June 10, 2011


as most of you who read this blog know, i started my master's in social work shortly following the end of my treatment. now being over a year out from the end of treatment and having a full year of my program under my belt i'm experiencing an identity shift. my cancer survivor identity is no longer my most salient identity, instead, it's slowing becoming integrated with my social work identity.... and, as i'm focusing all my efforts on oncology social work, it feels like a wonderful balance. i will never, ever let my survivor identity fade, but it's important to me moving forward to also allow my other identities their time in the spotlight. my survivor identity gives me motivation, drive, energy and a love and appreciation for life that i've never had. it makes me refuse to settle for anything...it allows me to brush off the small things in a way i never could...and, it gives me and my work purpose.

but, i think my shift in identity is why i've had trouble writing here. my survivor identity is now integrated into a new chapter in my life - one where cancer isn't the main event (and i hope it stays that way). but, writing here is important for me...and i like to think it's important for others. i saw a brilliant speaker who was also a social worker/cancer survivor and she described herself as having a 'pathological need to help others'...ah, perfect, i'm not alone. this blog is important and therapeutic for me, but my life isn't about me...it's about giving to others and learning in the process.

so, while i will continue to post here...i will focus my blog now on short little bits about life as a survivor, social worker and tireless advocate for everyone else touched by cancer. i'm intentionally not creating a new blog because i think it's important to integrate my personal history as a cancer warrior with my future. i don't hide it in practice, and i won't hide it here. it's part of who i am, and i'm darn proud of it. that said, when i have medical updates or anything comes up in my personal journey i will make sure i let you all know.

i also need to say 'thank you' to everyone who has read this blog, who will read this blog, and those of you who leave comments or send messages. there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that by writing about my own experience i've given something to someone else. you are all wonderful and i look forward to continuing to share my new and exciting journey with you...whatever that ends up looking like.


  1. I miss your posts. I'm glad you will keep writing.

  2. Grace -- in Judaism (Hebrew) we call this 'tikkon olom' the translation in English is: we are here to help repair the world.

    I believe you, and others like you (Michelle, myself...ect) are those that innately carry this meaning with us, every day of our lives.

    You, my love are the embodiment of tikkon olom. It's a beautiful thing to watch :)


  3. Thank you for your blog, just fighting through ABVD #10 of 12 and sure helped to read some positive thoughts.