My thoughts, ideas, and expressions on the topics I’m most passionate about.
God’s promise was never that life would be fair. God’s promise was that when we had to confront the unfairness of life, we would not have to do so alone because He would be with us.- The twenty-third psalm Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.- The Talmud Today is October 15th, 2020. One…
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When I wrote Love Is... back in 2013, I never thought it would go viral, attract millions of readers, be translated into five languages, and become the start of my cancer survivorship journey.
This essay is the story of how love kept me going through every step of my stage IV cancer diagnosis.
“Love is when I know this cancer will hurt, and will make me sick, but it will not kill me. Love is too strong not to live for. And I was put here for love.”
After I finished my intensive treatment, I struggled to put the pieces of my life back together. My last relationship had ended only a few month after I was diagnosed, and I desperately wanted to find love again. I feared, though, that no one would ever want to date me after all I had been through.
This is the story of how I met my now husband, who loves me not in spite of what I’ve gone through, but because of it.
“In the middle of the nightmare I clutched desperately onto one hope; the hope that at the end there would be some goodness that made the whole mess worthwhile—a light only this path could have carried me to.”
I had beaten cancer and met my soulmate, but was a long way away from getting back the life I had before. This is the story of how I rebuilt from scratch—and most importantly—found a way to open myself to the possibilities of life again in spite of my fear.
“I struggled so much against this horrible thing that happened to me, trying to fight what simply had to be endured. In the end I did not need to do anything special to find my way home, because home is more than a place, it is a desire.”
I was full steam ahead on my post-cancer 10 year plan. I got married, ranked top tenth percentile on my psychiatry boards, and started a successful private practice. Check, check, and check. It was all falling into place just as I had written it out in my moleskin notebook.
But after 5 years in my remission, my cancer relapsed. This is the real, raw, and heartfelt story of how it happened a second time.
“I cried because I realized that I really, truly, do not want to die.“
The universe is connected in strange ways. Despite the odds and a poor prognosis after my cancer relapsed, I underwent a successful second round of chemotherapy and had a successful stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor. Then… something even more amazing happened.
“God’s promise was never that life would be fair. God’s promise was that when we had to confront the unfairness of life, we would not have to do so alone because He would be with us.“
If you’ve come this far…
My Favorite Articles
In the last few weeks I have been riveted watching events unfold in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, as I imagine many of you have been, too. First…
For the last week I’ve been consumed with anxiety. It’s been on my mind and probably most of your minds, too. CORONAVIRUS. Partially I’m worried for myself, as being a…
Recently a friend wrote to me the following: “Everyone has a fault in their perfect self, a line running somewhere between conflicting feelings. For some, it is evenly distributed, in…
“It is said that soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the extraordinary radiance and peacefulness of his presence. The man…
I’m doing it. I’m pulling the trigger. My first video blog! Click here to watch the video For the last two years I’ve thought about video blogging. I love…
Evey: “You did this to me? You cut my hair, you tortured me… you tortured me!” V: “You said you wanted to live without fear. I wish there was an…
Okay, so as I mentioned in my last post I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately (as many of us are), and to make myself feel better I…
I got cancer and all I have to show for it is this stupid rap. …Just kidding. But seriously. I did it… I wrote a rap about cancer. I think when…
“A dream not understood is like a letter from God that is not opened.” –The Talmud About a year ago, I had a bizarre dream. I was in a large…
Sometimes I’m surprised I wasn’t born with gills. It’s like I was meant to spend more time in water than on land. I didn’t discover this until I was thirteen…
Recently, as part of my mindfulness practice, I decided to experiment with saying “yes” to everything. It was an exercise recommended specifically for the “aversive” Buddhist personality type, with which…
I’ve struggled with whether or not to write this story. Actually, I always knew I would write it, but wasn’t sure I would ever share it here. After all, I’m…
Wisdom & Advice
Help me improve this article! If you have any ideas of things to add, email me or leave a comment below and I…
About six months ago a patient came to see me in my psychiatry practice—let’s call her Sarah (this is a general example of…
First off, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all of your positive feedback and comments about my UCLA Grand Rounds…
A Quick Note: My free cancer quick-start guide is days away from being released! It’s turned into a much bigger project than I…
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It’s only been a few days but I already see people gearing up for the next…
There’s a joke among science aficionados that goes like this: “What did Watson and Crick discover? Rosalind Franklin’s notes.” Well, I have a…
God’s promise was never that life would be fair. God’s promise was that when we had to confront the unfairness of life, we…
Okay, so as I mentioned in my last post I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately (as many of us are),…
In the last few weeks I have been riveted watching events unfold in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, as I imagine…
Hi readers! I recently recorded a podcast with Leah Barrett of the Precarious Podcast and it just went live! We had such an…
If you want to do a deep-dive into my writing.
(Come on… you know you want to.)
Last 100 Posts
- GRAIL, Inc and the (Not So) Subtle Sexism in Science & Medicine
- God’s Promise
- [Just For Fun] Watch Rascal Vs. Raggie: The Epic Kitten Battle
- You Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Be Loved
- My Interview With Leah Barrett of the Precarious Podcast
- Coping with Coronavirus: Use These Skills to Be Your Best Self
- 43 Ways to be a Good Human Being: Coronavirus Edition
- Love in the Time of Coronavirus
- Living to 100 Days
- A Little Update
- What Would You Do If You Had 10 Years Left?
- [VIDEO] Healing Anxiety Holistically (With Some Humor)
- Healing Anxiety With A Holistic Approach
- Fatigue After Cancer Treatment: How To Overcome It (Especially If You’re A High Achiever)
- A New Beginning
- Love… (A Reprise)
- Elana Miller aka E. Diddy Presents The Cancer Rap
- The Line
- I Am Awake
- The Correction
- Full Circle
- For You
- [Video Blog] Overcoming Fear After Trauma
- The One Simple Rule To Guide All Of Your Relationships
- And On
- Cancer: A Photo Essay
- A Cross in the Road
- A Little Sunday Science Lesson
- The Trauma
- Taking It One Day at a Time
- How to Cope When Life Sucks
- Psychiatry, Love, and the Healing Power of Connection
- Speaking Tomorrow at UCLA
- The Slog
- What Robin Williams Can Teach Us About Understanding Illness
- The Day Has Arrived! Get My FREE Cancer Quick-Start Guide Here
- Transforming Difficulty into Joy
- Free Cancer Guide Coming Soon… Last Chance to Give Me Your Input!
- Even Cancer Couldn’t Keep Me from WDS: 12 Lessons from the 2014 World Domination Summit
- 27 Ways to Make the Day of Someone With Cancer
- How Can I Help You? (Your Advice Needed!)
- How to Help Someone With Cancer
- On Human Nature
- The Aftermath
- My New Column
- The Second Wave
- I Can’t Write Today
- This is Not a Sad Story
- When in Doubt, Write the Truth
- The Long Road Home
- On Softening to Pain
- Really, Cancer? That’s All You Got?
- I Don’t Want Any More Transfusions
- I Feel.
- Cancer: The Daily Grind
- Things I’ve Wondered Since Being Diagnosed With Cancer
- What Happens When You Share Love
- Love Is… (Holy Shit, I Have Cancer)
- Our World Is Ruled By Love
- The Problem With Evidence-Based Medicine
- 8 Ways to Practice Gratitude
- 4 Alternative Treatments for Depression You May Not Know About
- How to Find Peace and Calm in a Chaotic World
- 10 Ways to Get Healthy Sleep, Naturally
- Integrative Mental Health & the Healing Power of Connection
- 4 Ways to Cope With Negative Emotions
- Are Antidepressants Mostly Placebos? Should We Care?
- Looking for a Natural Treatment for Anxiety? Try Kava
- Caught in Reactivity? How the Acronym STOP Can Help You Find Calm
- How to Analyze Your Dreams in 7 Steps
- On Transforming the Judgmental Mind: Stories From 7 Days of Silence
- On Taking Time to Slow Down
- Need A Quick Kick in the Ass? Read This Immediately
- Depressed Or Just Sad? How to Know if Antidepressants Can Help
- 7 Things I Learned About Life That I Learned From Surfing
- Setting Limits Can Keep You Sane: Here’s How to Do It
- The Curse of Perfectionism (And What to Do About It)
- What is Integrative Psychiatry? The Principles You Need to Know
- What Veterans with PTSD Can Teach You About Overcoming Fear
- How to Choose a Therapist
- This. Is. It. Lessons Learned From A Weekend Meditating
- 10 Things I Learned At The 2013 World Domination Summit (A Tale Of Inspiration, Potential and Facing Fear)
- The Three Buddhist Personality Types: Which One Are You?
- Mythbusters 101: Why (Almost) Everything You’ve Read About The DSM-5 Is Wrong (And What The Truth Is)
- The Gift Of Knowledge (Why I Love Being A Doctor)
- How Psychotherapy Can Help You Learn About Yourself
- 7 Leaders Who Didn’t Let Their Diagnosis Define Them
- Trippin’ In Joshua Tree
- 10 Things I Learned At The World Domination Summit
- Moving Toward A Positive Psychiatry: The Zen Psychiatry Manifesto
- The Psychology of Doubt: 13 Entrepreneurs Talk About Overcoming Insecurity
- Welcome to Zen Psychiatry
- Limiting Beliefs, Roger Bannister and the 4-Minute Mile
- Want To Achieve a Big Goal? Remove Choice From The Equation
- The Psychosphere Is Getting A Makeover… Again!