Tag Archives: Nancy Stordahl

Recuperation and a red leather chair

10 Feb

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    February 10, 2019

I absolutely loved the questions that Nancy Stordahl recently posed to her Nancy’s Point blog readers:

“Do you associate certain things with certain events in your life? Is there something that always takes you back to that time or place – a piece of clothing, an item of food, a scent or smell, a vehicle or even a piece of furniture? What is a trigger that reminds you of your diagnosis, treatment, or ‘that time’?”

Nancy went on to tell a touching story of getting rid of her much-loved blue leather sofa and matching chair, and the association of those items with her breast cancer diagnosis and recuperation, among many other important family events, both happy and awful, over many years. Inspired by her nostalgic recall of such associations, I answered her questions by describing a piece of furniture in my own home that still reminds me of what it was like when I first became a patient.   Continue reading

The 2018 Summer Blogging Challenge

12 Aug

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by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters    August 12, 2018

My blogging friend Nancy Stordahl, author of several books about breast cancer, including (best title ever!) “Cancer is Not a Gift and it Didn’t Make Me a Better Person”, as well as the excellent breast cancer blog Nancy’s Point, sent me a little nudge this week. Perfect timing for an invitation to participate in her 4th Annual Summer Blogging ChallengeIt’s hot outside, I’m cranky, I’ve attempted writing half a dozen blog posts this week  yet abandoned all of them – maybe Nancy’s challenge will help me feel unstuck.

Her invitation: just answer the following 12 questions about being a blogger (or about the blogs you enjoy reading). Feel free to accept her challenge yourself. Continue reading

Fighting, battling, and beating: combat metaphors in medicine are just wrong

29 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Are you “battling” heart disease”? Have you “beaten” cancer? Are you “fighting” a chronic illness? These wartime references are metaphors as described by Dr. Jack Coulehan, a physician, an award-winning poet, and editor of the 5th edition of The Medical Interview: Mastering Skills for Clinical Practice, a best-selling textbook on the doctor-patient relationship.(1)  Dr. C explains that there are several basic metaphors used in medicine that to a large extent generate the vocabulary of doctor-patient communication – but can also unintentionally objectify and dehumanize the patient.

Here are three of the most prominent metaphors you’re likely to encounter in health care:  Continue reading

Post-Traumatic Growth: how a crisis makes life better – or NOT

15 Mar
Full disclosure: I’ve always felt a bit squirmy when patients facing a life-altering medical crisis cheerfully declare that this diagnosis isn’t only NOT dreadful, but it’s actually quite fabulous! But before I dig into that theory, let’s look at this positivity phenomenon.

Psychologists sometimes refer to it as “Post-Traumatic Growth”.
Continue reading