I have been fortunate to connect with Abigail Johnston, a dynamic woman who has selected a title for her blog that's a perfect description of her and her mission: "No Half Measures: Living Out Loud With Metastatic Breast Cancer."... ...I am pasting her most recent post, "Ring Theory," below because its approach to communicating with seriously ill people--and their loved ones--provides information that I think we all need. And, when we eventually find ourselves in the center of the ring, I believe we will all hope that those around us are similarly well-informed.
Well, sure: the holiday season is, ironically, a time of stress. But we know there are high levels of anxiety that have preceded this supposedly joyous time and will surely follow us into the New Year/decade. I don’t have to itemize the list: it’s as close as your newspaper or electronic device. All sorts of problems and calamities—natural and manmade—have been occurring just about everywhere. We can’t change the world, but we do have some control over how we view the world and our place in it. And if enough of us exercise that control, we can make a difference.
’m not terribly fond of Christmas letters, which sometimes resemble those Facebook entries in which people tell you all the details of their day, including every morsel they ingested. But there was one letter I always looked forward to receiving. It was from my friend Peter, my colleague at the continuing medical education company that was my last job before retirement. Technically, I was Peter’s “boss,” a word I loathed, as I really believed in a collaborative work environment. But with Peter, it was irrelevant: he needed no bossing. Though his position was medical editor, he possessed two masters degrees and a PhD. It was our/my great good fortune that he wound up in that office. He was brilliant.
Three women, strangers, seats 23D (aisle), 23E (center), 23F (window). One soybean farmer, one blogger, one psychotherapist. Flight delayed by weather at destination. 10,000 feet above ground, swiftly nearing landing.