It’s hard, I’m sure, for many to understand why I am abandoning conventional cancer therapy.
It’s not a choice I wanted to make.
In fact, with every new page I read on PubMed, The American Thyroid Association, Cancer.org, or elsewhere across the Internet — regardless of whether or not it agrees with my intuition — I find myself straining to remove my emotional responses so I can simply understand and integrate the information.
The effort is exhausting: I don’t want to have this cancer; I don’t want to be doing this research; and I generally disagree with doing things one…
A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men,
but a stag’s life is four times a crow’s,
and a raven’s life makes three stags old,
while the phoenix outlives nine ravens,
but we, the rich-haired Nymphs
daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder,
outlive ten phoenixes.
— Precepts of Chiron, Hesiod
Is it that these three months passed so swiftly, or that I’ve lived so many years within so short a time? It must be the latter, for I feel weary so often; and it’s not the cancer. Not yet, anyway.
Since the beginning, I knew I needed…
Why acceptance is more powerful than forgiveness
For many years, well-intending friends advised me to forgive those who abused me, who took me for granted, who disrespected me.
Every time, rage bubbled in me; every time, I caught it just after a flash of anger sparked in my eyes and scorched my features. “I’ve forgiven them enough times; I forgave them so many times, from the beginning. I’m done with forgiveness. It does nothing more than give them freedom to harm again.”
So, I won’t forgive them; but I understand my friends’ concerns: The hate and rage is killing me…
One of my first-and-favorite memories is of visiting my great-grandmother at her enormous farm, lined at the back and on one side with a great patch of woods and on the opposite side by thick, green cornstalks and facing a long, black, oft-empty road. My older brother and I played in the yard, picked blackberries and raspberries from tangled vines growing in the back, climbed into the old barn that smelled of hay and animals-no-longer-in-residence . …
I stood in the frigid darkness, white banks of snow piled behind me, looking across the plowed, black asphalt of North Service Road at The 403 as cars sped back-and-forth. Earbuds pressed into my chilly ears, I listened to Björk’s impassioned music, embracing the pain and sorrow riveting my heart — without fully acknowledging myself.
I wanted, needed love.
For whatever reason, I don’t remember the feeling of being cold, though I remember that I was. I remember the strange fondness of constantly being chilly in the office where I worked all day as a temporary data entry clerk, needing…
‘Write what you’re afraid to,’ I’ve read over-and-over.
Yes, I’m afraid. (And I’m writing.)
Because, how many times have you seen (or written!) on dating profiles the phrase, “NO DRAMA”?
When I first saw it plastered under the faces of men (who were often not good-looking enough for me to want to know, anyway), I found myself ashamed for the still-rippling drama in my life; I swiped “NO,” feeling — nonetheless — like a mangy, crippled dog slinking off with her head tucked low. …
Once-upon-a-time, not-so-many-years-ago, a man whom I believed to be the greatest fan of my writing tried reverse-psychology to push me to publish more on my new blog.
“Is that all you can produce? One piece a week? Two in a month? Maybe that’s all you can do,” he goaded me.
It didn’t work.
In fact, it backfired: I stubbornly shielded my mind and wrote only when I felt motivated, inspired by beauty and sensuality.
My output diminished to sporadic bursts, once-or-twice every two-or-so months. And then: NOTHING. For YEARS.
His words echoed in my mind as I struggled to find…
Speaking out for survivors of domestic violence
I awoke and made coffee today, chatted for an hour or so with long-distance friends, as I do nearly every morning. I opened my Facebook app and found a girlfriend’s profile picture changed, encircled by a purple filter stating:
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”
Thank goodness, I thought. It’s about time they dedicated a month to this.
Little did I know that October was determined in 1987 to bring awareness to a problem affecting 1/4 of all females and 1/9 of all males in the United States, a shockingly-high number I learned only months…
Some weeks ago, I laid in an ER hospital bed for over ten hours, waiting to learn if I needed a life-altering, potentially-life-threatening operation.
Ten hours is not a long time to mull over one’s mortality — particularly when one is in one’s prime. Less than two months from my forty-sixth birthday, a rare, clavicle pseudoaneurysm throbs in a small vein off my jugular, its origins unknown.
In late 2018, I required two vascular procedures in three weeks. My surgeon and his team placed eleven metal coils near the pseudoaneurysm in an attempt to cut off the blood flow to…