Hello, blogreaders, oh how I’ve missed you! It’s so nice to spend some time together again, and boy do I have a treat for you today: reflections from writing my memoir, a memoir excerpt, and a list of books that have been super helpful for me lately. Thanks for joining me, here we go!

“After” cancer

I’ve been busy, busy, busy working on my memoir, who knew it was SO MUCH WORK to write a memoir?! (if you did, I’m glad you didn’t tell me before I started!) I’ve structured my book into three sections: before cancer, cancer, and “after” cancer. As I was editing the “after” cancer section I began finding its subtitle problematic. Even with quotations, it seemed to imply that when treatment was complete, cancer was in the past. I realized that there is no “after cancer”. That would absurdly suggest that time can fully erase the torrential anguish of the disease. Nope, all that’s left after cancer, or anything laden with widespread destruction for that matter, is its aftermath.

The Aftermath

Cancer’s aftermath is where we must reimagine the future. We must be clear-headed enough to view this as a great opportunity (in no way romanticizing cancer, nor wishing this disease on anyone, but with a growth mindset looking at lessons learned from the experience and using them creatively to forge ahead). When the anguish gives way to disappointment we must rise to what’s in front of us, grieving the past, grieving our losses, but not letting that define what is yet ahead. To be clear, I’m not talking about toxic positivity, nor about touting the best is yet to come when that really doesn’t look to be the case. I’m talking about holding on to faith that we will prevail in the end, but that prevailing may look much different than we thought before our lives were upheaved. 



We must surrender to a new way of being, living, and thinking. This surrender is not giving up. Oh no, it’s not at all giving up; it’s an adapting and an evolving to life’s new circumstances. So that no matter what, no matter where life takes us, we’re in the business of living – not dying.

“Love empowers us to live fully and die well. Death becomes, then, not an end to life but a part of living.”

Bell hooks, All About Love



I read the following a couple years ago in Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead:

“Joy comes to us in moments—ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”

 This is finally starting to sink in and pierce through my perfectionism. These days I am finding life in the little joyous things, like delighting with my kids about the “rainbow soap” speckling our sunroof as we drive through the carwash. (Yep, in case you’re wondering, that’s what the image for this post is!). Little joyous delights are all around, if only I keep my eyes open and my heart soft. 


Memoir excerpt

In my memoir I write about a key moment when my daughter walked into the living room dancing with a dandelion crown atop her head (You may remember a blogpost about this years past, if not you’ll have to wait for my memoir, for the full story;) In that moment I learned this:

“Life I was beginning to see, was one detour after the other…from having twins, unexpectedly, to receiving a cancer diagnosis. If I kept rushing, rushing, rushing to get through life’s detours…I was going to miss out on most of my life. I had been in the habit of hurrying to moments of no lasting significance and rushing through times of great lasting value…In my want for different circumstances, I had been missing out on the life that I had. With my days numbered I wanted to start living wherever I was.”


Wishing you all many mini moments of ordinary joy wherever life finds you.



As promised my recommended Reading List:

Everything that Brene Brown has written!

  • Brene has transformed my life. She’s my hero (who I dream of meeting one day!)

Getting well again by O.Carl Simonton, MD

  • A must read for all cancer survivors and caregivers

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

  • An intriguing analysis of the factors that contribute to high success

When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times by Pema Chodron

  • This book is an absolute gem, I don’t even know how to describe it. Must read!

Good Enough by Kate Bowler

  • 40 reflections to combat the Rah! Rah! Guru culture and live a satisfied life (this book is changing my life!)

All about love: New visions by bell hooks

  • Love is it! hooks brilliantly describes a path towards a love ethic countering the lovelessness she witnessed.