Cancer as a gift? No, thank you.

Posted February 19th, 2018

I walked beside my husband, Gary, with late stage prostate cancer for several years longer than the professionals originally projected. Ten burbling, courage-filled, memory-making, oddly-sweet years. The experience taught us to notice life, and all the simple pleasures we hadn’t meant to take for granted, and all the astonishing people who surrounded us in love. […]

Should We Let Disagreeable Conditions Defer Our Plans?

Posted January 23rd, 2018

Earlier this week, I joined up with two of my cancer-kicking friends, Mike and Bina, and snow-shoed from Mt. Bachelor in central Oregon out to Todd Lake – a cold, gray-shrouded trek. Had I planned to snowshoe on my own, I probably would have canceled — because it was raining in town, which most likely […]

Define Your Purpose; Live Your Reason

Posted January 4th, 2018

Three years ago—as a new cancer widow, resigning my job, and preparing to write full-time at the encouragement of my adult children—I sent a farewell letter to the community I served as Survivorship Coordinator at the St. Charles Cancer Center. A friend wrote back, sharing the words that had been his mantra as his young daughter […]

Dealing with cancer? 5 Gifts To Give Yourself This Holiday Season

Posted December 18th, 2017

My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with late-stage disease, whereupon the experts projected two years because he was relatively young and in good shape, and prostate cancer is slow-growing. But Gary beat the two-year deadline. In fact, he lived ten high-volume, courageous years. And if I needed to assign credit for his extended quality of life, […]

How To Manage Fear When Cancer Shows Up

Posted November 22nd, 2017

For some people, the unknown carries anticipation. A job transition, for example, that could mean new opportunity, new friends, a new community. The excitement of pushing away from the dock and pursuing far-reaching, blustery adventures. For others, the unknown causes anxiety. Leaving the safety of the familiar shore, swept out into uncharted waters. A cancer diagnosis, […]

What Mismatched Socks Taught Us About Living With Cancer

Posted November 17th, 2017

My husband, Gary, and I were back in Hospice House after breaking out for two weeks. Love found us there, because there is no hiding from love. Visitors, food, chai tea in cheery red cups, overflowing gift baskets. And these groovy mismatched socks with the manufacturer’s tag that read: “Life’s too short to wear matching socks.” […]

4 Simple Ways To Experience Peace In Cancer

Posted October 16th, 2017

Not too long ago, I stumbled across an email sent as an update to our kids and siblings on how my husband, Gary, was faring with cancer: “We’re home from Hospice House,” I wrote. “Gary’s still pretty sharp, his sense of humor is still intact, but there’s been quite a bit of change in the past […]

9 Advantages To Having Siblings (Read: Support Team)

Posted September 28th, 2017

I was looking through some photos of my recent Oregon-to-Colorado road trip, and came across this pic of my big brother and me standing at an observation deck above Snowbird in a gorgeous land called Utah. I grew up the girl in the middle. Sandwiched in between two brothers. And while I never tattled, or […]

17 Things I Took For Granted Before Cancer

Posted September 18th, 2017

A blog reader recently sent email about his wife who died too quickly after a cancer diagnosis: “I was unprepared and now alone. My awesome wife and friend … was now missing from my life,” he wrote. His email reminded me that when cancer strikes and we lose someone of infinite value—spouse, child, extended family member, […]

What does ‘living well’ mean?

Posted September 6th, 2017

At a recent one-day writers’ conference, I had a 15-minute meeting with a literary agent. She asked me to tell her about my book proposal, and then provided excellent feedback from someone inside the publishing industry. “I like a phrase you used: ‘How to live well through adversity.’ What do you mean by living well?” she […]