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Becoming Real – a Lesson Taken from the Velveteen Rabbit

The chidren’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, was first published just over 100 years ago. The book is packed with life lessons or least encurages the reader to go inward and explore what it means to be REAL in this world that rewards us for being something we are not. I’m finding that illness and eventual death is a beautiful pathway to becoming real. In this episode of the podcast, I explore this connection. When you are stripped of your armour, you are left naked and vulnerable. The Skin Horse explains this process of becoming REAL to the Velveteen Rabbit. I see the parallel process in living in a body that is growing weak and moving closer to death. What might seem scary (and it is at times), is actualy a beautiful evolution of becoming through love.

There is Nothing Wrong with You. Your are Not Your Illness. And Why Friendships Matter

I’ve struggled for a long time attaching my value to my health. This struggle has been amplied these past 9 + years since I was diagnosed with cancer. The emotion that comes up strongly is shame. Shame and guilt are cousins in the emtional world. Guilt means “I did something wrong” while Shame means “I am wrong”. How many of us carry this message? I’d be curious to know. I unpack some of my thoughts about this concept.

Friendship can be protective shield against adopting the shame indentity. I’m not talking about the number of friends you have. It truly comes down to the quality of these relationships. There are all types of friendships which meet a varity of our needs. I explore the types of friendships that help us witness who we really are in this world and how this can help us guard against adlopting the messages that our culture dishes out which is so painful and damaging when you are living with a chronic illness or injury.

Kindness Matters and Announcing the Precarious Project

I’ve been receiving a newly FDA-approved drug since December. My hope has been to give my body the chance to see if the disease responds to treatment in order to improve my quality of life. As it turns out, this treatment has been very difficut for me to tolerate. It’s brought into question so much for me. Every day I wake up feeling grateful to be alive. Everyday I look for the beauty.

In this episode of the podcast, I share a story of a beautifull moment I had with one of my nurses as I was receiving supportive care on a very difficult day. These moments fill my heart. We landed on that in the end, “kindness matters”.

In the last half of the episode, I’m excited to announce a new project. It’s called the Precarious Project. It’s a companion to the podcast and an invitation to share how life’s precarious moments have impacted you. You can find details on the website: The goal is to create community around life’s precarious nature.

It's My Honor to Walk this Precarious Path with You – My Interview with Monica Dewey

Every wonder what its like to work in cancer care? As a nurse? How it affects that individual? How it changes her/him? I do. You’d think I’d have those questions answered living with cancer for almost 10 years. Nope. All of my heath care providers show up professionally with appropriate boundaries. Sitting down with Monica, one of my oncology nurses, and having the opportunity to ask her all of these questions was eye-opening. You will love her honesty and transparency. She brings her humanness with her. I left the conversation feeling like I was in the presence of one of the purest forms of love and it was contagious.

I Have Something To Tell You – My Precarious Life: B0NUS EPISODE

I have decided to come clean and let you in on how my path towards death has evolved. I admit, I was purposely not disclosing some information. And, in this episode I lay the foundation for my rationale – or at least I explore my rationale. I’m at a crossroads. And, yes, I return to the concept of suffering becasue it’s one of my measuring sticks. I ask all of us to visit our relationship with it: what does it mean to you? How do you mange it? Do you try to avoid it? Embrace it? Someplace in the middle? Suffering doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”. If not, then how do we live with it has humans?

Join me in this BONUS episode. I am sharing my precarious life decisions in real-time. If that’s not an act of vulnerability, I don’t know what is.

I Still Find Hope. I See it Through Our Eyes – BONUS EPISODE

Here’s another BONUS episode of the Precarious podcast. I’m tossing these out there as I feel moved to share with you a “audio journal” version of my experiences living and dying. I guess you could say I’m letting you in to my inner workings as I travel down this path.

These audio journals are not meant to replace the original Precarious podcast format. I do plan to interview guests as long as I am feelng well enough and can recruit guests to interview.

In this episode, I share my reactions to a Mary Oliver Essay titled “Bird”. This is a magical story at every level: the original story she wrote, my story, the serendipity of the intersection of these stories. Boundless beauty wrapped in hope.

I Have A Different Relationship with Time – BONUS EPISODE

In this episode of BONUS EPISODE of Precarious, I share my experiences about how my not knowing how much time I have left to live has beautfully transformed my relationship with time for the better.

I have a different relationship with time. Cancer has made that clear to me. Have you thought about your relationship with time? How do you view time? Do you chase it? Lose it? Wish you had more of it? Wish you were better at mastering it? Listen to the language we use around the concept of time and you realize that we have made time a commodity. There are entire industries based on helping you learn skills to better use your time. Only humans would take time and make it a business venture. We have sadly veered off course.

Rehabilitation for the Soul

I met Jeff Eagan a couple of years ago. He is a physical therapist specializing in oncology. What does that mean? Research demonstrates that moving your body and exercising through cancer treatment decreases fatigue, increases mood and improves quality of life. Over the years, Jeff and his colleagues have built an incredible program which has blossemed into a community of people living with cancer “working out” together. What he didn’t ancticipate is the healing goes above and beyond rehabing the body. This community of people living with cancer is really Rehab for the Soul. Listen to us swap stories of love, connection, and mutual support that falls into it’s own category of “magic”.

It”s My 9th Cancerversary!

I’ve been living with cancer (ovarian and breast and now ovarian) for nine years. I’ve been grateful to have periods of life with out active disease. Now – I’m approaching the end of my life. If someone told me that I would live nine years beyond the day I was first diagnosed, I would not have believed them. It’s hard to capture all that I have learned about myself, others and what it means to be human through facing my death by living my life. But, in this episode, I try my best to share this “wisdom” with you. There is nothing special about me. I happened to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, like so many and others who have experienced trauma and tragedy. It’s my hope that you gain some of these insights without having the terminal diagnosis. I believe it’s possible. Give it a try.

There is So Much Beauty on the Way to Death

I’ve stopped treatment for my cancer. And, honestly, didn’t plan on recording another podcast mostly because I did’t think I’d still be alive. In this episode of the Precarious podcast, I took advantage of my “aliveness” and sat down with my dear friend, Michelle Faris. She has shown up for me in ways that bring tears to my eyes: such acts of beauty. I wanted to capture an organic conversation and share this with you. Over this past month, we have explored all sorts of topics revolving around my illness and imminent death. Don’t be frightened to listen. This conversation is filled with hope, love and peace. I’d go as far to say it’s an optimistic take on how we face our final act as humans.


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