It hit me this Tuesday at 7:37pm.  Standing in the kitchen, chicken scallopine marinated, purple kale from our CSA chopped, and baby tomatoes diced, I couldn’t find the garlic.  My husband walked by and I melted into him, tears flowing.  “I can’t do it.”  I said.  “I’m so tired.”  And that’s when it hit me.  I have cancer. 

Apparently the past three months of visits to the Abramson Cancer Center, procedures, and surgery wasn’t enough to fully clue me in.  It’s this radiation that’s making me feel like this is something way bigger than me. 

Because it is.   

As a yoga teacher, I often talk about treating ourselves with compassion, the importance of finding balance between effort and ease and listening to our bodies.  I deeply appreciate the integration of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies and at this moment in time, my physical body was sending me some pretty clear signals.  Slow the F down, sister. 

My medical team had prepared me for the fatigue associated with radiation.  I had often heard of this, along with skin issues.  I wasn’t prepared for the sharp, shooting pain that can occur, which has disrupted my sleep, exacerbating fatigue. 

Wednesday morning, I awoke with some clarity.   

Perhaps teaching daily (or twice daily) yoga classes is more than my body can handle right now.  Get a sub, Kerri, people will understand. 

Schedule some of those wellness services you know can help you – acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care.  Get these on your calendar and schedule work around them. 

Yes, go for your daily walks, but maybe the power pace can be tempered. 


Hello, humility, nice to see you again. 

I thought I had prepared myself for what was ahead.  I was wrong.  Isn’t this often the case?  Even when we plan for what we think will be, when we’re actually in it, it may be different?  Then we need to tell the ego to back off, because it doesn’t get to be the one who drives the bus this time.  

I’ve witnessed the glorification of people who go through treatment as if all was “normal”.  If I’m being honest, I did feel myself being sucked into the “superwoman” vortex – I’ve been public about the fact that I’m dealing with breast cancer, but am I really modeling for my daughter the necessity of slowing down?  Or by continuing to operate as if I can do it all communicating to her that she must do the same.  This gives me pause, because the time to shift our culture to slow down is now.  Has this past year of pandemic living taught me nothing? 

I use the word humility, because I am deeply humbled by this new phase.  Surgery felt like something I had done before.  It has a clear beginning, middle and end.  Diagnosis, surgery, recovery.  Done!  Radiation feels completely different.  I started out feeling just fine, nothing was “wrong” with me.  A week and a half in, I’m weary to the core.  Anxious about the weeks ahead, as the effect is cumulative.   

It’s a reminder for me, once again, that I am not in control.  And, yes, I can picture The Good Lord up there saying, “How many times do I need to send her this message?” 

Am I brave enough to make a shift? 

If I strip away all the noise, I think this is what it comes down to.  Am I brave enough to shift my way of being?  Can I acknowledge this is a temporary phase, allow myself to live as I need to at this point in time, so I don’t do more harm than good?  Will I be open to the learning from this experience, for certainly there is wisdom to be had here?  This, this is the gold.  Each of our life experiences, often the ones that bring us the most heartache, are where we learn so much about ourselves.   

In my life were a movie, Tuesday’s dinner scene would end with my husband tenderly walking me to the sofa, pouring me a glass of white wine and jumping in to finish dinner. See how easily we are conditioned about expectations?  That didn’t happen.  Was it that I couldn’t lay on the sofa because there was laundry stacked on it waiting to be put away?  Maybe.  But it ended the way that was right for me.  The tears and giving voice to what my reality is helped.  I found the garlic, finished dinner while my husband put away laundry and the evening ended with snuggling the pups on the sofa.  Exactly what I needed.  At that point in time.  

Photo credit: Joe Longo Photography