19 March 2017

10 health benefits of getting creative

This artistic arrangement caught my eye earlier this week while walking the Tumalo Creek trail. Smooth stones, conifer cones, tree branches. And an icy snowball. Someone was feeling creative, and it made me smile.

Did you know creativity has a good deal to do with our health and wellbeing?

 

Photo credit: Marlys

 

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12 March 2017

Cancer and financial toxicity: 6 tactics

My friend, upon turning 40, had a mammogram. Suspicious areas showed up in both breasts, which precipitated an ultrasound, two biopsies and additional mammography. All to the tune of $4,000. Although no cancer was detected, my friend needs to return every six months for images. “High risk,” they said. “We need to watch this closely,” they said.

Here’s the catch: Her insurance pays for preventive mammography, but not diagnostic mammography. Which means the ongoing imaging will be a significant out-of-pocket expense.

Short of propping open a guitar case and strumming on the streets, what’s a person to do?

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

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5 March 2017

11 secrets I learned about living after losing

After Hubby died of cancer, I relocated to southern California, claimed my daughter-in-law’s pink-rimmed bike as my own, and said Yes to several not-necessarily-planned-far-in-advance adventures.

 

Venice Beach with my pink-rimmed ride

 

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26 February 2017

22 ways to support your newly-diagnosed friend

Over the past few years, a number of people have asked about best ways to support a newly-diagnosed-with-cancer friend, neighbor, or family member. Or how to support a close friend who just learned a loved one had cancer.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

 

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19 February 2017

A to Z on living and dying

Being an obsessive list-maker, if given the assignment to sum up the things Hubby’s cancer taught us about living and dying—and if the assignment required an alphabetized list—it would look something like this (you’re going to need to work with me on a couple of these):

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

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19 February 2017

Reflections on the restorative qualities of tea

To some perhaps a frivolous topic, but when it comes to dealing with life’s challenges, the simple act of brewing a cup of tea and sitting in a favorite chair, whispering a prayer and silently reflecting on all the blessings that are still evident despite the challenges, and then placing some of the weight on paper—a list of things to be done but not right this minute—well, right there, half the battle won. With tea leading the charge.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

 

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14 February 2017

Is this how death should be?

Mom-in-law Ivalene died this week from complications due to pancreatic cancer. We thought we had six to twelve months left with her. And then the call: “She’s in transition. The hospice nurse doesn’t think she’ll last through the day.”

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

 

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6 February 2017

Widowhood: 5 mistakes I’ll never make again

Too bad it sometimes takes losing something of unspeakable value to appreciate what we had; that it takes mistakes to teach us some of life’s most critical lessons.

 

Photo credit: Kattaryna Stiles

 

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30 January 2017

Cancer and counter-culture courage

Since bringing mom-in-law Ivalene home from the hospital, we’ve been hit with the crud. The most energy I’ve expended has been heating up chicken noodle soup and making mugs of TheraFlu and throwing a fleece blanket into the dryer to tuck around my chilled mother-in-law.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

 

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22 January 2017

Stupid cancer

On a snowy day in Boise, mom-in-law Ivalene checked into the emergency room — quite yellow. In the process of correcting her outrageous skin color, pancreatic cancer was discovered.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

 

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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a cancer widow, author, speaker and blogger. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff. And an even greater passion for showing people how to navigate life's challenges. Tenaciously. And with heart wide open.

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