer experience into just six words? I say we give it a whirl! I'm inviting everyone to participate, because everyone has a breast cancer story. Even if you don't have breast cancer yourself, your life has somehow been touched by it. Let's put a six-word face on BC.

I'll start: Cancer called. Wish I hadn't answered.


  1. My grandmas baby sister - taken young.

  2. Damn.... I'm too wordy for this..... I really like yours.

    You got boobs. I got cancer.

    I'll work on it....


  3. Carrie: Heartfelt, sad and beautiful. Thank you!

    AnneMarie: I LOVE it!!! Ain't nothin' to work on, I think you nailed it! xoxo

  4. Love it! Reminds me of our HAWMC exercises - but I think I am all worded out after that..will have a think about it though ;-)

  5. Fantastic idea!! I'm going to try it on my blog. By the way, love your six-word cancer memoir.

  6. Love this idea, Renn. Here's mine --
    Cancer scars: deep but not pervasive.

  7. wow, once again brilliant....
    im thinking too.

  8. Love this:) Just shared my crack at it on Marie's blog:

    Wild hope born from cancer's ashes.

    Off to share your post on Twitter - can't wait to read more memoirs...

  9. What a delightful and clever challenge! It reminds me of the three-word exercise (was that from Feisty Blue Gecko?). Anyway, let's keep up the suggestions for prompts. Here's my stab at it:

    Faith whispers. Love responds. Cancer deteriorates.


  10. @Marie: The HAWMC exercises actually reminded me of this project! Thanks for reposting — I'm really having fun with this. (Just goes to show that Fun and Cancer really can co-exist!) I wrote a 6-word memoir on your wall but will share here too:
    Oncology: Not part of The Plan. ;-)

    @Beth: Good luck and looking forward to reading yours!

    @PinkUnderbelly: Yours speaks to your upbeat nature. I love it!

    @Anonymous M: You have to come back and leave us 6 words! ;-)

    @Terri: Beautiful words that hint of your post-cancer adventures! Excellent! Thanks for sharing the challenge. xo

    @Jan: The 3-word exercise was from New Year's, right? I think we need to resurrect that one too. (I have already forgotten mine!) Your 6 words express the yin/yang of a cancer diagnosis perfectly! ;-)

  11. I am loving these! Can't get it quite right - for the moment I've just got:

    Boob, hair, naïveté - gone. Spirit remains.

    Looking forward to more!

  12. Got a couple more... I just put it on Marie's blog..... THIS is great.... can we make one of those work pics with the results....

    How about these:

    I looked healthy. I had cancer.

    Part two:
    I'm getting better. I look sick.

  13. @LIZ: Beautiful!

    @AM: AM: I love your Part 1 & 2. They really hit home!

    I'm glad Marie @ journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com picked up the challenge, she gets a lot more traffic than I do! Check out her blog for more responses.

  14. Breast cancer, empowering roadmaps for Superwomen!

  15. Ok, I have three.... I might move these over to my blog too....

    Breast Cancer. What's next? Move forward!

    My breast cancer - not my mother's.

    Lumpectomy, chemo, rads, arimidex, enough already!

  16. @Brenda: For sure!

    @3laine: Love 'um all! You're on a roll! I really like the middle one.

  17. Breasts. Never so considered until gone.

  18. Invader of Body; Intruder of Life.

  19. Breasts gone, now replaced. OK again?

  20. @Suebee: So good to see you! And ain't it the truth!!

    @Anonymous: Perfecto!

    @Redskyatnight: This is like the good ole days! ;-) Love yours, wish I had an answer for you....

  21. "Slow and steady wins the race."

    so far this has been my cancer fight song, as the road is long but i will see the light of remission soon!

    thanks for a great idea. i love your blog! wish my silly ipad would let me comment more...it's hard for me to use the normal computer at times.

  22. @keepthecalm: "Slow and steady..." is great and has been my mantra too. (Baby steps, baby!) Thanks for stopping by — and here's to your seeing the light of NED soon! ;-)

  23. Renn, I just love how this idea took off - we should do it more often :-)

  24. I also left one over chez Marie ;) I also "borrowed" a five word note which I love - "Cancer sucks, but blogging rocks"

    But my six word reflection is this:

    Cancer? You're kidding? Oh. You're not.

  25. @Feisty: Indeed! Agree with the first, and i wish the second wasn't so dang true. Thanks for the double post! ;-)

  26. Renn, I just love this, and there are fantastic "memoirs" here. Yes, I am also a fan of the three word exercise (selecting three words to guide and inspire at the start of each new year).

    Thanks for such a great discussion. :)

  27. Renn, Oh my, this isn't easy for one so wordy...

    Forever transformed, but I'm still me.

    How's that?

  28. Nancy, so true! A perfectly crafted 6 worder! ;-)
    thank you!

  29. Our genes broke. Bye bye, boobs.

  30. @Rachel: Very clever! Thanks for adding your wit to the challenge! ;-)

  31. These are great! Here's mine off the top of my head:

    Cancer came. Innocence lost. Feistiness reinvigorated.


  32. Cancer. Just another way of living.

  33. Cancer made me better than ever!

  34. Screw cancer...I'll just keep going

  35. @Jen: Need to check out your blog. Love your attitude! Thanks for stopping by.

    @Sisterearthorganics: ha! Love your attitude too!


  36. Love the challenge and mine isn't very clever but really honest because it's been my stupid damn response twice now! So mine is
    Cancer: sorry no time for that

  37. @Audry: You reply is VERY clever, and honest, and oh-so-true! Thank you!

  38. six months later I am back at this, sorry for the late reply

    You have cancer. World becomes technicolor.


    1. Good one, Lauren! Thanks for backtracking to leave this. ;-)

      I just posted a new challenge specifically about Pinktober last week; find it here:http://thebigcandme.blogspot.com/2012/10/six-word-memoir-pinktober.html


Your comments are encouraging — and encouraged!