Essays

Chris writes from a desk overlooking the gardens in her suburban New Jersey home. Here’s a selection of her published work.

(HER)OICS Paperback – March 11, 2021

(Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic draws together the stories of 52 women across the US during the Covid-19 pandemic, including Not Back to But Forward, Chris’ essay about how her cancer experiences helped her cope with COVID-19.

Potato Soup Journal Anthology (1)

An anthology of sci-fi, literary, memoir, horror, satire, romance includes, In Words and Plants: How I Landscape My Life, an essay about how gardening and writing have woven through my life, like a clematis on a trellis.

From Prime Press

The Writers Circle 2

An anthology of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction writing includes, Memorare, an
essay about the slow loss of my mother-in-law’s mind to Alzheimer’s dementia.

On Trust’s Shore

When my family arrived at the beach this year, my two teenage boys ran to the surf. They didn’t hesitate as they dove through the curling waves. I wasn’t so bold. I meandered to the shoreline and let the waves lap my feet.  I waded in further. I watched the kids…

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A Reconstructed Life

Breast cancer causes profound loss and grief. We grieve the loss of our bodies. We grieve the loss of our feminine identity. We grieve the loss of friendships. We grieve the loss of the opportunity for motherhood, as many patients enter menopause prematurely…

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The Path To Success Doesn’t Always Mean A Four Year Degree

The end of the high school year is “senior packet” time. It’s the beginning of the insanely stressful college application process…

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An Unlikely Dissident

“Just everyone, go read this book!” I tweeted @manal_alsharif this summer after I finished reading Daring to Drive. In response, Ms. al-Sharif suggested that I register for the Oslo Freedom Forum in New York so that I could hear her speak. I applied to attend, and…

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Marking Milestones

Christine Corrigan was diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-positive stage I breast cancer in 2016, at age 49. She wrote this piece in March 2017, exactly 1 year after her diagnosis. Christine has graciously agreed for it to be used as part of Living Beyond…

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In Words and Plants: How I Landscape My Life by Christine Corrigan

“You know, mom, you can’t be a writer and have a good garden. You have to make a choice,” my eleven-year-old son said. At the time, we were walking together through Hidcote Garden…

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The Ghost in Our Kitchen

It’s Easter Sunday afternoon; cool with the sun peeking in and out of the clouds all day. Our home is quiet; the silence broken with the periodic, jellybean-fueled shouts from Tom and James, my 17- and 12-year-old sons, who are playing…

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I Finally Found a Pretty Bra for My Rebuilt Boobs

“You know, you don’t need to wear a bra at all,” my plastic surgeon said as I hooked up my bra at the end of my last appointment. I raised my eyebrows at him and thought, “Okay, while you may…

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10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

No one wants to hear “I’m sorry it’s breast cancer” or face the storm of tests and treatment that follows. When I heard those words two years ago after a routine…

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The Sheltering Tree

A breast cancer diagnosis can cause, in no particular order: terror, panic, anxiety, and worry. At least it did for me. As the calendar filled with appointments I never wanted to schedule, I became captive to the beast’s relentless demands…

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Much Ado About Nipples

Following a breast cancer diagnosis or learning of a BRCA gene mutation, women are faced with a number of surgical treatment options depending on the type, stage and grade of the cancer, or how aggressive they want to be in…

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It’s About Identity, Not Vanity

In February 2019, the Food and Drug Administration issued a letter to physicians stating that individuals with breast implants have a risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a type…

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A Father's Day

The acrid scent of medications, loose bowels, and disinfectant engulfed us as Jeanne, my mother-in-law, opened the front door of the stately grey colonial in Connecticut where she and Bob, her husband had lived for twenty-five years.

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