This blog started in September 2018 as a Facebook group we created to share updates on my cancer journey for friends and family; but eventually I found myself starting to write longer posts as a means of processing what I was experiencing. Over time, I noticed my focus broadening from mostly physical to encompass emotional and eventually even spiritual musings.
There are now almost four years' worth of posts here, so I‘ve added categories to help readers navigate the various types. And, I’m taking a page from Julia Yip-Williams’ cancer blog (which is as beautiful as it is brutal) to summarize my favorites: the ones I find myself returning to again and again when I’m at my lowest moments.
Deep breath is where we started - Per drafted it literally days after I was diagnosed, and it’s hard for me not to smile at our early optimism sharing the details of what we thought would be a six month journey.
The earliest signs was written about a year later and recaps the story behind my diagnosis and our first meetings with oncologists.
Interdependence talks about my decision to keep working through my treatment, and the way my colleagues made that possible.
From ego-driven to soul-drawn is its sorta companion piece, written almost two years later about my decision to go part time (and the realization of ego’s role in my initial decision to keep working)
A turning point in my journey is quite literally that: it summarizes the message behind the book, Journey of Souls, which introduced a dramatic reframing - the idea that cancer didn’t just happen to me, but that as a soul I chose this life knowing it would teach me what I needed to learn. Whether it’s true or not seemed inconsequential at the time; and I think by now I’ve pretty much come to believe it, which has been no small comfort.
Accidental advocates demonstrates just how much love and connection exists in the world, if you are ready to receive it.
I found that in addition to helping me connect with a broader community, it helped me grow closer with my own family. Delaney’s gift is about her decision to donate her hair to make me a wig, and how it changed our whole relationship.
People say that the curse of cancer is never knowing if it will come back; but I’ve started to see a very potent silver lining in that. Gift of uncertainty talks about a trip that likely never would have happened without a set of questionable (and likely not clear) scans.
Per wrote What cancer gives you relatively early on, and it remains a great summation of our experience. “So much perspective,” people inevitably intone when one of us says cancer has given us more than we ever imagined; and The Right Kind of Perspective outlines what this came to mean for me.
Fear Lifting and A Master Class in Fear were written just before a clear set of scans - and marked another sort of personal transition. I’m embarrassed to admit it took me over three years to truly understand the role fear played in my journey; but perhaps I needed all those recurrences to shake me out of my confidence and get me all the way to what I was supposed to learn.
Just when I felt like I was fully healed, I got word of another spot, which was recently ablated. Optimistic AF shares my perspective on why I never felt like I wanted to be a Cancer Warrior and pokes at another potential path - which is fully explored in Warrior vs Withdraw.