The Alex and Ronni Show - 16 January 2019
INTERESTING STUFF – 19 January 2019

Fighting Cancer

Is cancer, do you think, the most dreaded word in the English language? If it's not, surely it is in the top five.

Nobody wants to hear that – cancer - about themselves or anyone they love and in my case, when they first told me about my pancreatic cancer in June 2017, it took awhile for me to believe it.

People may not have noticed before but once they are diagnosed and weighing potential treatments they hear a lot about “fighting” cancer. On television commercials, at websites for support groups, on teeshirts and from other patients too. “I'm going to fight this thing,” they say. “I'm going to beat it.”

A year and a half later I'm still wondering what that means, to “fight” cancer. I can't punch it in the nose. Or chase it out of town. Perhaps I'm supposed to be extra vigilant in some secret way to keep it from killing me.

Early on in my cancer odyssey, I rejected the ubiquitous vegetable diets that promise to cure cancer, along with suspicious clinics in other countries. (Do not ever forget: if there were a cure for cancer, we would all know about it.)

I was (and still am) being treated at a world-class cancer center and I figure these doctors, nurses and surgeons know a whole lot more about cancer than I could ever learn on the internet.

So I listened to them. I still do. And I do what they tell me.

The massive Whipple surgery gave me about 10 cancer-free months before two new cancers showed up. There is nothing to help, the doctors tell me now, except chemotherapy that may delay the growth of the cancers for awhile to give me some more healthy time.

So as long as the chemo gives me more good days than bad, I'll continue with the doctors' advice. But “fight” cancer? Not me.

I still don't know what it means I should do but it sounds like it would wear me out or make me unhappy. I feel healthy still most of the time and I want to live the time I have in the best possible ways. Fighting doesn't fit that.

I'm still curious, however, about what people mean when they say that.



Comments

I watched my dad die from lung cancer and I still don't know what it means to 'fight cancer.' He choose no treatment what so ever and lived 7 pain-free months after diagnosis but was tethered to his oxygen tanks.

If you're ever looking for a topic to write about I'd be interesting in hearing about the day-to-day support you get (or don't get) from friends, family, paid aids or case mangers, etc. How easy or hard is it to live alone while being so-called terminal? As I age this aspect of not being able to continue living alone scared the heck out of me.

Hugs to you, Ronni. In July, 2017, CNN posted an article by Xeni Jardin, "Why cancer is not a war, fight, or battle", in which she wrote the following:

'Some of the fellow cancer patients I met online became close friends during the isolation of treatment. They freely shared invaluable tips from their own cancer experience that helped me have a good outcome. Some of these men and women didn't live. Their cancers didn't respond to treatment, or they did but later popped back up as metastatic recurrences. Some of those stage IV patient friends have since died. They taught me that acceptance of the unknowable, and doing our best with our bodies, our lives, and our treatment options a day at a time is the best any of us can do.

'One of those beautiful friends was Lisa Adams, a mother and writer, and a fearless soul.

'"When I die don't say I 'fought a battle.' Or 'lost a battle.' Or 'succumbed," she wrote. Don't make it sound like I didn't try hard enough, or have the right attitude, or that I simply gave up.'

I think it means not to give in to negative attitudes. I know that is easy for me to say, since I don't have to "fight cancer", at least at this point. But maintaining a positive attitude with any illness can only help. If not to "win" over it, at least to make the last days more pleasant. It does no good to "moan and groan."

Am I all wet?

I'm with Judy...that positive approach to the disease seems to be so important, both in the ability to continue a life with some joy as well as health, and in getting out of bed each day. I often think that I might have an undiagnosed cancer lurking in my body, and then figure that one of these days it's probable that I will. So I think your approach of a scientific inquiring individual is a lesson to me. Nope, fighting is a metaphor that doesn't quite fit this way of living with disease But each person may have an approach that works for them.

I think when it is said that “I will fight cancer!”, it gives the person the illusion of control over the outcome.

I've always assumed it meant trying every medical option possible. Enduring chemo and radiation are hard, and only people willing to put up a fight will endure it. Ronni you inspire me. I don't know if I could put up the fight you have.

What I love about your response to cancer, Ronni, is the way you have remained true to yourself, which has sometimes meant defying conventional expectations--like having to "fight" cancer. It's the way you have fought off those expectations that we've all admired.

Ronni, you HAVE fought and ARE fighting--fighting depression, demoralization, etc. For starters, I am not in any way certain I'd have had the guts for that Whipple surgery, for example.
I, too, am deeply offended by the notion that you are then also supposed to magically "fight" an uncontrollable disease process with a "better attitude" and WIN (because that would make a better movie or story or something?) If more wishful thinking worked, we wouldn't need hospitals.
Life itself is enough of a "battle." We all are better advised, in my view, to make the most of our time--now.

When I read things in an obit ike, "She fought a valiant battle with cancer," I just feel exasperated -- it sounds as though the person had been bravely tilting at windmills. Read Mary Oliver.

I suspect everyone's experience is different, informed by who they are and where they are in their lives. But this poem, written by Mary Oliver, who died yesterday from lymphoma, pretty well sums it up for me.


When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Ronni, I am so glad that you wrote about this topic. Over the years I have read so many obituaries that say "she put up a great and valiant battle against cancer for x many years." I am very clear that mine will not mention cancer, or any battle or fight, but instead what I did "with 'my' one wild and precious life," (with thanks to Mary Oliver) that has lasted 6 1/2 years since my first diagnosis and through three chemo cycles.

My ovarian cancer cannot be cured, but it can be treated, and treat it we do. Like you I have confidence in my local health care team at a university teaching hospital. Early on friends asked, are you going to Boston or New York, or wherever for treatment? My choice was to be able to be in my own home with my family around rather than travel, stay in hotels, and not be part of a familiar community.

I always look forward to your posts and appreciate your sharing with us. You are an inspiration.

We were caregivers for a dear 80-year old friend and fellow colleague who had just a few months . . . but those few months turned into eight years. Very fortunate years. We both learned a lot about life and how we should approach this dire outcome!
Breast cancer! Seemed insidious. Why oh why? Friends gathered and we continued to let the good times roll on.
Bridge card games at three in the morning. Learning how to operate an enigmatic computer (which she initially didn't own!). Subscribed to the IBD and took $80K and turned into $3.5 million.
All among day and nighttime emergency trips to the hospital.
Amazingly she pressed on - always planning for another midnight card game, getting dressed for Sunday church services, singing in the choir, inviting all of us to lunch to celebrate another windfall and all the new events that were on the way with 'experimental drugs' - rarely complaining or slowing down.
This we learned was more than a mere miracle. It was 'fighting back'.
We all learned a lot . . . . about life and what to anticipate.

I can tell you what it means to me, but first let me say, that I am really sorry for your situation. I've read your struggles with it, and I am deeply sympathetic. My own wife passed away from cancer five years ago, and I watched her struggles for much less time than you were given. My wife was told she would live another one to five years. She actually died three months after diagnosis. The doctors at the hospital were too afraid to deliver bad news, so they sugar coated everything.

During that three months, she only came home for about three weeks. The rest of the time, she was in the hospital. And the one thing I observed was that everything they did for her made her worse not better. And I have heard so many similar cases like that now, that I can actually predict what will come next. I remember, for example, when you posted that you were cancer-free after treatment. I remember thinking how I would be reading not that much later that the cancer had returned. I knew that because I've learned that's everybody's experience. I hear so many people say they are cancer-free only to later be saying that it had returned.

The situation is really sad, and the experience I had with my wife and then watching both my mom and my dad die not that much later, convinced me that I needed to do what I could to prevent the same thing. Not that I want to live forever, but I've concluded that I want to stay healthy until I die. So, I undertook it as my mission to figure out how to do that. And in the process, I've found myself to be feeling better and happier than I have at any time in my life.

I learned how important greens and beans and cruciferous vegetables and berries and seeds and nuts are to fighting cancer, dementia and other chronic diseases. Not by including them in my diet, but rather by making them my actual diet. Since I began focusing on those foods over five years ago, I've achieved a level of health that I never would have thought possible at age 72. I don't know how long I'll live or how I will die. But what I do know is that I feel better and happier than I ever have at any time in my life. And I attribute that to the good health I've achieved.

I don't believe that doctors know what's best for fighting cancer. They've been at it for a long time now, and it's still the second leading cause of death in America. And medical error is the third leading cause of death (many of which were cancer patients too). Our medical industry's success rate is not very good at fighting cancer.

But there are countries with very low to almost nonexistent rates of cancer. And many of those populations eat plant-based diets that include a lot of beans and greens. So, I think there's something to it. And that's what I mean by fighting cancer.

This is not to blame cancer patients for their predicament. For one thing, there's no guarantees. I could learn tomorrow that I too have cancer, for all I know. And we're all conditioned by our culture and the things we've been taught. Unfortunately, we don't live in a healthy culture (check out where the United States stands in terms of longevity compared to other western cultures) and we are poorly taught when it comes to nutrition and health. A lot of that is the influence of big meat and dairy industries subsidized by the taxpayers and throwing lots of dollars at legislators, regulators and teachers.

I am so sorry for your condition Ronni. I've been reading your struggles and I understand what you are going through. Your question today prompted me, however, to say just exactly what my fight with cancer is too.

The above explanations for what "fight cancer" means all make sense; basically, being upbeat and living life to fullest--best one can under circumstances. I suppose part of it has to do with the supposed fact that immune systems function better for happy upbeat people. There are some that might hope that one's mind can somehow will the body to destroy the invader, kind of related to the power of positive thinking. Bottom line, whatever you can psychologically and physiologically do, in combination with best medical treatments, to encourage best immune system response is "fighting". Ronni, you are exactly doing this so you are a fighter--but no need to use that word ever again. As an added bonus, people pray for you and that at least creates good vibes and hopefully, should you happen to someday find yourself at "the pearly gates", help you there, you just never know. Best possible to you.

I don't know which would come out ahead in a poll of most feared word, but cancer and dementia have to both be among the most dreaded. but there are so many other conditions that are hideous too -- addictions, severe mental illnesses., autoimmune and degenerative diseases. It's a wonder that most people function as well as they do an a day to day basis and is a tribute to our resilience.

I'm glad to know that you are pain-free and are still living what seems to be a mostly comfortable life enjoying what you've always enjoyed. And now with no exercise and able to eat what you want! Taking pleasure in those little things in life, I think, must be a big part of what gets us through.

The death of the wonderful poet Mary Oliver has already been mentioned in a comment here today. She left a great legacy of musings on life and death, and was able to do what she loved at least until very near the end of her life. She was no stranger to unpleasantness, but she took the ingredients she was given and made something very wonderful of her life and created work that I'm sure has helped others do the same. To me, that's a very great gift and about the best anyone could hope for. You have done the same, Ronni, and I hope that you are able to continue to live your one wild life as well as you have so far for as long as you would like.

Thoughtful post. I looked up the word for a different one. All I found was struggle and one sure wouldn't want to use that one!

To me, "fighting" means "not giving up" and you're certainly not. I've heard some say "living" with cancer which sounds wimpy and weak. Those I know who have cancer certainly aren't wimpy or weak, including you. When people speak of Cancer it's certainly not with any affection!

I looked up antonyms for fighting. Here's what I found: kind, nice, peaceful, peace-loving. Those are NOT words I've heard you use as you've related your experience. Here are synonyms for "fighting". Battling, belligerent, boxing, brawling, contending, determined, fencing, hostile. They all have a mean and nasty flavor to them which is appropriate when talking about Cancer. So you get to choose a different word. It's like my mom always said to me when my teenage self didn't like the chore of the day: "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it." This is your daily chore . . . but you can choose a different word . . . .just don't give up.

Like JeanR, I too would like to hear more about your support group. I would like to know how to be a support to a person who has a serious, terminal illness. What to say. What to do. What to bring to the table, literally. What is helpful and what makes you cringe.

Thanks for posting this topic Ronni because I've had the same questions. When I read "fight" in the title my hackles came to attention. Once you have the diagnosis you're busy doing what must be done and the idea of going to battle at the same time seems a pure waste of time and energy.

I think handling it in your own way is the best way.

Thanks for taking us along on the journey.

Jan

My mom, gone 25 years now, would often say, “ one foot in front of the other will get you through anything, Bill.” She had one go of chemo which took three weeks of physical hell to get over, one more go of it with equally horrific side effects and said, enough. Ten good months over which time she had increasingly frequent blood transfusions and a lot of tiredness though little discomfort, then a short two week decline and release from the disease. She thought that you roll with the changes in your body until you are done. I think her ability to do that had much to do with the character she had built over her lifetime. I wish you peace at your end, Ronni, and thank you for your column.

I also wonder what it means to "fight cancer." I have been dealing with leukemia for some 15 years, and while I have had chemo and am now taking pills that binds to a protein, I feel that rather than a fight, this is a cooperative effort including my body, mind/mental attitude and the medical establishment to help my body maintain a balance. On the other hand, I once asked the oncologist I see if he really thought things like marches for cancer cures are useful. He said yes, the money raised helped him, for example, get through his training at Stanford. So maybe using the term "fight cancer" can be useful as a public relations gimmick to rouse the troops and raise money for a useful purpose.

I despise the battle rhetoric associated with cancer, with its setup of two opponents. One opponent better-stronger-tougher-more skilled, the Winner. And the other, the Loser. When I read that someone "lost her/his battle" with cancer, I am furious. It's a disease process, not a contest you have somehow lost.

"Fight" is a word we use that makes us think that we have control over our lives. We don't. Never have, and never will.

As I wrote the other day, I think "endure" is better than "fight." You just keep on keepin' on, doing whatever your doctors say. You adjust your schedule, your activities, your habits, as necessary to keep moving forward. Once I'd gotten over the initial shock of my diagnosis, gotten a second opinion, and chosen my medical team, the hardest part, emotionally, was over. I gave myself over to my wonderful team at the university, confident that they would take care of everything from then on. They did. And still do. They're the fighters, not me. They are the ones in the ORs, the research labs, the radiation units, and at the bedsides, plotting the attacks on cancer, the strategies, the precise tactics to employ with each case. Every one of them deserves a medal.

I too abhor the use of the word Fighting for cancer treatment. It encourages people to believe if they want to stop treatment because the misery of the treatment is unbearable it means they are giving up. In situations like that it is not losing or giving up, it is taking back control of your life.
As a nurse I have seen too many patients pushed into accepting futile treatments to just keep fighting.
The most important thing is a team that communicates openly and honestly with the person and encourages them to evaluate their own needs and wishes.
Ronni I hope you have many more good days left when the balance between treatment and quality of life is on your side. You are a gift to your readers.

But you are fighting cancer, Ronni. You're having the chemo treatments.
That's putting up with nausea, exhaustion, etc. in the hopes of a few more months of better living.

Each of us has to face this our own way, but I personally would never undergo chemo when given a few months to live. To me, the promise of a few more months would never justify living months with nausea. My brother did chemo and told me he wanted very badly to die most days from the side effects.

But this is one of the wonderful things about your blog. We're each different. We each have the right to chart our own path through life -- and through death.

Keep doing it your way, Ronni! And thank you for letting us see other possibilities/choices for if/when we face something similar.

I don't know what "giving up" means. If at times you feel sad, or frightened, or angry about dying, does that mean you're doing it all wrong? What about calm acceptance, is that giving up, too? The "fight" metaphor is framed to make it a little bit your fault when you die.

Cruel self-serving rubbish. A pox upon 'em.

When you're dying, it's your death. Your one and only death. You're allowed to feel about it however you want to feel, and make your own choices (to the extent you can) about how you want to spend the time that's left. Live one day at a time. Any day that isn't bad is a gift.

Dear Ronni,

I’m sure you’re familiar with "Illness as Metaphor. {It} is a 1978 work of critical theory by Susan Sontag, in which she challenges the victim-blaming in the language often used to describe diseases and those who suffer from them…”
I am also uncomfortable with the term “fighting”, since it suggests “losers” and “winners” as pointed out so well by Linda. Taken further this metaphor could be extended to the living and dying. of all creatures.

To pick a smart medical team, follow their advice, keep up with the research—that is what you are doing. But so much more…what you are doing for us is waging war on ignorance in our behalf.
With love and gratitude to you,

Page Day

I have little to add, coming late to the discussion, as usual. When my mother died of metastatic breast cancer in 1974--after two miserable years of illness and horrific rounds of chemotherapy that I still think just made her sicker--I decided that I probably would not choose to "fight" if it happened to me. Although no one can say with certainty what s/he will do in that most unwelcome circumstance, at 82 I think I would be much less inclined to accept harsh treatments. This would be especially true if the cancer were in the later stages and/or the chances of a "cure" or remission were slight.

The language we use is only a metaphor for how we think we need to behave when we have cancer. My husband chose to use the word live with cancer and he lived with bladder cancer for almost ten years. Some times with no evidence of disease and for two years with metastasis. I don’t regard the idea of living with cancer as wimpy but rather an affirmation of life.
Also he chose to regard cancer as an uninvited guest and chose imagery to invite cancer to leave when he was undergoing immunotherapy to help the body reject or slough off the cancer cells.
Many cancer centers offer adjunct complementary services to help people handle cancer. When reading research studies about therapeutic treatments a person learns that most of the times benefits are in terms of quality of life for longer periods of time not elimination of cancer.
I don’t find war metaphors something I want to use for how I live my life.

I think you are right. At our advanced age, why fight? I really like and admire the way you are treating this "having" cancer. More as something to explore, be curious about, handle to the best of your ability. Clearly, there have been multiple very serious challenges, but in and among them, you seem to look for, and find, many jewels.

Your practical approach to your dilemma is great to see. I have become very weary listening to all the "cures" available overseas. Yep, if there was a real
cure we would certainly hear about it-------everywhere. Thank you for your
special sharing and time.

Everyone has said such wise and useful things! I prefer "face" to "fight" when talking about cancer. In our age-and-death phobic society, just admitting you have a fatal illness is a big step toward dealing with it. And we all deal with it differently. I'm sure that a patient who is stoic and uncomplaining is easier for medical people to deal with, not to mention the patient's family.

But - we feel what we feel, and we are entitled to talk about it. So if you are scared, sad, angry, blaming, full or regrets, so be it. You are entitled to feel that way and talk about it. Some people are not going to be able to face, or face it "well", and that's just the way it is. If they cry their way into their graves that's just the way it is. If they die saying "No", that's just the way it is.

Ultimately acceptance gives us peace, but acceptance is really hard, especially for bad stuff. So start by accepting yourself and where you are and what you do. Then you will be more able to deal with anything life pitches, including cancer and death

Life is hard. Death is hard. We can help each other through it.

I have two friends, both older women, who had pancreatic cancer and took the other route. They adopted very strict eating regimens. Both are alive more than 15 years later, no cancer now as far as I know. That's not to say that the food changes are the reason, but it's hard to believe otherwise.

Fighting cancer sounds to me like donning boxing gloves and going all Thunderdome on the world.

I'd do exactly what you are doing, Ronni.

Accept the diagnosis, trust the doctors, and live each day to my best ability.

Throw away what doesn't matter, keep what does - close friends, relatives, focus on the now.

You have looked after the details.

Your now is what is important.

Spoil yourself all the way.

I wish you had a cat, a sweet cat on loan to you for cuddling.

Take it easy.

XOXO

If it’s okay I’d like to quote Barbara Ehrenreich:

“I would never call myself a cancer survivor because I think it devalues those who do not survive. There's this whole mythology that people bravely battle their cancer and then they become survivors. Well, the ones who don't survive may be just as brave, you know, just as courageous, wonderful people.”

I so agree!! I detest the fighting metaphor. Besides, cancer is not some alien thing. It is a part of your own body, albeit a part that has begun to act badly. I read that somewhere long ago and it has stuck with me. Perhaps I can find the article or quote...

I tend to think of whatever medical issues I might be experiencing by describing them using what I perceive as more matter-of-fact neutral language terminology. I don’t “fight” an ailment or disease, I simply cope with it. Sometimes my coping skills are better than other times — attributable to any number of reasons — my own actions or inactions, the disease/illness process, or unknown reasons. What is, is.

I’ve not had cancer, but would think what you are doing, or most anyone else does, is to cope with cancer to the best of their abilities. This is what those I’ve known who had cancer and other degenerative conditions, ultimately terminal, did — each in their own way — coped as best they could to maximize their quality of life.

I, too, am interested in knowing what particulars you’re able to share about the experiences, challenges of coping with your terminal cancer as a person living alone. What sort of help has been needed? How has, or is that need progressing? How readily available is the help you need? Being in the midst of this process there may necessarily be limits as to some specifics you’d want to write here, but whatever you can describe would be of special interest.

Perhaps I should have added that coping to me means doing what is needed to create my desired life style, in my environment given the unknowns of my situation — much as you describe — informing myself, working with my trusted medical team, recognizing and accepting some unpredictable adjustments and adaptations may be necessary, taking this all in stride as much as possible to minimize mental stress and strain.

These are all just words — perhaps so much easier to write than to live, but what I would try to follow. Hugs to you!

What Mary said!

I think "fighting" cancer means doing exactly what you are doing: following your doctors' orders (so important to have confidence in your doctor), taking care of yourself, being as active as possible, and doing some of the things you enjoy (painting, knitting, reading, listening to music, etc.),including spending time with friends and family. Ads on TV that promote medication or treatments that have not been prescribed by your doctors are not helpful, in my opinion.

I agree with Julie B, living with cancer is a much better image than fighting it. Beyond eating well and exercising, I can no more control what happens in my body at a cellular level than I can fly to the moon. I trust my medical team to give me the best advice that fits my circumstances.

People often urged me to fight, be a warrior, channel Wonder Woman, etc. Not easily accomplished when you just want to nap. The fighting metaphor is violent and antagonistic, not the sort of images I want when I'm trying to return to the balance of good health.

Excellent points you're raising, Ronni! I think it's always dangerous to describe dealing with serious illness in military terms: fighting, battling, beating, winning or losing. It's easy to slip from those kinds of phrases to imposing (wittingly or not) pressure on people about not "fighting hard enough" against their illness. One of the best things I've read about this comes from the late, great David Oliver's book, "Exit Strategy: Depriving Death of Its Strangeness." Shortly after he was diagnosed with incurable nasopharyngeal cancer, he gets this advice from the 92-year-old father (A Zen master) of his primary care doctor. "Now David," he says, "there are four things I want you to do. One, don't panic; two, don't struggle; three, relax; and four, accept it. It is what it is."

It doesn't feel like a fight to me. That word doesn't begin to cover the magnitude of it. It's an epic journey, an odyssey. You don't win or lose something like that. You experience it, on a multitude of levels. That doesn't mean you're passive or giving up. It means you recognize you're involved in something huge, which is at least partly out of your control.

*****
Our new son-in-law was recently diagnosed (within months of their wedding), with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. All our joy over our child's perfectly-suited-to-one-another marriage, turned to grief in the course of a few weeks. MRI and PET scans revealed tumors all over the place. One of them didn't respond, as the others did, to several rounds of chemotherapy. It wrapped itself around his spine, continuing to grow rapidly even as chemo was ongoing (a fact discovered when in the course of a single day, he could no longer walk and was from then on confined to a wheelchair). It was finally stopped by targeted radiation. But by then, the spine appeared to have been irreparably damaged and the rehab experts, after weeks of assessment, determined that he might never walk again.

He's currently undergoing a stem cell transplant, after having his entire immune system wiped out with chemo, in the hope of destroying the last of the cancer cells. It will be a long slow hazardous recovery. And if it works, he will still be left with a body that doesn't function properly and all the challenges that go along with trying to overcome that. His spouse, our child, has described the experience as akin to being swept down a raging river with no idea of where you'll end up. Which pretty much sums up how all of us feel, who love them both.

*****

The thing with an odyssey is, you don't know exactly how or when it will end, what the finish line will look like, or whether it will in any way resemble your expectations. All you know for sure is that nobody involved will ever be quite the same again.

You bring all your resources, both inner and outer, to the challenge of it. You consult the wisdom of others... whatever it is that resonates with you. You change in profound ways. And then you wait to see what happens next.

Oh, Katie, I can only imagine the strength and will you will call upon. Best of fortune and thoughts to you and your family.

Thank you so much, Simone.

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