Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Simple rituals. Simple facts. Yesterday I gave a talk on military mental illness and the economics of veteran’s mental health. I was blessed to have the podium at a wonderful social justice church in Troy, New York. I spoke about the China Marines and the survivors of the Palawan massacre in World War II.

Today John and I went to the local Memorial Day parade. We walked for an hour—he looking for students and me waving to vets—the older the better. And the “Vets for Peace” and “Grannies for Peace” too.

The man who married us was walking in the parade and he came over to say hello and gave me a flag on a stick. “You need a flag to wave” he said. And indeed I do.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


When I write the word “Gratitude”

I think recovery.

I don’t think “cancer”.

I think gratitude for him

for me, for this

--surely not this?

We are grateful or we are not.

We say Yes! and Thank you!

All around me well-meaning

friends say,

“You can say ‘No’!”

But I say Yes

I don’t No

Who knew…

“It’s like a relationship on steroids” I

told a friend

then realized

that was no metaphor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Relationships and Cancer

Relationship and cancer. Relationship with cancer. Relationship when you know your heart will be broken--but not before it is healed and opened wide. Take a look at this relationship and cancer story from today's New York Times.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Save the Date: Sex and Cancer

There are a lot of things to feel squeamish about with cancer. But sex isn’t—or shouldn’t be—one of them. So here is a chance to listen, learn, talk and ask questions about sex and cancer. Mark your calendar:

Monday June 13th --7 pm to 9 pm

at The American Cancer Society Hope Club (formerly Gilda’s Club)

One Penny Lane—off Wade Road—off exit 6 of Route 87 Latham, New York

There will be a panel presentation and open discussion about the anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etiquette, hope, fear and what real people really do when making love in the time of cancer. I will be part of the panel along with other experts on cancer, caregiving and sex.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sex Education

When I was in Junior High there was a popular song called “Get Yourself a College Girl”. The boppy, beach-boy lyric went like this: “”Get yourself a college girl, a well-read book, a knowledge girl. Get yourself a coll-edge girl.”

I hummed that song all the time—maybe thinking it was affirmation that skinny but smart girls like me could be just as desirable as my classmate Bethany Springer, who started wearing a bra in Grade Six.

Now I am reading the new book, The Social Animal, by New York Times columnist, David Brooks and last night my eyes were opened by this paragraph:

Men want to do the same sexual acts regardless of education levels, but female sexual preferences differ by education, culture and status level. Highly educated women are much more likely to perform oral sex, engage in same-sex activity and experiment with a variety of other activities than less-educated women. Religious women are less adventurous than nonreligious women, though the desires of religious men are not much different than those of secular ones.”

I guess a little learning goes—and comes—a long way.