February 25, 2020: Writing & Sharing the Stories of Illness

When the heart speaks, take good notes—Joseph Campbell “A patient is, at first, simply a storyteller,” Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote in The Emperor of Maladies:  A Biography of Cancer, “a narrator of suffering—a traveler who has visited the kingdom of the ill.  To relieve an illness, one must begin, then, by unburdening its story” (p.46). Last … Continue reading February 25, 2020: Writing & Sharing the Stories of Illness

Dec. 29th: One Guiding Word for the Year Ahead

For the past week or so, I've been playing around with words, exploring meanings and synonyms, consulting dictionaries, thesauruses, poetry and other books for the single word that will serve as my guiding intention for 2020. It’s a practice introduced to me by a friend nearly ten years ago, and one I have embraced wholeheartedly. … Continue reading Dec. 29th: One Guiding Word for the Year Ahead

August 25, 2019: What Do We Talk About When We Talk About the Heart?

"Are you still writing?" Dr. R. asked as my appointment was ending.  I had admitted, several weeks earlier, that I was struggling with writing this blog. "Oh yes," I said, "both blogs, but it's much easier for me to write the Writing Through Cancer posts than it is for my heart failure site." She laughed … Continue reading August 25, 2019: What Do We Talk About When We Talk About the Heart?

July 18, 2019: How Writing Helps Us Heal

(Preface:  I began this blog nearly one year ago, and, as the anniversary date approaches, I am looking over my posts and revisiting the motivation that initially prompted me to begin exploring the lived experience of heart failure.  I have always written, whether for myself or for publication.  It's the way I make sense of … Continue reading July 18, 2019: How Writing Helps Us Heal

February 3, 2019: What Do You Want in A Doctor?

A three thousand year tradition, which bonded doctor and patient in a special affinity of trust, is being traded for a new type of relationship.  Healing is replaced with treating; caring is supplanted by managing, and the art of listening is taken over by technological procedures.  -- (The Lost Art of Healing:  Practicing Compassion in … Continue reading February 3, 2019: What Do You Want in A Doctor?

January 8, 2019: Flourish: Living a Full Life with Heart Failure

i am running into a new year and the old years blow back like a wind ... it will be hard to let go of what i said to myself about myself when i was sixteen and twenty-six and thirty-six... (From:  The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, Young & Miller, Eds., 2012) I recalled … Continue reading January 8, 2019: Flourish: Living a Full Life with Heart Failure