Does This Illness Make Me Look Broken?

Dear Fixer: Does this illness make me look broken? I only ask because I see you’d like to fix me. I know, I know. You care. And fixing me makes you feel useful and keeps you from fixating on your own brokenness. The thing is, when I see you rush toward me with that multi-tiered toolbox, I […]

Bad Things Happen to Good People

A co-worker’s son is seriously ill with a rare disease. Three surgeries later, he’s in the ICU with unexpected complications. When his mother was last in the office, she said, “He’s a really good person. He has all that good karma so that should help him get better and not be a statistic, right?” I nodded my […]

Illness in the Workplace

A co-worker of mine with diabetes has complications. He’s old enough to retire, but his bank account doesn’t know from birthdays so the man continues on. Recently, he’s been having problems with his foot, an infection, the beginning of necrosis. It’s been interesting to watch the reactions of the people in my office, and even […]


It’s not that anyone attains perfection, but after living with ourselves our entire lives, we learn what to expect. We know our highest levels of performance, our areas of strengths and unique gifts. We pride ourselves in these attributes and strive to be the best we can. Then debilitating illness strikes. We’re not who we […]

No-Fault Cancer, Pt. 2: Why we get cancer

Why do we get cancer? Wish I knew. You would’ve thought me a fraud if I pretended to know, but so as not to disappoint, part of the “why” was covered in Part 1. “We’re human; shit happens.” That’s a reasonable explanation to me. And that’s LIFE. Because being alive and living is to accumulate […]


Ever notice the comments people make when extraordinary hardship befalls another? They might say, “You’re so strong, so brave.” In the unfortunate person’s absence, those words translate differently: “I could never go through that!” My response? It’s not like so-and-so had a choice, decided they could and volunteered. Who knows why we get cancer, but […]

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