November 26, 2018: Finding Hope in Heart Failure

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

November 4, 2018: Medicine & Metaphors: Communicating Illness

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.--Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor, 1978 Poetry and medicine share a long history, dating back to the Greek god Apollo, who was responsible for healing and … Continue reading November 4, 2018: Medicine & Metaphors: Communicating Illness

October 22, 2018: If You Don’t Tell Your Story, Who Will?

This past August, when I first began writing this blog, I invited readers similarly diagnosed to write about their experience with heart failure--and other serious heart conditions.  Whether my attempts to express this experience have motivated anyone to write, I have no idea, but I am hopeful that some of you who follow this blog … Continue reading October 22, 2018: If You Don’t Tell Your Story, Who Will?

September 24, 2018: Communicating the Experience of Illness

 When the heart speaks, take good notes.--Joseph Campbell I admit it.  Writing from a personal experience of heart failure is far more challenging than I imagined.  I've tried to understand why, especially when I've found relative ease in writing a continuing blog about cancer.  I've had long discussions with my husband, mulling over the differences … Continue reading September 24, 2018: Communicating the Experience of Illness

September 9, 2018: Searching for the Metaphors of Heart Failure

The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the "central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason" (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection. "The heart...represents the "central wisdom … Continue reading September 9, 2018: Searching for the Metaphors of Heart Failure