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Mercer professor writes about living with cancer | News

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Mercer professor writes about living with cancer

Anya Silver is a poet, professor, and author. She currently teaches at Mercer, and has two published books of poetry.

But her most recent book, "I Watched You Disappear," has a very personal theme.

Silver says, "I was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer while I was pregnant, and so a lot of the poems in this book deal with the experience of living with breast cancer."

She says when she was pregnant with her son, Noah, she had concern about some changes in her body. She was told they were normal changes due to pregnancy.

Eventually, a doctor did examine her and was skeptical that she had cancer.

But after the exam, Silver found that she had a very rare form of the disease called Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

"I've always written ever since I was in junior high," she says, "So when I was diagnosed with cancer, it was just made sense that the way to cope with the frightening aspects of cancer, was to write about them."

After treatment, she went into remission, but the cancer came back in 2010.

She says she's currently stable and takes drugs to keep the cancer from growing, but that doesn't stop her from doing what she loves.

"It's just something that I just live with, and I live a normal life and a full life," she says.

A full life, teaching her students. She says they're the best part of her job, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

"She's definitely very casual, but at the same time you know what she's expecting. You know she has high standards, and it's great to meet those. She has a great class," said Justice Ward. He's currently a biology major, but is minoring in English after taking Silver's class.

"I'd always loved English Lit, and so I think just being in classes with her helped me discover that even more," said Tabitha Strimbu, "It's definitely changed what I'll be majoring in."

"Poetry is a really intense profound way to express feelings that are difficult to express in other ways. I want to write something beautiful that will make people happy," Silver says.

Her book, "I Watched You Disappear", is on sale at various locations around Central Georgia including the Mercer University bookstore on Montpelier Avenue.


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