Cancer and Financial Toxicity: 6 Tactics

Posted November 7th, 2019

My friend, Michaela, upon turning 40, had a mammogram. Suspicious areas showed up in both breasts, which precipitated an ultrasound, two biopsies, and additional mammography. All to the tune of $4,000. Although no cancer was detected, Michaela needs to return every six months for images. “High risk,” they said. “We need to watch this closely,” they said. Here’s the […]


5 Ways to Slow Down while Dealing with Cancer

Posted October 1st, 2019

Michelle, a running coach, approached me. “What about a weekly walking group for cancer survivors and caregivers?” Michelle’s class was officially named Walking for Wellness. My part as Survivorship Coordinator at the St. Charles Cancer Center was trail sweep—to hang out with the slowest walker so no one got left behind. In all the years, I didn’t […]


Why You Should Tell the Story of the Mountain You Climbed

Posted August 14th, 2019

My husband, Gary, and I climbed several mountains during his cancer years. He was on a treatment to slow down prostate cancer cell growth. One of the side effects was osteoporosis. So in our middle years, we laced up hiking boots and conquered the nearby Oregon Cascades. And then we took on more mountain ranges. […]


What Is Anticipatory Grief?

Posted July 9th, 2019

A close friend’s husband was recently diagnosed with cancer. They’re saying maybe three, maybe four months. Which reminded me of my own husband’s terminal diagnosis. I’ve often thought, Oh, how lucky was I … because we had the gift of time to say everything we wanted to say to each other. But there was also the […]


Can we choose happiness even in cancer?

Posted May 9th, 2019

Grand-dog Chloe and I are glamping in an elegant Airstream in a land of sunny skies and craggy mountain ranges and saguaro cacti. Tucson. I’m grand-dog sitting while my son and daughter-in-law are traveling internationally. Stenciled on the vintage trailer next door is this thought: “Today, I will be happier than a bird with a […]


Why rest? A few thoughts for the road-weary cancer caregiver

Posted April 1st, 2019

There was a dark, pre-dawn morning when I hurried my husband, Gary, to the hospital emergency room. Because when you’re on chemo and you have tubes sticking out of your body, then flu-like symptoms can shout of serious infection. I brought Gary home after five hours of antibiotic infusion, prepared something for him to eat, […]


5 Surefire Strategies for Thriving Despite Cancer

Posted January 9th, 2019

My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer. As in, no cure because it had already metastasized outside the prostate.  But Gary—tenaciously, courageously—went on to defy the odds and live ten really good years. How is it that some people seem to flourish despite life’s challenges, while others wither up and curl in on […]


Why tenacity matters in the face of cancer

Posted October 22nd, 2018

My husband, Gary, was  stubborn tenacious. When he was first diagnosed with late-stage, slow-growing cancer, we learned he could expect about two years of life. But Gary stubbornly insisted on living ten years. Ten far-reaching, astonishing years. I love that I was married to a tenacious man. There was a day—with chemo still in his system and […]


Why ‘brave-making’ is important

Posted September 17th, 2018

Cancer is a bully and a thief. It pushed my husband, Gary, and me around for a while and stole a good deal of our courage. In time, though, we determined to step out into unknown, scary places. We took up hiking and snow-showing in our middle years. We applied to become a non-profit, wrote […]


9 signs you might be a proactive patient

Posted July 23rd, 2018

“What can we do in addition to what you’re prescribing?” we asked the medical professionals. My husband, Gary, and I knew we didn’t want to sit around hoping surgery or treatment was all he needed; we instinctively wanted to be proactive in facing down cancer. I remember exactly where I was when my cell phone rang. […]