(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
We sit on the bench in the hospital corridor next to the cafeteria, and we wait. You know what waiting is. If you know anything, you know what waiting is. It's not about you. This is about illness and hospitals and life and death... (From: "What Waiting Is," by Robert Carroll, 1998) I've sat in … Continue reading June 17, 2019: In the Surgical Waiting Room
...it's not easy to think about the heart unless trouble arises.--John Stone, MD This past Wednesday I began another expressive writing series at Gilda's Club, an organization founded in memory of comedian Gilda Radner to provide support and services to people living with cancer. The workshops, which I began nearly 20 years ago, inspired by … Continue reading May 4, 2019: This Heart of Mine
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?
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
Perhaps it has something to do with the season--the holidays and the year drawing to a close have a predictable impact on my thoughts and mood. There are memories of holidays past, of people and places I've loved, of family who are no longer in my life, and with them, feelings of nostalgia. It's a … Continue reading December 16, 2018: When Heart Failure is Too Much With Me
If a man die, it is because death has first possessed his imagination. (William Carlos Williams, poet & physician) I've been thinking about hope lately. It dominates the conversation my husband and I have been having since his cancer diagnosis and surgery, intensified now by the possibility of his participation in a clinical trial of … Continue reading November 26, 2018: Finding Hope in Heart Failure