Bearing Witness is a collection of stories from women who went through the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and treatment for it, only to find that the cancer recurred and any hope of recovery was gone. These women represent a spectrum of ages, ethnic backgrounds, marital circumstances, and professional experiences. From their stories we learn how each woman shapes the meaning of her life. Facing a life crisis can make one bitter and angry, but it can also provide the key to a thankful and generous spirit within.
Storytelling is an important art form present in many cultures: it is a way of processing life events, of searching for meaning, and of allowing teller and listener to wrestle with the message. It is a form of teaching and learning. For the women in Bearing Witness , stories are tangible legacies for family and friends and a chance to share their thoughts on living with the “glass half full.” They inspire the reader to reflect on life’s struggles and to find within themselves a sense of optimism, perhaps when they least expect to.
Kathryn Carter’s concluding essay places these stories in the context of contemporary discourses of illness and healing.
About the Author
Kathryn Carter is acting dean at Laurier Brantford where she has taught English and contemporary studies. Her research on women’s diaries led to an edited collection, The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada: 1830–1996 (2002), and recent articles that address the 1830 letter journal of Frances Simpson (in Australian–Canadian Studies ), the 1930s diary of Myrtle Gamble Knister (in the Journal of Canadian Studies ), and diaries written by schoolgirls in Canada at the end of the nineteenth century (in Canadian Children’s Literature ).
Table of Contents
Table of Contents for Bearing Witness: Living with Ovarian Cancer , edited by Kathryn Carter and Laurie Elit
Introduction | Dr. Laurie Elit
Afterword: Metastasizing Plots: Telling and Un-Telling the Stories of Cancer | Kathryn Carter