Modeling Options


I ran across this quote and was quite taken with it. It describes what I know.

“Many of my friends will see their future in the way I handle mine.” (Said Barbara Rosenblum who died 2/14/1988 three years after her diagnosis with advanced cancer.) “For some reason I am one of the first to face death in my circle of friends. My living with death is a big moment for my community. It is significant.” Cancer in Two Voices

I blog to break my isolation but I also blog because I am living future realities. Maybe living my experience out loud will ease the journey of others.

warmly, marcy


About marcy westerling

I am a long time community organizer with a passion for justice and founded the Rural Organizing Project in 1992. Derailed by a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer diagnosis in spring 2010, I have stayed in treatment since then. I am learning how to embrace livingly dying and hope that by starting a Phase One immunology clinical trial at UPenn in spring of 2013 I will have more time to find the sweet spots of thriving while terminally ill.

18 responses »

  1. We frequently have conversations at our church between younger members and older members about aging and modeling options…

    I both hate that you are in the position to, and am grateful for the grace you share as you model fearlessness and grace. Thank you.

  2. I’ve said from the time of diagnosis, this is your latest leadership role. Not one any of us want you to have been called to, but you’ve answered the call in a way that has and will benefit many. Many more, in fact, than you’ll likely ever know.

  3. Marcy,

    I am participating in a research study at the University of Pittsburgh (where I worked for 10 years prior to moving to Portland) entitled “Self-Advocacy in Cancer Survivorship.” I thought you might be interested in it…..and could possibly share the opportunity to participate with some of your blog followers. The study is being conducted through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. If you or anyone you know may be interested call 1-866-438-8230. No travel involved.

  4. Thank you for sharing Marcy reading what you write and are experiencing is helping me to understand and hopefully support those of my friends and circle who have been diagnosed with cancer. I am grateful to you thanks!

  5. Yes Marcy, Your living your life out loud is tremendously significant for me in many ways. It always has been, ever since… well you know. You’ve always made it possible for us to hear the hard truths, I’m still listening, with gratitude and love, carol

  6. Oh Marcy, so glad you found Barbara and Cancer in Two Voices. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was a writing student of her partner, Sandra Butler. Both of them did model choices – so when I was diagnosed with breast cancer less than a decade later, I could draw on what I’d encountered through them.

    By making our process, ourselves, visible to a wider world, we do indeed change the world.

    Marcy, because you reveal yourself with such honesty, kindness and care, you are in relationship through your writings in your blog. And when all you are is breath and being, you will be changing us. And when you live on in our loving memory, you will continue to change the world within and through us.

    You are so connected that your activism might better be labeled, “affecting”. You are affecting your readers – we who are present to you now and those who will find you in the future – just as you found Barbara and brought her back to life through her words.

    Your words at livingly dying are a powerful force that will outlive you.

    And we will always love you!

    a soul sister,

  7. The quote is spot on. I felt it strongly through my friend Barb’s struggle with lung cancer, ending in her death. You are guides for those who pay attention. I agree with everything Stephanie so eloquently wrote. I’m grateful for your blogging. for its wisdom and for keeping the connection with you. sending love, j

  8. The reason I write about my illness is not to whine or get sympathy but just to get it off my chest. It matters not if someone responds but it matters to me that I put it in writing. I wonder if many of us write for similar reasons. I know I’m going to miss your writings which have helped my path to death. We all get our chance to die but few ever express what it’s like on a personal level. Thanks so much for going the extra mile.

  9. Daily thoughts and prayers for you, Marcy, as you started your latest chapter this past week. Looking forward once again to reading your beautifully expressed documentation of this journey. Wishing you well with all my heart.

  10. Hi Marcy,
    I was looking for an update on how your new adventures in therapy are going. I hope that each day gives you more happiness.

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