Blog — Advice for Parents

Five Year Old Discovers Cancer Treatment

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Five Year Old Discovers Cancer Treatment

My five year old wrote a book. Her preschool class was tasked with creating a character, developing a story around the character, and illustrating the story before slapping a title on it and binding it into a precious keepsake. I hope it will be one that survives in the annals of schoolwork as evidence to our future selves and grown-up children: We were proud! We cared! We cherished (almost) every single work of art your little hands created! For the record, five-year-olds tell stories like I do: stories that tend to be relentlessly boring, long in all the unimportant details...

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Death Wishes

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Death Wishes

Back in October, when I was buried alive in death and dying research (and before my own diagnosis with cancer), I happened upon an article written by a woman in the UK who asked her grandchildren to decorate her husband’s coffin. Yes, you read that correctly. Her beloved husband of decades passed away and right smack in the middle of her grief, she went to the store, purchased a simple pine casket, paint, and brushes and plopped it all in her front yard for her young grandkids to go to town in remembrance of their grandfather. Then she buried him in it.

How insane. I was totally enchanted.

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What James Can Teach Us About Responding To A Friend’s Bad News

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What James Can Teach Us About Responding To A Friend’s Bad News

The question hit the target. He didn’t ask, “how are you?” because he intuitively understood that my diagnosis wasn’t just about me. It was about his friend, my husband. It was about our three young children. And in that moment, I understood that it was about our larger circle of friends and community, too. The collective “we” communicated that he was in it with us, invested in the outcome. What a heartwarming message.

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On Tidying Up My Cancer

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On Tidying Up My Cancer

Harrowing journeys have a way of distilling life to the essence: what is meaningful and joyful. Marie Kondo’s promise to help clear all which does not bring joy offered the perfect tool for me. With her step-wise guidance, I could assert control and order, clearing clutter and making way for joy. Once the process is completed, all that remains is what is truly meaningful and joyful in life--the rest can be discarded. 

Now I have breast cancer and am facing a full year of treatment following my surgery. It's time again to clear the clutter and become laser-focused. Maniacally get all the inconsequential knickknacks out of the way; I must tidy up. Distill life to make way for what’s truly meaningful and important. 

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Finding My Oxygen

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Finding My Oxygen

A few months ago, I launched an enterprise aimed to help children enduring challenging times: the death of a loved one, a major life change, or a family member's illness. I also wrote a guide to explore and underscore the tenets that lie at the heart of my endeavors, explaining what kids need in trying times, why they need it, and how we can give it to them. My research on this subject took the better part of a year; the philosophy was a lifetime of experience and schooling in the making. When I finished my guide and blogged it,...

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