Tag Archives: cancer

Ducks in a Row

16 Jun

This one from Kris Carr could apply to anybody:

So often we wait for all our ducks to be in a row, our closets to be neat and tidy, and our endless to-do lists to be checked off before we allow ourselves to have fun. We believe that only after we get all our “stuff” done can we take a deep breath and live.

Well, cancer doesn’t wait for order. In fact, it thrives on chaos. Breathe now. Burn the lists and let the dust bunnies roll like tumbleweeds. Narrow your focus to what really matters: you. Cancer is unknown territory. Will life ever be the same? I hate to burst your bubble, but no. Can you still drink wine? Maybe. Dance on tables? Yes. Go on vacation? Absolutely. Be “normal”? Why would you want to be that? ~ Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips

I struggle with this to-do list problem continually. I feel like I can’t go out, read a book, call a friend, write a poem, do anything until the dishes are clean and the clothes are folded and the mail is sorted and … . All it ever does for me is cause stress and anxiety. Lately, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to shift my focus from all the chores of life to its abundant opportunities. Carpe diem, right? Or is collige virgo rosas more appropriate?


Anne Thompson and Dr. Death

Things to Do in 2008

On Self-Pity


On Divorce

16 Jun

From my most recent interview, I found this statement from Sylvia (opera singer, cancer survivor) really interesting, especially considering that about half of all marriages end in divorce. Maybe it will give people one more reason to stop and think before deciding to end their marriages:

I remember hearing Lance Armstrong give an interview to Charlie Rose on PBS. Armstrong said his cancer was so much easier than his divorce. Writer/satirist/comedian Robert Schimmel (Cancer on $5 a Day) has written the same thing. When I’ve heard those guys say it, somehow it has lightened my burden. So I’m adding my name to that list saying, “If you’re going through divorce, know that you are doing the toughest thing any human ever has to do.” Divorce is so difficult. Cancer is too, but with cancer everyone surrounds you with love and support. With divorce, so many people – at a loss for what to say and do – run for cover. Piled on top of overwhelming grief, you then also lose many of your friends. I’ve never felt so alone and lost as when I was going through divorce. With cancer, I had an ARMY of people to help!

Wow. To me, that’s pretty profound, especially with the way divorce is often portrayed in this country – as the punchline to a joke, as “the best thing I could have ever done for myself,” as a solution for the problem of what to do when you meet your soul mate after you’re already married (there’s a book on this one) … you get the point.

Dear People in the Park Pushing a Baby Stroller,

10 Jun

Please don’t smoke. Just because your lungs are black, it doesn’t mean that his have to be.

Thank you,


From My Inbox: My Mom’s Last Wish

14 Mar
E-mails like this one I got today make my job both very difficult and very rewarding.  It’s hard when you know that a lot of the people who write for you may not have very much longer to live.  But it is also rewarding to know that you, if even in a small way, have made a difference in someone’s life.  This is from the son of a lady who wrote a small piece for the magazine: 
I want to thank you for all the prayers!
My family needs your prayers for peace, love, finances, relationship!
NO DOOM or GLOOM! My mom was positive to the end and peaceful!!! Very strong woman!
She wanted everyone to read her Article in a cancer magazine! See the attached PDF file!
One regret is that I never video taped her before it got bad. Please do this for your yourself, your kids, your grand kids, great grand kids!
Maybe write a letter to them before it is the end. State your wishes and directions for each person. Write your favorite things and why!
Have a wonderful day and week!
God bless you and Over flow your cup with love, peace, finances, joy, healing, happiness, relationships! Take care!

Q&A with John Kerry

13 Dec

This is just one question out of eight in the actual interview. It was the one that I found the most interesting. Enjoy!

Senator John Kerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer while on the presidential campaign trail in 2002. In a recent interview with Coping With Cancer magazine, he speaks candidly about beating cancer, losing an election and advocating for the American people.

CM: What has been the one most difficult challenge you have faced since having cancer? How did you overcome it?

JK: You know, there are a lot of challenges at my age. You lose friends and family to illness and death. And in my case, I lost a pretty close election. The learning gained from getting knocked on my ass in defeat is not my favorite way to gain insight and knowledge, but it is an event in life that sticks with you, I’ll tell you that much. I was forced to confront my shortcomings, figure out what I did wrong, listen, and in defeat, I also was reminded what really mattered to me. As lousy as it felt to lose, life was a hell of a lot harder after November 2, 2004, for the working father who woke up still without healthcare for his kids, for families in New Orleans abandoned on rooftops while the water rose, or for troops in Iraq who got up every day in the middle of a civil war. I felt a really personal obligation not to lay around licking my wounds but to dust myself off and fight for those people.

Anne Thompson and Dr. Death

10 Oct

Here are snippets from my latest Coping magazine articles. If you want to read the full versions, you’ll have to visit my Facebook or ask for a copy. I don’t think I can post them here. At some point in time, I may post parts of my older interviews, like Olivia Newton-John or Patrick Dempsey, but those are currently on my Facebook as well.

NBC News Correspondent Anne Thompson
‘Every day is going to have a moment to savor’Cancer isn’t about dying, it is about living. I know, I’ve been living with cancer for the past year, and you’ve been watching me. These words, penned by NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson, began a confession of sorts, a divulgence of a secret that Anne had kept from her television audience, and many of her NBC colleagues, for a year. The response from viewers, she confides in an interview with Coping magazine, “blew me away.”

Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2006. She decided early on that work would be her “cancer-free zone.” As a journalist, she wanted to keep her diagnosis private. “My job is to get people to talk about themselves or an issue they’re involved in. And nothing stops a conversation quicker than to say, ‘I have cancer.’ And I didn’t want the focus to be on me,” Anne says. “If my appearance changed dramatically and I didn’t look good, I didn’t want to be on the air because that would detract from my story. I didn’t want to be the story.”

Professional Wrestler Dr. Death: In the Ring with Cancer

During his professional wrestling career, which spans over two decades, Dr. Death has stepped into the ring against numerous menacing foes, including tough guys like Dick Murdoch, Ric Flair, and Dustin Rhodes. But in 2004, he faced his toughest opponent yet when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Though he was unable to speak at all for several months following surgery to remove his tumor, Doc now uses his voice to inspire others by sharing his story from the wrestling ring.

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Doc about how he went head to head with cancer and came out on top. He relies on a stoma to communicate, but his voice is clear and strong. It’s the kind of voice you would expect from a man with the nickname “Dr. Death.” Despite his menacing name and his gargantuan stature, Doc admits he is not dauntless. “Cancer was the scariest thing I have ever been through in my life,” he confides.

On Self-Pity

9 Oct

“I’ve said this many times, you don’t want to wallow in self-pity. It’s okay to swish your feet in it a little, but then get out.”
~Coach Kay Yow, NC State women’s basketball coach, breast cancer survivor