What we learned about a cancer diet on our way to living well

When Hubby was first diagnosed, we asked about diet and exercise. One urologist said, “I heard lycopene is good for prostate cancer, and tomatoes have lycopene, so you might want to eat more tomatoes.”“Good,” said Hubby out of earshot of the doctor. “I’ll add more tomatoes to my Big Macs and I’ll be just fine.” And so, Hubby and I were left to our own devices as a newly-diagnosed couple....more

Telling your story as part of living well

My adult children encouraged me to get back into public speaking. But Hubby and I had always told our story together and I was afraid to present alone. What if no one laughed at the humor?And then an invitation last week. To speak to nursing students. Who laughed in all the right places. (And I may have made a couple of them cry, which wasn’t very nice of me.)Your own story is quite possibly more interesting than you realize....more

My Friend Has Cancer

 No one chooses to enter this annihilating club; but somehow we’re all shoved in, unwillingly into this abysmal group which is bursting at the seams. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It’s just as likely to strike Steve Jobs as ordinary Steve at your job....more

Cancer and the way to joy

Snow-shoeing was on the agenda for yesterday. Snow falling cold and beautiful. Warm fuzzy scarf wrapped around my neck. Hot lunch afterward in a fire-lit restaurant with new and old friends.Noticing blessings and naming them is one of the things that saved me while standing watch as Hubby slipped away, as I stumbled into cancer widowhood.Thanksgiving lists. Not just for the month of November, I’m thinking. Rather, a year-round sport.This thought from Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts:...more

How to know if hospice care is right for your loved one

A little over a year ago, Hubby checked into Hospice House for the second time. Never to return to our home.Not too long after, I was running errands and came upon a billboard I’d seen a dozen times. But still it caused my heart to flutter. Because these were the Hospice House doctors and nurses who lovingly cared for Hubby in his final days.And if I had to put a name to the heart flutter, I’d say it was a mixture of gratefulness and sorrow and gladness. Which sounds a bit oxymoronic, but those last days were sweetly sorrowful....more

Cancer and Finances: 6 ways to get back on track and have more fun

The company where Hubby was employed as Data Processing Manager was bought by a competitor. He was in his mid-50s. Two years went by. He finally landed a job that paid less than half his previous salary and with no benefits.Meanwhile, we sold our home, cashed out our 401(k), depleted our savings and accrued some debt.And then the news: “You’ve got cancer. And you’re probably going to die of it.”...more

How to live fully when you're told you're going to die

When Hubby was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer—because he was relatively young and in good shape—they gave him two years. So what do you do when you’re told, “Maybe two years of life left”?The truth is, no one knows how much time he/she has. Cancer or not. So maybe the question ought to be: “Given that none of us are going to live forever, how, then, should we live?”With this question in mind, here are 4 thoughts:...more

Risk-Taking 101

In years past, I drafted lists of goals at the beginning of each new year. In several categories. And then Hubby got cancer—which wasn’t on any of my lists—and our main objective was to live as fully as possible while he still had life. But my über-efficiency kicked in and I started reverting these unwritten *live-well* goals back into written lists. In several categories. (A control issue, do you think?)Some of last year’s goals as a widow included:...more
Thank you for your kind words, Gail. Here's wishing you a slowed-down and peace-filled year ...more

Mommy!

 I remember the exact moment my dad told me my mom had cancer. I was driving my daughter, Ada, and I to the grocery store after her swim lesson. Life seemed normal.I was snacking on my taffy with my country music hits on in the background. It was a beautiful Spring day and we were heading to the store to get groceries and pick up a prescription. My phone rang and my dad told me everything as I was trying to concentrate on the expressway with a 10-month old in the background.“Yup. OK,OK. Thank you for telling me.”...more

Full Moon in Comfy, Caring Cancer 12/25/15

Christmas Day finds us with a Full Moon in the nurturing, sensitive Water sign of Cancer.  A “Full” phase (Sun and Moon gloriously opposite each other) is good for the finalization of projects, clearing up messes, etc.  The 4th sign of the Zodiac is family and home focused, so completing old business may involve where you live. Make your environment safe and secure as possible, clear out the old, give space for the new....more