Tag Archives: cancer

Sweet, Beautiful Woman . . .

Why do the fingers
Of the little once beautiful lady
(sitting sewing at an open window
this fine morning) fly instead of dancing?
Are they possibly afraid
That life is running away
From them (I wonder) or
Isn’t she aware that
Life (who never grows old) is
Always beautiful and that
Nobody beautiful ever hurries? – e.e. cummings

Bekah, there really are no words except for to say that you are beautiful, and we are all behind you.



Filed under August 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

Check Out a New Fruit Today!

While blueberries were once considered to be the most potent super fruits, researchers have found that the Amazonian fruit açai (which looks very similar to a blueberry) has 700% more antioxidants that our berry blue friend. You can learn more about the superfood here.

Keep in mind that although many stores offer açai juice, the unsweetened pulp of the fruit is the ideal way in which to consume it. Antioxidants are fantastic anti-aging components and, according to an article on MSN, also used to help “treat or prevent some medical conditions, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.”


Filed under April 2008, Eat

Paying Attention to a Miracle

fieldoflowers-2.jpgEvery now and then, a miracle happens.

Yesterday was one such case.

It was about 10 o’clock at night, and I was finishing up a story I was writing for Her Active Life, when I decided to take a break and check out Bekah’s blog. This is what I read:

“I sat in a fixed corner, across the room from my mothers as they looked out at the sights of Penn tower, and I connected eyes with my lovely nurse practitioner. She knew, as well as I, that we have been desperately waiting to hear this news. And quietly sat down next to me, discussing the results. And what they revealed. I gave her a hug and walked over to the two women who have literally carried me through the last two months of treatment. And watched me at my ultimate worst and weakest.

Looking at both of them, I repeated what was said in that lovely whisper.

I am cancer free.
There is no sign of any disease.
The PET is completely negative.

To be honest, I put my arms around both of my mothers, and cried. I couldn’t stop. With the help of both of them, and so many of you. I have beaten cancer for the second time. And I will hold onto this moment, in a deep place within me”

I was floored. Just absolutely shocked. I did not even realize that tears were falling down my face until I was at the end of reading this incredible entry from Bekah.

It’s not that I did not think she could and would beat this awful disease — I knew for sure that she would. I was just so amazed by her strength; she actually wrote, “For now please enjoy this news as much as I have. It is yours, as much as it is mine.

And I wonder, “How does this incredible woman — the one who has been the one fighting the disease and losing her hair and feeling the pain — have it in her to acknowledge the worry others have been feeling throughout her journey?! What a precious soul.”

But then, I realized: It is because Bekah is the miracle.

It is like I wrote to her on her blog, “Bekah, here is the coolest part about this journey you have taken: While we all knew and had faith that you would beat the cancer, YOU had the faith that made us all believe in you. You are so powerful — so much larger than that cancer.”

Bekah’s faith became the miracle; and that miracle came full circle — I am absolutely sure of that.

Author Paulo Coelho once said, “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.

That is really all there is. Bekah could have become unaware of each day and allowed the cancer to become her only vision. But, instead, she chose to pay attention — to her mothers and friends and family and love and fresh bagels — very close attention.

And the universe paid attention . . . to her.

Note: Team Bekah: True Beauty, Never Hurries is now so excited to be participating in the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure with a reason to celebrate! Please see our site for more information about how YOU can help us honor Bekah and the many cancer patients who have and will join her in her fight!


Filed under March 2008, Pray

Ch-Ch-Changes ….

As I promised earlier today, here is an update about the many changes that you will begin to see on Eat, Pray, Run over the next few days.question-marks.jpg

I have received several emails from readers expressing a need to see more exercises and get-your-booty-in-shape tools. Many have even requested I post examples of certain exercises and yoga poses that may help common ailments, such as the one we talked about in How Yoga May Help Me Pull the Knife Out of My Head. Other readers said they would also like to see more healthy recipes, and, of course, some of the not-so-good-for-you treats, too!

As a result, you will soon notice two new tabs at the top of the page — one that focuses on exercises taken from trained sources all around the globe (I am not an expert, but I know people who are!), and another that explains to you some of the many recipes that I (OK, my fiancé!) use every day to create healthy meals.

But, my question to you is (if you have not told me yet): What would you like to see on Eat, Pray, Run? What are your favorite aspects and what would you enjoy seeing more of? Some readers have already asked to see more examples of what I eat every day, similar to blogs like Eat Like Me or Kath Eats Real Food, and others just requested a continual emphasis on my life lessons.

I have put together this survey, and I would appreciate you taking a bit of time to fill it out. If you would prefer to send me an email, that is absolutely A-OK with me. I just want to hear from you!

Lastly, here are some housekeeping things that I want you to keep in mind:

  • I read all of your comments. I often post responses, so make sure you check back — I love talking with you! In addition, feel free to write in the comments section located below a post any questions you may have, especially when it comes to foreign recipe contents, exercise concerns and so forth. If I don’t know the answer — for example, I am certified to teach Pilates, but not yoga — I know someone who does! So, rest assured, I can get those answers for you. Don’t forget you can also always email me at eatprayrun@hotmail.com.
  • Remember to always check at the end of posts and below pictures, specifically ones at the end of a post, to find additional information, such as links to Web sites. For example, in Bald Head or Not, Just Act on It Anyway!, I posted a note about Bekah, a woman who, at age 23, is fighting her second battle with cancer; all of these links and side notes have great information to offer toward our purpose — building our best life!
  • Make sure you check out the sidebar to the right of the site page — there are all kinds of little notes, and tools that make Eat, Pray, Run easier to navigate.

Thanks, readers! I cannot wait to hear from you.


Filed under Eat, March 2008, Pray, Run

Because True Beauty Does Not Have to Hurry … Ever.

susangkomen1.jpgI have wrote before about a favorite quotation of mine in which Poet Rainer Rilke says, “Go into yourself and see how deep is the place from which your life flows.”

I know for sure that I am not yet there, not even close; I have yet to delve deep enough into the waters that constitute my being.

That being said, I can very easily feel and touch the people in my life who have made their way into that deepest part of my soul — and Bekah is one of them.

I wrote about Bekah, a 23-year-old woman battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the second time, in a post the other day. Through her thoughts and writings in life, and on her blog, Bekah continues to inspire me and people all over the globe every day. In an effort to honor her truthfully beautiful spirit, my family, friends and I have formed a team for the 2008 Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure. Our team, Team Bekah: True Beauty, Never Hurries, will be raising money to help fund research for breast cancer, and will be doing so in Bekah’s name (see sidebar on this page).

If you are in the Pittsburgh area, join Team Bekah: True Beauty, Never Hurries today! Come join us on race day, May 11, 2008 where you can run, walk or yell really loudly from the sidelines — we just want to see your faces! And if you cannot make it, sponsor a member of Team Bekah today by making a contribution. You can even visit my personal page and make a gift that will go toward my fund raising goal of at least $500; our team fund raising goal is $5,000!

Please support me, my team, Susan G. Komen and the lovely beauty for whom we all walk and run, Bekah, in this race!!

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure raises money to fund education, screening and treatment programs for these women and thousands of others in our own community and supports the national search for a cure.



Filed under March 2008, Pray, Run

Finding the Shining Sun As a Second-Time Cancer Patient

I have a humongous zit on my nose. I mean, it is gigantic. And every time I look in the mirror I lament:

“Oh, it’s so ugly! I look like Rudolph with this shiner.”

I feel oh, so sorry for myself.

But situations like this are ones where I soon enough find myself feeling quite stupid for being so vain. Today was no different.

I was reading True Beauty, Never Hurries, an inspirational blog written by Bekah, a lovely 23-year-old who is currently battling her second bout of cancer. Her second bout … at age 23 … when all of her dreams are just being put into action … when she is supposed to be having the time of her life … when she is supposed to be worried about a zit on her nose …

How does that happen?

Please read the following post from Bekah. How someone battling so much pain and hurt can find this much wisdom . . . it just floors me. I promise it will make you feel differently about the matters on which we place worry. I know you may say, “Yes, but I have my own worries.” And I understand that; I understand that you do not have to have cancer for your concerns to be valid. But I am telling you, it will make you think differently — even if it is just for a day, or until the next day-changing zit, Bekah will touch your heart today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A little cancer secret

During this two year battle with cancer, I would like to think I have learned some lessons from my past treatment, to bring towards this one.

A major obstacle I faced last year, and begin to face this year as well. Is to look sick at age twenty three or twenty four. In our young 20’s we should be vibrant, and beautiful, and not give a second thought to illness. But unfortunately, for some it happens. It has happened to me, and it happens to others I care for, very deeply as well.

Most would think, you can easily shrug off the ‘sick’ look. Say ‘who cares? it’s just hair, or eyebrows, or eyelashes.’ But alas, it is not the shallow loss of these characteristics that stings the cancer patient, it is the loss of normalcy, the grief of once was, the knowledge that we were somewhere else a year ago, or six months ago. It is the loss of a past life whether it be a healthy mom with five children and a stoic husband, a brave woman with a beautiful partner and fur kids, a young musician attempting to start his life over in a new city, a father with two adorable daughters and a beautiful wife, or a young teacher, desperate to know when she’ll be able to have her own classroom again.

By looking this way in the world, we have a choice to make. Never an easy one at that though. Last year, I fumbled and grappled with my physical appearance, understanding what my appearance meant. It meant, I was receiving chemotherapy. It meant, I had left my life in Florida (and now in Boston) to receive treatment. It meant, I had given up my world to fight for my life. It meant, I am hoping for a cure.

So, as the rest of the outside world may see us as weak, or sickling, and possibly unattractive. We, as patients and survivors, and even caretakers have to understand the magnitude of what this outer appearance truly is.

Last year, I saw myself, hairless, ill, and dreading the outside world for fear of judgment. Now, after time and a second diagnosis, I see myself and other cancer patients and survivors for what they really are, when going through treatment…


We have not only let go of our physical characteristics, but we’ve let go of a life – in some way or some form. And in turn, we are fighting for a new one. If that means, we do it without hair, or eyebrows, or physical strength. So be it.

To me, that is not weak.
To me, this is the strength of a cancer patient.

The sun is shinning, and this cancer patient is finally ready for round two of ICE.
I will be admitted Wednesday afternoon, and be held at Upenn till Saturday afternoon. If any complications arise, you will be updated.

oh.. and one last picture for my favorites. 🙂

All my Love
to All of you


Filed under February 2008, Pray

Yes, Ladies and Gents, the Sun Might Kill You


With spring and summer just around the corner, it is safe to assume that sooner than later many of us will be breaking out the bikinis and oils in an effort to start building a tan.

But before I continue, please note that this author is not a part of that “us” group — I am pasty white year round, with a chance of sunburn and freckles in the summer time.

Anyhoo, this trend makes me begin to start thinking about skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States (can you believe that?!). Now, I know you are going to think that I really just have a vengeance to stop everyone from getting a bronzed bod because I can’t.

And that is true.

But, seriously, skin cancer is a scary thing. And just-released press about the disease, including a recent recovery story about Grey’s Anatomy star, actor Eric Dane, — known to the ladies as Dr. McSteamy! — makes us realize that no one is exempt. And these warnings go to everyone, including those who think they have skin that “naturally tans” and people who are less than golden, like me.

Take this skin cancer quiz. I think you will be glad to have the information on hand come time for skin cancer — um, tanning? — season. I missed number six, and the answer just shocked me — I had no clue!

P.S. The use of my ass in the above picture was previously approved by me, Caroline Shannon, the owner of the more than perfect derrière. (Ha, ha — yeah, right!)


Filed under February 2008, Pray