Archives For Inspiring

img_7830This past Sunday one of our dogs, Kenyon, appeared to be fine. On Monday he was throwing up mucus and pieces of grass. This type of throwing up is not unusual for either of our dogs. They eat grass when they are having digestive problems, like constipation. His vomiting continued intermittently throughout the day. I went to dance practice Monday night. On Tuesday morning my husband left me a note telling me that Kenyon hadn’t eaten Monday night nor Tuesday morning. He informed me that the dog had ingested part of Continue Reading…

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Then

As most of you know, my daughter had another tumor removed last July. This was her second occurrence of leiomyosarcoma. She had a liver resection. Two institutions opined that it could not be determined if it was a new primary tumor or Stage IV as the cells of leiomyosarcoma were exactly the same. She was 6 months shy of her 5-year anniversary.

As a parent, at first I was first in warrior mode, then caregiver mode and then when the dust had settled became completely distraught. I have complex PTSD and this event was a trauma trigger on the magnitude of an 8.0 earthquake collapsing the entire house. I went into the usual grieving over whether she would live or die. I had to wrestle with Can I stand by and watch my daughter die from this? Would I rather be dead? Even after all I had been through, fighting to live, living through my first husband’s death, could I do this again? I asked myself these questions and more. Continue Reading…

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I love going to the movies. It is the only place where I feel completely unplugged and immersed in someone else’s story, especially if it is a good movie. This year I have started ‘Wednesday is Movie Night’ and I go with a very good friend each and every week.

Even before the 2015 Academy Awards where Julianne Moore won best actress, I was interested in seeing “Still Alice”. My movie partner wasn’t as interested but went this week with me to see Moore’s Oscar winning performance. Continue Reading…

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As you are aware the end of the year and the holiday season may be a difficult time for The Nation of Cancer. It is a time of reflection; a time to look at where one is in their life. It is also a time that may exacerbate the loss felt if a loved one has died or is very sick. It can also be a time of sadness if you, yourself are dealing with your own illness. I know that there have been many years this has been true in my life and this year has been no exception.

As I have been writing out holiday cards, I have been struck by how difficult this year has been but also struck by the gratitude I feel for what I do have. For one thing, I feel very grateful that I was able to accompany Jean Shinoda Bolen on a trip to Ireland a few years ago. I am also grateful that she graciously endorsed my book.

I have read most of her books and have always learned so much from her. Her latest book: Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywomen is a prime example of her writing, another wonderful book full of stories of mythology and how they still apply to each of us. This book has helped in better understanding my nature, further identifying mythological archetypes and contributed to continuing my journey of knowledge of who I am and what I can be.

I am including an e-mail that I received from her that I think is something to ponder as we continue on our path of healing. As suggested, I am passing along the gift of Jean Shinoda Bolen.

December 11, 2014

“Still Here” is a short essay that I read in one of my workshops at Esalen and said that I would send it to them. Intuition after hearing from others about people they have lost:  send it out to all. Continue Reading…

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As many of you know I have a genetic defect called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.

Per ‘’Medscape” Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a rare autosomal dominant syndrome in which patients are predisposed to cancer. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is characterized by the wide variety of cancer types seen in affected individuals, a young age at onset of malignancies, and the potential for multiple primary sites of cancer during the lifetime of affected individuals.

(see http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/987356-overview)

This past year a group of friends that also are affected by LFS started a non-profit called LivingLFS.org. All of us ‘met’ in a ‘closed’ Facebook support group and then in person last year. It Continue Reading…

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This past week I was the ‘featured’ guest of Cancer Nation Radio, a weekly talk radio program whose goal is to provide a forum for those who lives are touched by cancer. They broadcast locally in Las Vegas at 1230AM and live to the world over the Internet. (See: http://www.klav1230am.com/Shows/Cancer-Nation-Radio.html). (Please ‘Like’ them on Facebook and tell your friends!)  Continue Reading…

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HOW

The answer to the first question is, well, no and yes. The how is that you have to find an agent to represent you and your manuscript to a publisher. According to the six agents that were contacted regarding representing me to sell my manuscript to a traditional publishing house, the answer was ‘NO’. The reasons given basically were as follows:

  1. Traditional publishing is rapidly changing. A memoir about cancer by an unknown author will be a hard sell.
  2. While your story is amazing, we no longer represent these types of books. We are more into ‘YA’ or young adult fiction. Good luck to you though!
  3. Even though your story sounds intriguing, I do not have the time to read it and would need to further understand the context.
  4. No response
  5. No response
  6. The market is saturated in this field.. or in my words–“Been done to death”

WHAT

So what is a person to do? I could keep working on trying to find an agent. This would require a dog and pony show, letter writing, writing for magazines, blogging for the Huffington Post. I get cancer with the frequency of turning over a leased car…therefore, I have no time to mess around. Continue Reading…

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I was prompted to write this post after a friend shared a blog post on Facebook. http://zenofmetastasis.blogspot.com/2013/03/honk-if-youre-hero-ps-you-are.html

In his post the author and blogger Kevin Lankes writes “Cancer is not a fight.  It’s an illness.” Further on he says “And so there are those who have the propensity to create a mythology to cover up the realities of the disease, in order to apply an idealized version of it to mesh with our moral code or cultural viewpoints.”

He also tackles the concepts of courage and heroes and concludes that these terms should not apply to having cancer. He concludes his piece with “If you think someone is a hero for surviving cancer, or courageous, or inspiring, then you’re part of the problem. You’re doing it wrong. Anyone can survive cancer.  And anyone can die from it.  You want to sell your book, or promote your movie with a heavy sugar coating of mythology wrapped around the serious, ugly core of a terrible disease; that’s fine.  Leave me out of it.”

Like me he believes everyone is a hero, with or without cancer. As someone who has been living (fortunately) with cancer for 20 years and after I just finished writing a book, I was really struck by his viewpoint. I interpreted from his message that cancer just ‘is’ and having it doesn’t attribute any qualities on the person with cancer. So I decided to question the history and notion of why we use the War Metaphor.

The War on Cancer as a Metaphor on Two Fronts Continue Reading…