When I was young, I loved to play the board game by the same name. We’d spin the wheel, anticipate where we wanted to land, and made tradeoffs between career and adventures. We played for the fun of the experiences and hated when illness set in. A board game created in the 1860’s, where money drives strategy and we rush to the end (retirement). The player with the most money wins.

It’s said the only sure things in life are death and taxes, and even taxes are sometimes questionable, depending on who you are and how you play the game.

It’s been a quiet week. Post-surgery, there’s been anesthesia brain where my mind didn’t feel like focusing or thinking. My eyes either. It was news to me that they tape your eyes shut during surgery. In a way it makes sense, to not startle the surgeon or nurses with your eyes suddenly opening while they’re in the middle of doing what they do. Feels a little like a creepy movie though, except this is real.

A quiet week of not knowing. Of spending days hanging out with Mom, doing a jigsaw puzzle and watching TV. In a way the after-effects…

As a young girl, I was instructed to say my prayers before going to sleep. It was a nighttime ritual that goes back many generations. I can see myself kneeling in front of my bed and saying:

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

This poem goes back to The New England Primer, a publication rooted in the Episcopal Church and written by the Puritans. This poem dates back to the 18th century.

The religion of my…

Today I had the initial consult with an oncologist. First off, oncologist has been a really odd word to say and write. My family doesn’t have a history of cancer. So, this diagnosis of breast cancer has been a surprise not only to me, but to many in my family.

Through this journey so far, I haven’t been convinced any doctor I’ve been referred to would be my doctor. I’ve gone in totally neutral, neither yes nor no. I wanted to meet them and allow my intuition to guide me. …

I’ve been in judgment of my body for as long as I can remember. There’s a saying that when I point a finger, three are pointing back at me. In this case though, when I’m in judgment of some aspect of self, it’s not just four fingers pointing at me, it’s me pointing at my whole being. Going well beyond the physical, it goes deep into my mental and emotional bodies.

Anger, sadness, hate, shame, unobtainable rules of perfection, all pointed inward.

It’s an age-old question that we use to open up conversations. But when you have something deeper going on, being asked this question isn’t always so innocent. Sometimes there’s an underlying, “what’s going on?”

This journey of breast cancer is breaking me open in whole new ways. And people, my loved ones, open up conversations with this most sincere of questions. It’s a question I don’t always want to answer because it brings me into places I may not be ready to go to in the moment.

How am I? Honestly, I’m scared. Last night while I lay in bed…

There’s a fascination with women’s breasts that goes back for millennia.

They’re vessels via which we feed our babies. So they’re important from a childrearing perspective. But other than fun to play with, they’re a body part that many times requires extra articles of clothing, whose level of importance is grossly overstated.

Why is it that society uses this body part to define so much of who we as women are? And more importantly, why do we continue to accept and play into it?

As kids, we’re fascinated with what the other sex looks like. There’s a pure and natural…

Living in the Open Question

I received the call late Friday afternoon. “I’m sorry to give you this news, but you have invasive carcinoma in your right breast.” The doctor who’d performed the biopsy was talking about next steps, an MRI, meeting with a breast surgeon, choosing a mastectomy over lumpectomy.

I was thinking, “shit!”

The thing is, I’ve had two prior biopsies on this same breast in the last 15 years. Both benign. So, when I felt the lump, had the mammogram and sonogram, my brain focused on the same result. Part of it was wishful thinking, and why should I think anything different…

You will never be able to win your game as long as you’re playing by someone else’s rules. Why boundaries are vital to your being.

I’m not typically interested in royal shenanigans. They’re human just like us, but with a lot more money and level of prestige greater than many of us will ever experience. But I watched the interview with Meghan and Harry with interest. It’s not every day that one leaves the royal nest.

While you’re most likely not a part of the royal family, your own family probably has their own set of rules. …

Magic happened every night when our Christmas tree was lit up. Looking at the lights on the tree, the reflection of the ornaments, I saw into the possibilities. The anticipation of what would be. I remember the gifts, all carefully wrapped. We expressed our connection via what we gave to each other.

Christmas was our way to create and express something we didn’t do the rest of the year. We weren’t a huggy family, and I rarely remember hearing the words, ‘I love you.” It’s not that we didn’t feel it. We were a family that didn’t say what we…

Stephanie B. McAuliffe

Illuminator, healer and guide. Envisioning a world where we embody the pure essence of our divinity. The steadfast protector of the truth of who you truly are.

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