Personal Reflections {Cancer, Healing, and a New Source of Support}

June 24, 2017

Win a set of organic cotton jammies...details here.

I don't often enough slow down, catch my breath,
and share personal behind-the-blogger
thoughts and glimpses of my life,
so today I'm making time.

Maybe you need to hear these words
I'm typing stream-of-consciousness style.
Maybe you need to somehow
feel joined on your journey.

We both know that while interior design, renovation,
and creative projects are blogworthy fun
and pleasant paths for our attention,
there are far more valuable matters...

My father is the holiest human I have ever known and the most loving caregiver as well.
My parents just flew home to Arizona after visiting with us
for a few weeks, and this was an important trip
since my mom has not been healthy enough to
travel for two years.
It has been nearly five years since she received
a breast cancer diagnosis, and since that time,
many more challenges.
BRCA2 genetic mutation, colon cancer, melanoma,
and osteoporosis joined her life and ours.
She can't easily feed herself or walk, and
her new normal continues to be successive
doctor appointments, procedures, and treatments.
But do you know what else joined her?

My mom took baby steps through the garden, and then we would rest...a metaphor?
Joy. Gratitude. Healing.

Not beer and skittles joy.
Not 'I'm just happy to be alive' gratitude.
And not 'full, miraculous recovery' healing.

Rather, the joy looks like: a renewed sense of wonder,
contentment, and easy laughter in spite of pain.

The gratitude presents as profound thankfulness for
baby birds hatching just outside her window.

And the healing...the healing has come
tenderly, in the absence of cure, friends.

I paused to commune with this wounded, pruned part of a tree in the magnificent gardens.
To experience such healing is to glimpse
eternity, feel transformed by a holy force,
and taste the sweetness of a lighter realm
of's what I desire on my own
journey and for humanity.

Mom has been in constant pain for years now,
yet has leaned into grace more times than I can count.
In such utter vulnerability, her heart has opened to
the ultimate healing: a healing of spirit.

Hello Lovely Studio
You cannot be caught up in a loved one's
healing without feeling your own spirit
transform, and this is the part of the
cancer story I find impossibly gorgeous...
as superficial layers of self fall away,
the raw and true diamond beneath
begins to glimmer with beauty.
There is pain, but it's never wasted!
The transformation never stops with the patient.
Others are drawn into sparkling beauty,
and their diamonds begin to surface too.

Then, as the light reflects and refracts
from the collective sacred prisms
(all linked by a relentless disease
and love for each other),
well, I think this may be the most
lifegiving sort of healing I know.

My parents, my son, and I were swept up in beauty, watching these ducklings frantically follow mama into the shrubs.
Is this language too mystical?
It's what I speak now when I'm wide awake,
and friends, it's so tempting to go to sleep
and sleepwalk through the pain and suffering
around us and in us, but I encourage you
to open your eyes wide and SEE that
there is nothing to fear and so much
healing waiting for you.

An incredible product I found at that makes a perfect gift.

A new source of support on the web for folks with
cancer, chronic illness, anxiety, or grief
has surfaced on the horizon, and I am
excited to introduce you to
an amazing site founded by
Carol Cassara.

work and how her products
and services are changing the
landscape of recovery.
These three words:
a healing spirit
are resonating deeply
within my heart this very moment.

Thank you for reading me
and encouraging me for
so many years as I have
muddled through
seeking light
and wisdom.

I would love to hear from you if you have a moment!

Peace to you right where you are.

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  1. Thank you. I understand this, feel this and pass it back. Lovely.

    1. how lovely of you to say and offer. peace to you, friend.

  2. My prayers and love go out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing as usual.

    1. Thanks so much, Katherine. We covet your prayers and feel upheld in support always. :)

  3. Oh Michele! My heart aches for your Mom and your whole family. You are such brave and loving souls. Thank you for sharing your story of healing and grace.

    1. let your heart be light, beautiful holly! we have true joy just like you. :)

  4. Such a beautiful post! I appreciate your transparency.

  5. I continue to be confused, I almost died last November and I still don't know why I didn't. I am happy for my family that I didn't die, but since I believe in an afterlife with all my heart I wonder if I am better off. Obviously God needs me here, I don't know why, and I often feel living is harder.....

    1. Well, I am glad you're still with us, Donna. We all have darkish days, and I'm glad you have faith. Hang in there. The affirmation cards and journaling I mention in my post "A Healing Spirit" may bring you some hope. I'm praying for you just now, friend.

  6. Joy looks different as we age.....and it looks different after suffering. Somehow, it seems more real, truer, to me. Not that I didn't have true joy before, but, perhaps now, the joy matches the revelations of a more experienced heart. I like where I am in my mid 40's. And I like the joy I feel.

    1. So beautiful! Thanks for adding to the beauty here.

    2. I was just diagnosed with a brain tumor, purely by accident. Had no idea. alot of people say I have just started by journey but sometimes I don't think I am built for the journey. My first scan showed no improvement an I have another one coming up this month
      All the meds and radiation take its tole on your body, which I am sure you all know. Ihave deep faith, good family and friends supporting me, but they can't take it away. I need some feeling of hope. Sorry to sound like a winer, but I am not in a good place. Vicki

    3. Thanks for your courage and vulnerability in adding to the beauty of this discussion, Vicki. You have honored us. It can be hard to be at the beginning of the journey and it often takes distance from the pain before we cas reflect on beauty. There are days we lose hope. Days our faith is weak. But that trustworthy LOVE energy, holding everything together, somehow mysteriously teaching us that everything belongs (the joy AND the sorrow), is where we can draw strength and peace. In my own struggles, I find I am asked to put on a new mind, shed my prior self, and see with brand new eyes through a divine filter I only now have access to. Be gentle with yourself. All I can offer is a prayer and maybe a little hope that all will be well with your soul, that deepest part of you which none of these earthly woes may harm (not even doubt or temporary hopelessness).

    4. Michele, what beautiful words you write and you give me courage and comfort. I do have to look at things through a new divine filter, and I do. I need to understand this is a new way of life right now. I just hope there is reason to hope and it is hard not to give up and be angry and lost. Thank you for your prayers, Vicki

    5. Oh, Vicki, thank YOU. You are recycling your pain into beauty, right here in this space. Honored to pray for you. xox


Your comments add to the beauty...thanks in advance for your kindness.


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