After two years of sarcoma treatment, I had just used up my last chemotherapy option. Now what? I felt so screwed.
Five weeks later, when surgeon Patrick Ross operated, that bugger had swollen to 2.5 inches.
That’s aggressive growth.
I can’t tell from the surgical report if he even got clean margins. Who could, with such a dangerous location?
During my post-operation appointment, the nurse practitioner told me she’d seen situations like mine for thirty years. “You need to get back on chemotherapy or get ready for Hospice.”
My mouth went dry, my throat constricted, and my pulse raced. If the nurse was right, I would probably be dead within a few months.
OMG, NO… I had boys to raise and books to write and life to live.
I soon saw my psychotherapist, who witnessed and guided me as I allowed the terror to simply be in my body. Then it flipped into anger, and I stopped breathing, except for quick gasps. Finally, she returned my mind to the room. I shook and shuddered, then relaxed. My chest tingled and emotionally I felt nothing. Then I moved into peace.
Tai Chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso later pointed out to me how easy it is to slip into feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, emptiness, loneliness, and being forsaken. No one can face death with you—it’s a solitary assignment. A dark depression, induced by the chemicals of medicine and mind, can extinguish all faith.
“It’s during these times when one must look to the light,” he wrote. “Reliance on God can change your course at any second.”
He was right.
Despite the dire warning, I continued healing my life in every way I knew how, clearing out emotional garbage and removing what Vince called “bad thinks.” Generous and gentle people helped me every step of the way.
Ever since that terrible day in 2011, my scans have been completely free of any evidence of cancer. And I have also been completely free of all cancer treatment.
This month it’s the Perfect Ten (years)!
I find this truly miraculous, not only because of the deadly and persistent diagnosis I had, but also because I have remained healthy despite going through a divorce and losing my 19-year-old son to a heroin overdose in 2015.
Medical treatment bought me time. All the inner healing work I did, and my deepening connection with the Divine, kept me sane and safe.
I now offer what I learned through Cancer Survival Coaching. If you or someone you know would like a free initial consultation, feel free to call me at 513 444 0190.
I also will be speaking on “A Conversation with Dis-ease” at noon on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at the Body Mind Spirit Expo, Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati.
I look forward to connecting!
To me, their drone is the beautiful music of summer, having formed one of my first firm memories of warm Kansas days.
Now they represent far more to me.
Cicadas spend more than a decade underground—in the case of Brood X, a seemingly endless seventeen years in darkness and silence. Then they crawl to the surface, break through their shells, warm up in the sunshine, and fly with golden-tinged gossamer wings.
They live only a few weeks in the sun. During this time they crawl and fly, sing and flick, dance and mate. When they are done with their shining moments, their legacy continues in their gifts of fertilized eggs, food for songbirds, and nitrogen for forest floors.
Just like we humans who choose to transform our lives. When we have late-stage cancer, we spend a long time—sometimes more than a decade—in the Underworld. For me it’s been 12 years since my end-stage cancer diagnosis. This darkness involved two years of medical treatment, and then continued through the collapse of my marriage, multiple moves, dealing with my son Brennan’s years of drug addiction, the death of my father, and then Brennan’s overdose death at age 19.
Years of suffocating in the terrors of human Hell.
And now—a dozen years and dozens of processes later—I am finally emerging into the light. Into dancing. Into joy.
Just like the cicadas, I am spreading my own golden gossamer wings and learning how to fly. Nourishing others who also want to sing again in the light of the sun. And leaving my own legacy for future generations.
Would you like to join me? I offer cancer survival coaching for those who want to thrive and fully embrace life again. Contact me at
I look forward to talking with you!
Source for title:
Frédéric Mistral from Provençe, France, coined the phrase, “Lou soulei mi fa canta,” Provençal for “the sun makes me sing.” https://www.thenotsoinnocentsabroad.com/blog/la-cigale-why-the-cicada-became-the-symbol-of-provence
Are you looking for a little more guidance regarding cancer survival for yourself or a loved one?
Or maybe some suggestions for how to better manage a chronic illness?
I’ll offer short Cancer Survival Coaching sessions Sunday at the Universal Energy Expo, Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.
For a 50-minute session, including a discount on a copy of Thriver Soup, please feel free to contact me.
Sometimes I just want chips, dang it. Ever feel that way?
I don’t buy them except on rare occasions, so I make my own, thanks to a great tip Kathy Nace gave me a few years ago.
You can use pretty much any root vegetable. Add a leek, olive oil, salt and pepper, and it gets delicious.
All root vegetables are buried treasures, virtual storehouses of potassium, vitamin C, and other minerals. I don’t think I’d get any of those goodies from a bag of chips.
I mixed them in a bowl with olive oil. I am very picky about my oils. The seals on this bottle’s label tell what I look for when at the grocery store. You might have to hunt to find a bottle showing the California Olive Oil Council Certified Extra Virgin seal on the left of this label.
I added salt and pepper. You can try adding a variety of things to change up the flavor–herbs like thyme, spices like cumin, and garlic is yummy … this time I just wanted something quick and simple.
I roasted them for about 30 minutes, stirred, and roasted for another 20 or 30, until crisp-tender.
Source: Thriver Soup, pg. 143-144.
Heidi Bright of ‘Bright Concepts’:
“Exhale slowly through your right nostril”
When I feel good, I find it much easier to eat nutritious foods. When I feel like crap, I am drawn to crappy food to self-soothe, but it always backfires and I end up feeling worse. One way to circumvent this tendency is to allow myself a small amount of the junk food — like a small handful […]
Valentine’s Day gives rise the urge to eat sugary treats. Unfortunately, processed sugar causes inflammation, which is not good for those dealing with cancer.
Here’s a satisfying way around the sugar shackles that I enjoy. It’s naturally sweet, creamy, quick, easy, nutritious, and even color-coordinated.
And best of all, it can help fight cancer.
All it takes is a high-speed blender with a pusher, some frozen red berries, and a banana.
I consider my high-speed blender a vital part of my anti-cancer lifestyle. I use mine daily for green smoothies, and sometimes I’ll use it three times in one day. I am fortunate that my brother Walter gave me a Vitamix after my diagnosis. I believe using it provides my body with access to fresh, vital nutrients I might not get any other way.
Red berries are nutritional powerhouses. They boost the immune system and provide cell-protecting antioxidants. Raspberries and strawberries contain especially high amounts of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that interferes with cancer development. 
Bananas contain vitamin B6 (good for dealing with neuropathy), fiber, potassium (especially important during chemo, I found), magnesium, vitamin C, and manganese.
Cut your peeled banana in half and stick both halves in the bottom of your blender.
Measure out 2 cups of frozen berries and pour them on top.
Turn on your blender and use your pusher to get the fruit to mix.
Viola! A delicious, sweet, creamy, frozen dessert for Valentine’s Day.
 Thriver Soup, pg. 117
My quote in Authority Magazine:
“When I feel good, I find it much easier to eat nutritious foods. When I feel like crap, I am drawn to crappy food to self-soothe, but it always backfires and I end up feeling worse.
“One way to circumvent this tendency is to allow myself a small amount of the junk food — like a small handful of corn chips or a piece of chocolate. Then I sit down and do nothing — no talking, no reading, no listening — and instead only focus on each morsel. I extract as much pleasure as I can from it. This way I don’t feel deprived. Then I get up and refocus my attention.”