I’m just figuring this out as I go. Cancer Sucks

By Michael Miller

I had to think about this post for a bit. I’m new to this blogging thing, having said that, I’ve come to the harsh realization that most folk expect uplifting, positive words, (generally speaking). Lord knows I’ve plenty of those I promise. I’ve been truly blessed in my years, so in June of 2017 when I got the news about this cancer thing it threw me for a loop.

It dawned on me, not a burning bush kinda thing, but a slow almost lifting of the curtain kinda thing. I am blessed with four wonderful children, three fabulous grand babies and it get’s even better, four more on the way. Yea…can you say proud?

But I hadn’t told them who they are, what they’re about, or the kind of blood that courses through their veins. I found myself suddenly running out of time and they needed to know they have a foundation. A rich history built upon strong backs and even stronger character.

The titles of Appalachian and Hillbilly have become buzz words these days. Our heritage seems to have fallen victim to pseudo documentaries, falsified reality shows, and Red-neck this or Red-neck that. It seems just about anyone who can say Yeehaw is trying to make a buck. The entire mess is just simply revolting. Being from the mountains is something I’m very proud of, it’s who I am and I wear the title with pride.

Thus The Tin Cup Clan was born. Not just the book series but the stories as well. The series is very loosely based on my childhood, (with artistic license). But the stories, well they’re true memories. The dialect is real, the folks were real, the lessons are real.

This damned cancer, along with the endless radiation and rounds of chemotherapy is slowly but surely erasing these from my mind. It scares me, I’ve always envisioned myself as one of “those” who could handle anything. This time not so much.

We’ve all seen the commercials and news spots. Happy faces, smiling with the colorful head-scarves, laughing as they run “Relays for life” and all that jazz. Interviews where family and friends band together support the unfortunate “cancer victim.” Like most, that’s what in the back of my mind I figured was gonna happen.

It didn’t. Not in my case.

Nope, when I heard the words “advanced stage IV” I simply got mad, mad as hell. For a while I expected all the fan fair, family, and all the ooey-gooey stuff to happen. I began to resent the very ones who loved me. Then it hit me. I was expecting far more than the average person could handle. It took me a while to realize my expectation of them was just as out of kilter as any of those P.S.A.’s that I had come to despise. My beloved family had in reality, far more on their plate than I did. My life, (or what was left of it), my happiness, was my responsibility and mine alone. I had no right to expect more of them than I did myself.

With that firmly in mind, I was forced to rethink everything. I picked up a pen and began writing. I had no idea how to, I simply wrote. I have a purpose now, a calling if I can be so bold. Record who I am, what I’ve done, make em laugh, make em cry, “bleed onto the page” as Hemingway said, and give my family roots.

The books as well as this blog will hopefully long outlast me, (but the last time I checked there ain’t no expiration date on me anywhere, and I’ve looked). I figure I’m gonna be around for quiet some time. I hope all who reads them takes a bit away with them. I would very much appreciate a “like” or even a “share”. Oh, and no I haven’t had the need of a head-scarf, but I got a really nice Bowler hat.

Published by The Tin Cup Clan

Mike had never considered himself an author until in his fifties an advanced cancer diagnosis for him to worry about the legacy he would leave for his children and grandchildren. Once the treatments began he needless to say, found himself with plenty of time to put pen to paper. The result was a culmination of stories soon to be named The Tin Cup Clan. A simpler time but not necessarily the greatest of times. The story of a group of young boys trying to survive the harsh reality of coal country, poverty, and just simply growing up. Along the way friendships are formed, old town mysteries are solved, and lessons are learned that will last a life time.

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