Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

What’s the Take Away?

I attend a lot of teleconferences regarding health, business and spirituality.  Most of the time I walk around the office with a headset and the phone attached to my belt.  At the end of the teleconferences most of the facilitators will ask, “What are you leaving with today?” or “What was the nugget you heard today?”  They do this so that you feel you get value from their call.  I’m constantly on the lookout for the nuggets that others get from their personal experience with a health challenge.

This morning I was watching Good Morning America and one of the co-hosts, Robin Roberts, showed a preview for her Nightline special this evening.  It shows what the past year has been like for her since her breast cancer diagnosis.  She remained on the air throughout her treatment and now is sharing her  nugget.

Last year Robin published a book that had 7 steps or 7 somethings, and as she went through treatment she would repeat over and over, it’s a chapter of my life…it’s not the whole story.  When asked if she would write a book about her breast cancer experience she said no because the cancer is only a chapter in the story.

So if you’re still reading this here’s the nugget she gave this morning, “Make your mess your message”.  The great thing about a phrase that so rich is that it’s open to interpretation.  How will your convert your mess into a message?  What message do you want to send to your family and friends about who you are as a person, beyond your illness?  Are you a role model and a goal model?  These are all things to consider in the big picture.

How will you make the mess (the illness) your message?  Share with me some of your ideas because I know you have as much if not more insight than Robin Roberts.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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