All About Thriving is a blog I’m publishing on the subjects of health, wellness and the politics and sociology of cancer.
Those are big categories. This blog is like a big canvas on which I can see where my writing and thinking take me.
As I’ve explained in the About Me section of this site, I was, long ago — in what feels like a different lifetime – a journalist and author about political matters. I chronicled U.S. right-wing political movements in four published books and numerous articles over a period of fifteen years, including the years in which I studied for my Ph.D. in sociology.
Then I shifted gears and became an estate planning attorney, an unlikely departure, but it has been and continues to be a sustainable way of making a living.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and survived the conventional treatment for it.
As I’ve recovered from cancer treatment, I’ve got a new passion for sharing what I’m learning about health and cancer. I am fascinated — and often appalled – at the way our society treats cancer and people who have cancer. Cancer rates are as high as ever due to environmental pollution, and yet our society largely looks the other way.
Cancer can blow up everything in one’s life. There is no turning back to “normal.” There are only questions about how to go forward.
Like many cancer survivors, I have pondered at length the question, “Now what?” The poet Mary Oliver asks in one of her famous lines: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”
One of the things I know best about myself is that I need to do something creative and intellectual.
These days, creative and intellectual work is often done via the internet. As I’ve delved into my subjects, I’ve found that there are many cancer bloggers out there and, in particular, many fine writers blogging about breast cancer. Each has her or his own unique voice. There is a collective learning process underway. I’ve got my own take, and I’d like to contribute.
I don’t view cancer just as an individual’s ordeal, but rather as a social and public health dilemma. And yet, it is also a very personal matter, and I’m going to write about my personal experience.
On All About Thriving, I’ll address some of my personal, favorite topics: nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, meditation, medical cannabis, how words and ideas are used in the social construction of cancer, cancer “patients” and “survivors.”
I’m a critic of most of what passes in the mainstream media and culture for cancer “awareness” and fundraising. Many smart thinkers are writing about this. I’d like to be able to amplify the voices calling for accurate presentations and appropriate expenditures to address the cancer epidemic.
My blog isn’t pink. Some of my pieces may not be very nice or cheerful. I don’t believe that healing and thriving means pasting a happy face onto terrible situations or that calling cancer a “gift” is healing or useful.
I will critique the hell out of the injustices of who gets to have good medical treatment and who does not.
Through All About Thriving, I want to network with other survivors.
I want to return to being a writer.
I also want to become a patient advocate. I don’t know what form this will take. I have “beginner’s mind” about this. I am open to expanding and changing what I do for a living in years to come.
Starting a new project or posting an article on a blog is a bit like shooting an arrow into the dark. One feels strongly about aiming in a particular direction, with no forecast for results.
The not knowing is part of the healing and part of the fun.
Welcome to my blog.