Author Archives: Beth L. Gainer

Fine Black Lines

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by
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What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to celebrate a book of poetry on breast cancer. The book is not new, but its message continues to be timeless and universal. Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness by breast cancer survivor Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad is an phenomenal collection of poetry [Read the full story …]

With a Little Help From My Friends

Posted on: March 17th, 2016 by
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When I was going through cancer diagnosis and treatment, my friends asked me whether I needed help. Things like grocery shopping or helping me run errands. My answer was always, “No, I’m okay.” Of course I really wasn’t okay — far from it. My friends and I spoke and got together when I felt up [Read the full story …]

Portrait of an Art Student

Posted on: March 11th, 2016 by
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I’ve always loved art. I so enjoy getting lost in the reverie, the flow, that artistic expression brings about. I’d be happy living in art museums. And at my favorite art supply store, I want to purchase everything. Yes, I’m an art glutton, easily seduced by pencils and brushes and easels and colors and the [Read the full story …]

Straying the Course

Posted on: March 4th, 2016 by
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I’m the kind of person who always starts what I finish. When I have a goal in sight, nothing — and I mean nothing — deters me. I am willing to do what it takes to stay the course. I am not a quitter, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I quit taking [Read the full story …]

Random Acts of Kindness

Posted on: February 17th, 2016 by
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“In the end only kindness matters.” — Jewel, “Hands” Last week, I participated in a tweetchat about the value of kindness in medicine. While this topic is a no-brainer — yes, doctors and patients should be kind to each other — unkindness is rampant in medicine. Being on the patient side of things, I’ve seen [Read the full story …]

Let’s Talk Bones

Posted on: February 8th, 2016 by
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A few weeks ago found me en route to Florida again, this time for an extended weekend. While I wish I could say the weather and a relaxing vacation were beckoning, I came to the subtropics to comfort my mother, visit my father in the rehabilitation center, and meet with rehab staff. As you know, [Read the full story …]

10 Ways to Cope With PTSD

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by
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Going through cancer and its treatments causes physical collateral damage, but the debilitating psychological impact of cancer is not as often discussed — particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I know this firsthand, as my readers know. I’m a card-carrying PTSD member. I first disclosed my struggles with this disorder a year ago, and have [Read the full story …]

Setting the Bar Low

Posted on: January 8th, 2016 by
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This year, my goal – not my resolution – on fitness is to set the bar low. I was never a super athlete. But prior to cancer, I was in great shape and enjoyed exercise. Now, after years of grieving what I’ve lost, I have finally accepted my physical limitations and, with some creativity, have [Read the full story …]

Mindfulness, Uncertainty, and Courage

Posted on: December 30th, 2015 by
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As I write this, my brother and I are on an emergency trip to Florida. Our dad broke a hip. *** Also suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, our dad had surgery and is now in a rehabilitation center. The future is uncertain. And I am scared. My mom is also understandably frightened about what [Read the full story …]

20 Mindful Experiences

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by
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The holidays are wonderful, but all too often our society is so caught up by decorations and gift-giving that we forget to slow down and appreciate the beauty of quiet mindfulness. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy giving and receiving gifts. But here are 20 priceless experiences that cause me to pause – and take [Read the full story …]