Meet The Artist Jan Cox
By Melissa Wynn
Local author and poet Jan Cox has always had a passion for writing. She wrote her first poem in the first grade and has created beauty with words ever since. Her latest creation, Mended Wings Poetry Of A Cancer Survivor, was recently published by Virtualbookworm.com.
Usually poetry is a tough sell to publishers and rejection letters are most common in this genre, but not for Jan Cox. Our gifted neighbor received her letter of acceptance in just two short days. This is a testament to the quality of her masterpiece and read, “Ms. Cox: Thanks for submitting “Mended Wings” for our consideration. We are extremely critical with poetry, but your compilation is excellent. Two of our editors reviewed the manuscript and went through a wide range of emotions as they read the poems— a huge compliment! Your pain, fear and hope definitely came through. With that said, we would be honored to publish your book.”
In 2002 Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer, had lumpectomy surgery and began the difficult processes of radiation and chemotherapy. It was during this time that she began the poems that would become a part of Mended Wings. She described it as a personal kind of therapy saying “It was my saving grace to write it down and get the feelings out.”
The first three sections, appropriately named Onset, Struggle and Healing, take you along on her journey from the dreaded informing phone call from the doctor to her celebratory vacation to New Zealand when her first round of treatments were complete. Each masterfully written poem exudes her anxiety, pain, fear, hope and finally relief with startling clarity.
In 2007, upon returning from her amazing trip the heart wrenching news came once again. An unexplained rash turned out to be the very aggressive inflammatory Breast Cancer and so began yet another round of chemo and radiation.
The final three sections Return, Emergence, and Rebirth,move from her frustration and fear through new learning’s about life, acceptance and celebration, along with a return to inner joy and gratitude. In an afterword, Jan leaves the reader with some practical information which helped in her own recovery and survival.
The cover of Mended Wings is from an original piece of paper art designed by Jan’s talented sister Cheri Aldrich. The original hangs in Jan’s home and is not for sale. The swirls in the woman accurately depict the chaos that occurred within Jan’s body during chemo and the butterfly represents her ability to not only continue after her great struggle but to thrive and fly. More of Cheri’s art can be seen and purchased at cherisgallery.com.
I read this book cover to cover, in one night. Never before have I experienced so much emotion from so few words.
You can purchase Mended Wings, for $12.00 plus tax, locally at The Old Town Mercantile in Westwood or in Chester at Books and Beyond. Copies are also available online at Amazon.com and direct from the publisher at Virtualbookworm.com.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been through, is going through, is curious about or has a loved one whose life has been impacted by cancer. It is a very scary road, so don’t goat at it alone. Pick up a copy of Mended Wings and let Jan Cox’s inspiring and insightful words vicariously hold your hand along the way. The most comforting words always come from someone that truly “gets it”.
Jan Cox lives in Clear Creek, California with her loving husband John and continues to write, thrive and enjoy the little things in life that so many of us take for granted.