Float or Sink: Researching Resilience


January 8, 2018- In about 6 weeks I’ll be presenting a workshop on the topic resilience to a group of breast cancer survivors attending a weekend retreat centered around self-care.  As with many opportunities in my life, this one came from wanting to say yes to a friend whom I love and admire.

My friend Susie Roden is the living embodiment of resilence, and I met her 25 years ago when we both worked for at a hospital in the community health and wellness department. As a breast cancer survivor, Susie’s work focused on community education and fundraising for breast health-related issues. Fast forward 25 years and her scope of influence in the same field has grown 10 fold, and she’s helped thousands of women through her professional and personal efforts. She is one of my heroes.

Like many of us who live a certain number of years on this planet, we will endure our share of challenges, I have had my own: Car accident at 17 that left me unable to read and comprehend for months and a fractured femur.  I was told that I will always walk with a limp and likely need multiple surgeries to correct the issues.  In my 20s I married unsuccessfully to a man who was verbally and physically abusive. It was during this marriage I came down with a debilitating mystery illness that was diagnosed as most likely  Multiple Sclerosis. In my early 30s, I had two miscarriages that left me heartbroken and in an effort to dull that pain I ate, a lot, and gained 60 pounds and felt about 30 years older. A year later my mother was killed tragically when a tree fell on her in her backyard. My dad died 6 years later from lung cancer and a broken heart. There have been times when I’ve tried to take on too much and have failed miserably and times  I have stood up for what’s right and still ended up on the short end of the stick.

Susie thought I might know a few things about resilience because nothing that I have just shared with you defines me.

As I prepare for this workshop, I am reading clinical papers, interviewing healthcare practitioners on resilience but more importantly,  I am interviewing people about their experience with resilience.  I wanted to see if their experiences were similar to mine and try to distill it all down to create practical tools for the women in the workshop to implement in their life. These stories are fascinating and revealing, and I will be sharing what I’ve learned ( while protecting the privacy of my interviewees). Stay tuned.

Be part of the story ! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY ON RESILIENCE WITH ME PLEASE EMAIL ME AT  -It will take about 15 minutes of your time and we can do it via email or on the phone. 




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