Writing & Healing Contest Winners

By on November 4th, 2015 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

When asked if I could help create a writing contest with winners, I thought to myself that each writing and submission would already be a winner in the important ways.

They were all a pleasure to read, offering many feelings through interesting objects. There was joy and grief and humor as well as a great deal of resiliency.

The three winners all told their story through objects using good specific detail. The feelings the objects expressed were easy for the reader to relate to.

Each story expressed a “journey” during which somehow the story was lifted in the end. I’m pleased to present the winning entries from Nancy Werner, Cheryl Tompot, and Sharon Murphy. Enjoy!


I am small and broken but I can still bring a moment of surprise and delight into someone’s life as I change light into a rainbow of color at the most unexpected time/place. To be broken does not mean useless or finished with. It just means that we will do things maybe in a different way or maybe not at all. But life goes on, we adapt, do what we can and don’t mind the rest. Life sometimes forces us into different paths, paths we would not have chosen for ourselves. And, sometimes, just maybe sometimes, the new path turns out to be so much better. We develop a whole new perspective, a whole new appreciation for things and maybe even discover things about ourselves that we never knew. To be broken only means to live in a different way, sometimes a better way.
We can be like a prism and shine with just the right amount of light coming through us. If we are broken, let us not hide in our broken-ness but find a way to let the light shine through us. Who knows what we may reflect…..

— Nancy Werner



I am so glad to meet you. I am #9, a Batman Uno Card. I seem to have lost my pack and my way, which is quite lonely. Where I have been there is no one else like me. I used to feel something warm holding me, which was quite nice. But just about the time I would feel comfortable, they would throw me on a hard cold surface. It was startling and made me sad. There were others that joined me though and that brought me some comfort. We would talk to one another and laugh a bit sharing our lives. We shuffled together and kept close. I am made of so many colors which made me feel different ways; blue which made me feel sad, red made me feel angry, gold made me feel warm. I was always surrounded by white and I found that peaceful and healing. It helped me to remember I am fierce and strong like Batman. Mostly it reminded me that I was number one to God, like the word Uno branded on me and like a cat with nine lives….. I was #9 and there are many facets to my life. I really am not alone after all.

— Cheryl Tompot


I am a bobbin once used in a mill where my job was to spin thread to sew garments. My  body is  strong which enabled me to work long hours in a cold, damp factory. I didn’t complain about conditions because no one cared. I was there to work and work was the priority, not me or my lack of ability to find better work in a better environment.

Sometimes, I hear the workers talking at break time, the only time I can hear them because the noise here is deafening in the machine room that never shuts off.  The next shift comes in and takes over where the last shift left and I am rewound and put back to work hour after hour with no break.

Looking around the rather large space, I notice light reflecting through the skylight.

Chinks of  light brighten the area and every section suddenly looked radiant and glowing.  I thought how I could enjoy this daily and rather than be depressed, I could watch the way the room danced in the shadows of this glow making an otherwise dreary space, happy.

Perhaps I could change my attitude  and look for the beauty that oftentimes is hidden among the shadows of worry and desperation.

— Sharon Murphy

Pamela Post-Ferrante is a cancer survivor, writer, teacher, and workshop leader. She taught in Lesley University’s Graduate School of Expressive Therapies from 2003–2011 and leads sessions privately and in Boston-area hospitals for cancer survivors. She has been published in several books, magazines, journals, and heard on NPR. She wrote Writing and Healing: A Mindful Guide for Cancer Survivors to help others. Learn more about Pamela, her book, and starting your own writing group at www.writingandhealing.com or on her Facebook page.

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