Archive for September 2016

Coming to terms with limitation and failure: my running days are over

Coming to terms with limitation and failure: my running days are over
I wanted to be a runner. Ever since I completed my first Couch to 5K class six or seven years ago, I caught the bug. I remember the first day that I was able to run for 30 minutes, the feeling of exhilaration and freedom. It was so empowering. Once I was diagnosed with cancer,... Read more »

The cancer excuse: don't upstage the person who's suffering

The cancer excuse: don't upstage the person who's suffering
It is a short drive from another person’s trauma to your own suffering. I’ll be the first to admit that bad things don’t happen to just one person because we are not islands. Trauma and illness spread out their suffering, concentric circles in a pond after a stone is thrown in. It’s hard to watch... Read more »

Waiting for the call back is hell: doctors’ offices need to improve their communication strategies

Here’s the deal, doctor. You called me. I didn’t call you. More precisely, one of your employees called me. Here’s the message he left on my voice mail. “We just got the results of your blood work and would like to talk to you about it. Nothing life threatening, but please call us back.” The... Read more »
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Stop health ‘splaining and gaslighting: try listening instead

Stop health ‘splaining and gaslighting: try listening instead
I see you over there in the corner. You with the “Komen for the cure” pink ribbon. You with treatment behind you. And, you too: you know someone who knows someone who had just my kind of cancer. I see you. And hear you. You don’t see me, though. Because you’re too busy sharing uplifting... Read more »

Seeing 9/11 through a child’s eyes

Seeing 9/11 through a child’s eyes
Like most of you, I remember where I was and what I did on 9/11. I was living in Alaska and my brother called at 5 a.m. Alaska time to tell us about the World Trade Center. He told us his building, the Federal Reserve in Boston, was evacuated and he was home. It was... Read more »

Learning from my students: life isn't about getting it right

One of the things I love about teaching is that my students are always teaching me. All you need is a classroom full of people learning to write, some struggling and some wanting to be anywhere but in a writing class, and you remember how hard life is. My students tell me that the thing... Read more »
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Just another of the Starbucks regulars

Just another of the Starbucks regulars
My Starbucks is just across the street from the Metra and Amtrak. That accounts for some of the folks who are regulars I guess. Commuters and wanderers. I come here too many times a week to admit in public. It’s one of the few places I can focus and work. Despite the tweens. God help... Read more »

Take your baking soda and shove it, really

Someone tweeted at me last night, “Chemo kills. CBD oil, baking soda, and alkaline diet are some of things that work; sugar kills….” I don’t know who she is, a troll, a concerned citizen with a good heart, an employee of a company that sells this crap, or what. I do know that I’m completely... Read more »

Every day is a second chance

Every day is a second chance
I have the privilege of blogging for ChicagoNow, which is a platform for a huge group of bloggers. We have a wonderful community that inspires writing, in no small part because of Community Manager, Jimmy Greenfield. Among the many strategies he uses to inspire us is our monthly Blogapaloozhour. He sends out a prompt at... Read more »
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