Living with Chronic Illness

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The following quotes and suggestions are drawn from After the Diagnosis: From Crisis to Personal Renewal for Patients with Chronic Illness by Dr. JoAnn LeMaistre.

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Being psychologically well while physically sick stems from a belief that your personal worth transcends physical limitations.


Belief in your self worth rarely emerges until what you have lost and grieved for stands second in importance to precious moments of inner peace and joy. 


When living with chronic illness:

1.  Develop realistic expectations.

2.  Actively approach problems by defining the problem and the desired outcome.

3.  Seek appropriate help.

4.  Save valuable energy by learning anger management and emotional efficiency.

5.  Participate in the world as positively and authentically as possible.

6.  Focus on the present moment and what nourishes you rather than punishing yourself by focusing on loss. Maintain your humanity and awareness, and cherish life’s gifts.

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(Special thanks to mmorgan77 for first synopsizing this on


Thank you Ceres of Marin!

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On Feb 13, my first meal was delivered from Ceres Project who delivers free weekly meals for people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses for three months. This profound kindness is only one of the important ways Ceres Project is improving the world and individual’s lives. They even take recipient’s dietary requirements into account (gluten-free, for example); and use whole, health-promoting, organic, seasonal food, sourced from local farms, farmer’s markets and Whole Foods Market; and teach teens, who prepare the food, how to cook delicious nutritious meals.

Even kindergarteners are involved by making inspiring cards for clients. Mine was from Max. Thank you, Max! It’s on our refrigerator and makes us all smile.

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Cancer and it’s treatment is challenging for anyone as well as a person’s family so I wish I’d taken a picture of my brother’s face when the food arrived after we returned home after radiation and a walk. I didn’t know my three month period was beginning last night so – though bone tired – he was about to start dinner when the Ceres meal arrived.

My brother was even happier than me when this restaurant-quality meal arrived since it provided him with a much needed break from his daily grind of support while I am in treatment. Ceres’ care nourished all of us and my brother was able to relax and relish the yummy scents, appearance and taste rather than prepare yet another meal for a family in which two of us are disabled.

Valentine’s Day inspired the presentation of last night’s meal for one of the most loving valentines ever created. In addition to the pureed beet soup we received:

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(arugula salad with watermelon radishes and blood orange dressing)


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(heart-shaped turkey meatloaves with unsweetened tomato jam)


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(sauteed red chard with blood oranges)


and as a special Valentine’s Day treat

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(dairy- and gluten-free chocolate cranberry bread pudding sweetened with a touch of maple syrup)

Every bite was scrumptious! Our bodies were nourished with the healthiest of foods, our spirits raised and we were able to relax for the night, a rare and needed treat.

I hope people will consider supporting the Ceres Project since they make an enormous effort to benefit more lives than one can imagine. If you know someone in Sonoma or Marin who is being treated for cancer or another life-threatening illness, please let them know about Ceres Project. And hopefully people in other areas will be inspired to create similar services in their communities.

For more information, or to volunteer, or provide a tax-deductible donation to this remarkable organization:

Ceres Community Project of Marin
P.O. Box 151049
San Rafael, CA 94915-1049

5 deserted island essentials


The classic list that no one would have at the time needed since we don’t plan to be alone on a deserted island. However, I thrive on creativity and expression, but I’m a soft-skinned animal so I would want:

1. A deep well that desalinates the sea;

2.  Identification guide for land and sea flora & fauna to identify edibles and the like;

3. Everlasting all-UV protective sunglasses;

4. Clothing made from fabric like tencil or multilayered silk* to last for decades;

5. A first aid kit that could supply a hospital, including morphine for a comfortable transition at life’s end;

A list I hope no one would ever need…except as an outward bound experience in which case I’d want:

a camera with a long battery and lots of memory; a journal; a space pen with refills; a knife; three glass bottles for water desalination.

* (Silk is so strong that it is used as body armor…as I remember, it takes 50 layers to stop a bullet)