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Welcome back to We Can Do Hard Things. If you have not listened to the previous episode, you are going to want to before you listen to this one. Sister, in case people are going to disobey me and not listen to the episode.


Woe to those who disobey you. Woe unto them.


I mean, truly woe to them because they don't know what's about to hit them. But can you, in just a quick sentence, tell us what we are continuing to talk about today?


Yes, we are continuing to talk about the fact and the effect of me learning three weeks from when we are recording this that I have breast cancer and that I will be having one week from right now a double mastectomy in an effort to remove all the cancer from my body, and that, God willing, that mastectomy will do all the work that we need to be done. If not, there will be other steps to take, including removing lymph nodes, possible radiation, possible chemo, possible endocrine therapy, happy, et cetera, to take care of it, and that the prognosis is very good, and that whether this is a little blip or a longer period, that all systems say, We're going to be all set, you bet, after a hot minute of going through what we'll need to go through.


We're just talking We talked a lot about the logistics in the last episode and some of the deep, big questions this has got you thinking about. Right after we stopped recording that one, we started talking offline, off-recording. I don't know. Privately. Off tape? Whatever, about what we're going to do next in terms of sharing, in in terms of what we're going to share with you, the pod squad, and what we're not going to share. It turned into a very interesting conversation about how to walk through this as a public person And that opened up a lot of other questions. Abby said, there's so many people going through this and going into surgery. Maybe you should talk about it right before. And then my perspective on that, there's a cost to that. I don't care what anyone says because I've been doing it. I know that there's a cost to double living, double consciousness. So you're preparing for yourself to go into surgery, and then you're also thinking, what am I going to say about this experience going into surgery? I don't recommend that for you right now. Knowing the cost of it. I think if you have a couple of thoughts pre-surgery that you're like, this is a moment, shot it down.


I just don't want you to have a double consciousness going in. I just feel like it's bullshit. You need all your energy. What are your thoughts about... It's a big question. How I have friends who are artists who find that when they have hard experiences, making meaning out of it and sharing is how they get through. I sometimes feel like I tend to avoid my own process of things by making things and giving it to other people. That can be an avoidance of presence and experience.


By making meaning of things?


By every single thing that happens, thinking Oh, well, this is just the universe has given me more shit that I can spin into gold. If I turn this into a story and share it, then I will be fixing pain Lemon. How I fix pain is spinning it into gold, giving it to other people. That is the art and service as therapy model, which I can say has not worked for me completely.


Completely, I think, is an important word.


Right. So I'm wondering what you think would be of best service to you.


Well, first of all, I think when we stopped recording that first episode, it just felt like, that's wild. It's been three weeks of nonstop tumult and drama and fear and anxiety. And then we're just like, Okay, that's the story in 45, 50 minutes, whatever the hell that was. And it just feels like, That can't be right. It was so much more than that.


We should say more.


And so that's part of why I asked you to if we could get on to talk about it from where we are right now, not ready. And because I remember you talking about your diagnosis and from the messy middle, you called it, Glenn, and that talking about how you weren't ready to talk about it, but that you wanted to talk about it because so few people talked about it from the part where you didn't yet know what you wanted to say. I feel like that I wanted to do for this and also relates exactly to what you're talking about right now, which is that by saying something about it, you are necessarily changing it. I don't think that applies just to people who are public people or people who have a lot of people listening to them. I truly believe that it happens to every single person who has news that they share with others. So I think what we're talking about, it's just on a bigger scale right now because of the platform that this podcast is. But I believe, because I've experienced it over the past several days, that probably anyone with a cancer diagnosis, anyone with a big loss in their lives, that then has to tell their families and their neighbors and their friends and their community about it, he's doing what you're talking about right now.


Because there's something that happens in the curating and repackaging of whatever you're going through and presenting it in the way that you decide to present it to people outside of your body that is claiming it to be a certain way or a certain thing or a certain brand or a certain tone that is defining in some ways of what your experience is. As soon as you define your experience for outward consumption, is your internal experience then adopting that narrative as the truth?




It's not at all true, I would guess, in the vast majority of cases, including mine, that I consulted my internal experience before determining determining what would be packaged as my description of what I was going through.


Yes, I get that. You do it the other way around. That's it. I will create the narrative. I'm not even consulting my body or reality. I'm in my brain, create the narrative. Then we all revolve around that narrative. I don't even know if it's real.


Yeah, and it could be very real. It could be real, but it could not be is your truest, realist experience inside of you? Because by definition, we are not all having it. You're presenting something to the community. God willing, if you have a community, I'm very blessed to have a community that wants to support me, that wants to love me, that wants to be there for my kids, that wants to be there for me and John. I want that. I'm grateful for that. We are collectively having a community experience, which is that is the gift that Wendy gave us. That is a powerful force in life and one of the greatest forces in life. It is different fundamentally from an internal experience of something. Wendy wasn't having our communal experience of her cancer journey. She was having the reality of cancer in her body, overtaking her body that she knew would take her off the planet and take her away from her son. Those Two, they were in parallel, but they were not the same. I have caught myself over the last couple of days because out of necessity, needing to and wanting to, very much wanting to, bring my community into this to talk about these things, to destigmatize these things, to avoid people hearing these things from anyone other than me who I very much care about that confusing that this experience that I am presenting to you and that you are now participating in is my experience of this.


Yeah, I get that.


I think that I could neglect or bury over the reality that there's a very different experience that will be required by me to experience separate from the one that John is having, the one that my kids are having, the one that you all are having, the one that my parents are having, the one that my friends are having, the one that my community is happening, that I cannot adopt those experiences as my own and that I need to figure out what mine is.


Is that the It's like we keep coming back to that. That's the terror of this is just the aloneness and the absolute impossibility of merging experience with anyone, even the people closest to you.


I think if you're lucky enough to have people super close to you that are not full of fear and not in survival mode about how the hell are they going to deal without you, like you and Abby have been so amazing with. We've already made in the last couple of weeks some very dramatic decisions about dictated by this in terms of the projects that we had scheduled that we canceled, the decisions that as far as what takes incredible amounts of time in our lives that isn't healthy for us anymore. And that you're bringing Bringing that to me as an offering to change the way that we're living has made me feel very, very not alone. I think there's a very real part that is very, really connected, and that can be so powerful. And that has been to me. That gives me hope and joy and relief.


Good. Because I do spend some I'm worrying if you're going to feel like I'm taking control from you, like I'm canceling things, and I've been very concerned about what's the right amount of doing this. Looping you in. I know it's good without making you feel even less control because this is a very big loss of control time for you.


I think you've navigated it really beautifully. I mean, I think you've said, Here's my intentions. Here's I want to do. I'm not cutting you out. You can be involved in this if you desire to be, but these are the two decisions that I would like to make in terms of these projects and whether they continue. And do you agree? That has been the perfect balance for me, and I would not have brought it up, but I knew when you said those things that it felt like a wash or relief my body and the fact it felt like, oh, it could be different. The after this could be different. And I think the after this needs to be different.


In what ways? And I also want to talk about, since we're being so brave and talking about things in real-time. There was a moment in the last episode where I said to you, there's two parallel paths this is going on, and one is logistic and one is emotional. And then you got upset about that because it felt to you, and I probably presented it as a way that when you said you weren't processing emotionally, and I was very surprised by that, you felt like I was saying you were doing it wrong. I want you to know that that was actually how I had, in my head, structured these episodes. I thought the first episode- You were like, Fuck, we're not going to have any material for these episodes if you haven't done any processing, lady. That was in my brain this morning. Like, oh, great. Okay, so we've got these two parallel things. And the first one episode, we will talk logistic. And I wasn't trying to stick to that. I wasn't saying, but that was in my brain. In a way we could organize it. And so in that moment when you said, I am not processing emotionally, if there was something on my face that made you feel like I was shaming you for it, what I was thinking was, I wonder how this is going to go.


Right. Right. We're right. Well, you said, Are you serious? You're not. So you're not processing. You're not processing at all then, emotionally. And yes, I do. I mean, if you listen back to that part of the episode, it got my Irish a little bit up because I'm very defensive of myself right now, always. And so right now. And I think that there... Yeah, I think broadly, the idea that there's a right way to do any of this, I don't want people to feel. And then, specifically, I do feel like there's a little bit of this narrative of, well, I don't even know how to say this. When something like this befalls someone, there's a weird little penance thing that happens, almost like penance, especially if you're someone like me who has worked really hard and maybe at the detriment of your mental and physical health and maybe not paid as close attention to some things. And may or may not have said at certain times in the past, if I keep working this hard, I'm going to get cancer, that there is an expectation, an almost obligation, that you will start writing those ways of living that have gotten you here.


I see that.


It's your fault?


I mean,, but no one would say that, and I don't feel that. I also know that there's thousands of vegan ultra-marathoners that are getting diagnosed with cancer every hour. So that is not what I mean. I'm speaking from a very personal space. And like Glenn and you said it to John and me in my bedroom. If this is an opportunity, this is a time, if you don't take good look at every aspect of your lives and make sure it's what you want and what you intend, then you are missing this moment and missing this opportunity. And I believe that. I do believe, and that's why I'm grateful that we're cutting things out, and that's why I want to be super intentional and responsible for my own life and what I'm doing and making sure it's what I want going forward. In that moment in the last episode when you said, Are you really not processing your emotions? With a surprise, I was putting it in that camp of like, you're doing the thing where you're avoiding what's important and going with your to-do list, and that is doing it wrong, and that is missing the opportunity of this moment and what you need to be doing.


That is where my head went in that moment.


Yeah, I can definitely see that. Also, I am judgy, and there is a dynamic that I feel you feel, which is that you think that I think that you're doing things wrong. And so when I offer ideas or questions that there's an undercurrent of judgment in them, which I'm not saying there's not. So that is what happened, right?


Yeah, that is what happened. And I think the part of me that's dealing with all of this stuff, and again, I know you're dealing with it as much as Anyone could possibly deal with it who wasn't me. I don't mean it as this, but the suggestion of what I felt was, how could you possibly be navigating this time and be failing to address your emotional reality was a little bit like, fuck all the way off. I am doing 1,000 things in the course of a couple of weeks to prepare my family, my life, my community, and my body for a major irreversible surgery. And the aftermath thereof. So, yeah, my emotions will come. It's also in the backdrop of I know that that is a very real thing. I've talked to my friend Christine, who we talked about on the pod where she had that special event to thank people for helping her and her husband through the heart stuff. She asked me how I'm doing, and a lot of people have done that. I'm like, I don't have any idea. I don't have any idea how I'm doing. I know what I'm doing, but I don't know how I'm doing.


She said- That's good.


You know what you're doing, but you don't know how you're doing. That's really good. What did she say? Does she have any help for us about that?


She just said it sounds like you are going through exactly in the stages that we went through, where it was like, what needs to be done? What do we need to do to save ourselves? What are the questions that need to be answered? What are the resources we need to line up? What are the things now we go in and get our stuff done? And she said it was really, really hard after because all of that sadness and fear and anxiety and all of the things that are no doubt happening because they have to be at some level were saved up in a little box for after got through that initial period. And then it was really hard. And I'm sure The design of that really sucks because you're at this period where everyone's like, Can I help? I understand. This is your two weeks of grace.




That the world is giving you. Tick, tick, tick. But then you're really sad and mad on weeks seven through nine. But your grace has run out. The community and the people in your life. There's a statute of limitations on that.


No more castles for you. No more castles for you during that time. Exactly.


Can I just say one thing? Yes. Well, two things. I'm I'm so proud of you, sister, for telling us that that moment made you feel something. To me, that shows this time, there's actual growth happening, that there's a boundary you are holding for yourself, which is so fucking beautiful. And in Glenn's defense, I just know that the judgment is the thing that covers up her fear and need to control to keep others and the people she loves safe. And it's so interesting because I've dealt with this, I don't know, this covered up judgment my whole marriage with Glenn. As soon as I talk this through with my therapist, it was a life-changing moment because every time I hear any judgment, I just think, oh, Glenn's a little baby, and she's scared. And that's the truth of this. So good job for saying something.


I totally get it, though, because you're right. It is true that it will be those things are there, and it will be scary, and it will be bad when I have to face them.




Or maybe it'll be great. Yeah, maybe. Maybe it won't be bad. Maybe it'll be great. I don't know. I don't think I believe in bad and good. It's just like it's going to be something.


What do you want to talk about next?


I have some hopes.


Oh, great.


I mean, not to be very oversimplified and ridiculous. This is the part of the plot where the bad thing happens and changes everything and opens a door where she can see things she never could see before. Thank God for that. I know that that is all ridiculous, but I hope that things will be different for me. I've just been thinking about how amazingly ironic it is that as a lifetime optimizer of getting the extra edge and going for that last 5% to make things as good as they can be, that I just have this feeling that that last 5% or 10% of my life won't be there. I don't know that that is true, but it could When you're diagnosed that early, that's why people who are diagnosed when they're 60, when they're 70, whatever, it's like, Okay, you're going to catch me at 15-year recurrence? Good fucking luck. I'm going to be fine. No, I'm not taking away anything from those people. I'm just saying, statistically, you're in better stead. It's ironic because you I think the younger you are, the more likely you'd be like, Yes, got it. But because of the unrelentiness of cancer, it's just a little scarier the earlier you get diagnosed.


Anyway, if that's true, I guess I just want to think differently about my plans and my horizon living of where I've always been like, Okay, when the next, we'll get through this three years of this plan, then we'll have that next plan, then on and on forever. I just maybe want to not think a lot like that anymore and just figure out what I want, figure out what makes me feel good, that isn't a response to someone else being pleased that I met their need. I guess just be responsible for my experience and what I want for my experience. Just little in big ways. Last night, Alice couldn't really sleep. This morning, she woke up and she was talking about how anxious she was about her one-mile run. The one-mile run.


It was the worst day of The best day of the year. Yes.


It's the best day of the year. Everybody loved me.


She has only been lamenting the one-mile run coming for three weeks or whatever it is.


It's my girl.


I'm like, Baby, do you think that that's part of why you couldn't sleep last night? She was like, Oh, maybe. She kept being like, They have to take a bus to the high school to do the mile run there from the elementary school. She was like, I'm just worried that I'm not even going to be able to finish it, that the busses will have to leave before I finish because I think it's going to take me a really, really, really long time. I was like, That's fine. The busses won't leave. You just, Who won the race? Did Did the hero win the race? And she's like, That turtle won the race.


And so we just reviewed that.


And then I was sitting in there working on something for work this morning, and I was just imagining her so stressed out.


Doing her little race. So I just got in the car and drove to the high school. And I saw her running around the thing, and she was one of just a few kids left. And there were some other parents there, and they were just waving at me. I know when I usually go to things, people want to talk to me and stuff. I was just like, I have no time for any of you. I don't want any of you getting an ounce of my energy. I just want to find her on the track. I was able to run over outside the fence. You couldn't go on the track, but run over on the outside of the fence where she was coming around the bend. She looked up and saw me, and she got this huge smile. She gave me a thumbs up, and then she started running faster. I just ran on the outside of the fence while she was running on the track, the last lap. When I saw her, she was like, This is my last lap. I was like, Can do it. I'm so proud of you. You can do it. I was just running, tracking with her on the outside until she got to the finish line.


She was done with me then. She was with her friends. She ran and hugged all her friends.


Then I left and I was just like, I just want I just want all the years of that.


I know I'm not going to be able to do anything for them, but I just want to be there to go beside them and See them, see how hard they're trying and see how much they're doing and doing it with them as much as I can and just telling them how proud I am of them and then letting them forget about me and be happy with their friends.


I don't know. There was something about this certainty that I was walking up and just not even making eye contact or engaging with anyone else. I was like, I'm here for my daughter. I need to find her.


She's getting all of my energy, and none of you are.


I just think I want more of that. Like not giving away my energy unless I want it to go somewhere.




That sounds good.


It's almost like, what have we been doing?


It's almost like that, Abby. It's almost exactly like that.


Just like, what are we doing?


To be fair, I think this is the process, right?




You know what's so fucking weird is? I started reading even before, randomly, totally randomly, even before the biopsy. And because I'm I'm such a fucking slow reader, I'm still in the process. But Richard Roar is falling upward, and it's all about first half of life, second half of life. It's making me feel a lot better because it's like you can only have the realization and the wisdom of the second half of life because you've done the first half of life that way. Yeah. And that it's all about first half of life is about survival and identity and ego and protection and building and building. And the second half of life is all about burning it down because you don't need it anymore. It is the stuff that you built up because you needed it. And because now you're here, not only do you not need it, you need it to go away. That's right. But it's not that you were doing it wrong.


It's not like this part of life comes, and the one way to look at it would be Oh, my God, what have we been doing?


Yeah. Look at the opportunity cost of those 40 years. If I'd just done those differently, think of how amazing I'd be.


And that's not it. And in fact, I actually think that people who are addicted to anything, For people who are really addicted or committed to the building and the protecting and the achieving and the collecting and the controlling like we all have been, that the next part of life can be even sweeter because...


It's like the absolute value.




It's like the intensity with which you did that can be the same intensity with which you dispose of all of that.


And maybe that- That's what I think people are trying to say and what I was saying of that horrific word of opportunity. That's, I think, what people are getting at. The piece with which we have been quitting things in the last three weeks without angst, without any of the stuff that would have come before this diagnosis is what I mean. It's like such clarity or something thing.


I was just thinking it is the gift of clarity. Clarity is the one thing. It can be real good news, it can be real awful news, it can be real scary news. But if there's clarity in any of that news, that is a rare and beautiful thing because that's what messes us up is a lack of clarity about what we need, what we want, what needs to be done. When you have clarity, can get through whatever is the consequences of it, the unfortunate byproducts of it, all of it. Because the clarity is what has you continuing down the path regardless of those things. I do think clarity is huge, and I think that this has helped that a lot.


Got the image of Alice and then not giving your energy to the other people and just running beside her. Like, holy shit. Talk about clarity.


Did she feel so relief when she crossed the finish line?


Did she cross the finish? She did.


She did cross the finish line. I think she did. She went over and got her water and hugged her friends, and I was like, awesome. Then she and a couple of her friends just ran over and waved to me, and then I left. But yeah, she did it. I think it was important for both of us. It felt good. Also, just the I don't know. I was thinking about driving over, and I was there. There are so many parents that were there because their kids are runners. They're really good, and they want to see them break their PR or break the elementary school record or break. I was like, I'm going there to cheer my kid who is going to be one of the last two or three people in this race. I don't give a fuck. That's what I want, is to be like, That's my kid. I'm here for that one.


You got to teach Alice the word penultimate.


Liz Gilbert came over and taught Tish.


The penultimate. Oh, that would be good.


Penultimate means the second to last. But it sounds so good.


Tish was forced to be part of running in elementary school. If I could say to you the sentence that Tish is not a runner, it's just like, I mean it metaphorically, I mean it literally, I mean it It was a bit of torture for her, and she'd always be second to last.


Yeah, it was her middle school. It was her middle school teacher who always forced her to run cross country.


At one point, Liz Gilbert was at our house, and Tish was just talking about the absolute misery and humiliation of it. Liz, as Liz does, fixed it and said, Here's what I want you to know. I want you to know the word penultimate. It means the second to last. All I need you to do is finish these races second to last. Then when people ask you how it went, you will say to them, I finished penultimate. They will not know what it is, and they will be too embarrassed to ask you because you're a child. But they will think that you had a glorious finish because it's a fancy ass word.




Alice was likely penultimate.


And does that mean that the last person, if it's penultimate is second last, the last person is ultimate?


They are amazing. I finished So maybe if you're penultimate, you want to just lag a little bit so you can say you're the ultimate. Exactly.


The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.


We're going to circle back before we end to what we started talking which is, when do you think you want the people to hear from you again?


I think I want to share as much as I possibly can from the education piece of this. I don't want any more lady part cancer discussions. Oh, for God's sake. People need to know their history. They need to know their parents' history. We owe it to our people to say the words and destigmatize the words that are our body parts that we're dealing with medically. I want to share all the learnings of this because it really is too hard to learn it on your own. I also want to walk through the emotional reality of it as much as I possibly can while also making sure I maintain a distinct personal experience of this so that I don't have the pod squad in the community is having this experience, and that is my experience. I need to make sure that I can maintain an authentic, real metabolized individual personal experience and communicate and be part of the communal one, or else I can't have the communal one because it's really important that I be in my body with it eventually.


That's good.


It's like living it inside out as opposed to outside in.


It is tricky. I think relaying, even the word, I have to relay the information. I mean, relaying is like a relay, right? You're like, I have the baton, I'm passing it to you. Now you have it. You're giving it, and you're actually not giving it. People are helping you carry whatever the thing is that's outside of you. No one is helping you carry the thing that is inside of you. They can't. They want to, and they can't. So you've got to figure it out. I've got to figure it out. I haven't even fucking gotten close to figuring it out. I haven't even had a good cry except for the penultimate runner. I haven't figured it out, but I do know enough to know that it is a fiction that all of these beautiful people that are showing up in my life and wanting to help me cannot do the part that is only mine to feel and to do. I can see why that would get very confusing. I can see why casseroles and beautiful notes and love and plants and all the amazing things that if you're lucky enough to have people, they bring you could make you feel like, Look, we're all doing it.


We're all getting through it. I just have a hunch that there is something else that I got to dive into.


Last Last night at the dinner table, our youngest was in a bit of an existential crisis about how unbelievably difficult being a teenager is, including school, including competitive sports, including friends, including all of it. She was talking about school and how hard and relentless it is. I was doing the thing where I was, I just fucking can't take it.


I just can't take it. When they're suffering, you can't When they're suffering.


When they're suffering. My educated, emotionally aware parenting expert response is, Let's just fucking move to Hawaii and not do school. This is just... We're not doing this right. More like, I can fix this if I just have the right plan or the right approach. And so I was saying things, blah, blah, blah, blah, internal epiphany, and she goes, Oh, my God. I don't think I can get out of this. I think I just have to do this. It was this moment, right, babe? She was like, Look at these people flailing about me. They can't help me.


Yeah. They don't even know we can't get out of this.


This woman-I am fucked if I listen to them. She's going to home college me in Hawaii. She didn't know anything about Hawaii?


It was as if we were on a boat and Amma had fallen into the water and we just kept darting her all of these life-saving things. Here's another one. Here's another one. And she, honestly, it was this beautiful moment that I think that she realized that she was already in her own life-saving donut, that she had herself. That she had to save herself. That she had to just go through it, that it was hers. And it was just like, I don't know, it was this detachment in a beautiful, necessary that she needed- You were throwing her life preservers to pull her back to the boat, and she was turned around and started swimming to the shore. That's exactly right.


She's like, Well, they think they can keep me in that boat forever, and that's going to save me. But here I go. My ass is breast-stroking into the beach.


That's right.


But that's so... God, I mean, this experience is we all just want to crawl inside each other's bodies and fix things. But at the end of the day, it's Tish coming to me in the middle of the night and going, I'm so scared. And me going, What are you scared of? And she says, I'm all alone. And I say, You are not all alone. I am right here with you next to you outside of the bed at 3:00 AM, when you're here again. And she goes, No, I'm just all alone in my body. I'm all alone in my skin. I'm all alone in here. That is it, right? It's like all of these people that can come help you with the outer part of it and no one that can help you with the inner part of it.


It's so annoying.


Because you're all alone in there.


You're all alone in here. Nobody's coming to save you.


And on that happy note.


Yeah, but it is. Here's the thing. It's the other thing I talked about with my therapist. There's nobody coming to save you. And then it's like, okay, what does that mean? I go through it and I get to the place like, oh, I have me. And I have my experience. And I have to believe believe and understand my experience is wholly in order to really want to take full responsibility for it. Because before I think I was just giving away responsibility, giving away my own life, giving away my own accountability. And there was something that shifted in me that was like, that's really hard to give up responsibility and caring for other people because I'm a big caretaker. I know you are, too, sister, and I know you are, too, Glenn. But there is something really magic I know, and I'm still going there. I'm still not figured out, but there is something magic in the surrender and the acceptance that nobody is coming to save us.


So true. When I think of all that we're talking about, I want to find the Mary Oliver poem that Glenn sent me. I'm going to read it. I think it's all this. This is Mary Oliver's The Journey Glenn and sent it to me a few days ago, and I think it's a lot of what we have been talking One day, you finally knew what you had to do and began. Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice, though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. Mend my life, ' each voice cried, but you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do. Though the wind pride with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy terrible. It was already late enough and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voice behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do.


Determined to save the only life you could save.


You know what I always think about with that poem? Why do you think she chose the word their voice instead of their voices?


Because it's all the same?


I just always think about that. There's no accidents in these poems that these poets write. It's all about a bunch of voices at first, right? They're shouting their bad ideas. It's like multiple. Then when she makes the switch, when she starts listening to her own voice, she realizes that all of those other voices were just one voice, which makes me think that she is understanding that it was always from inside her anyway, that there's only two voices, one that says you can't have what you need, and what you need to do is to save everybody else, and one that says you can, and what you need to do is save yourself. It's really just two voices, and they're both internal.


Or that could very well be it. Or earlier in the poem, she says, You felt the old tug at your ankles, mend my life, each voice cried. So really, even though they're all different people in your life, they're all coming from all angles at you, it's only one cry of all of those voices, and it's, Mend my life. You save my life. So the voice is... There's only two voices. One is, Save your life. From yourself. And the other voice, even though it's made up of hundreds of people, is, Save my life from outside of you. And you have to choose.


Every time. Every time. Okay. So it could be a million different people saying it, but it's always just one singular message. Ignore yourself, save me. I do think that there's... When we look back on this in the future, we will discover that that voice inside of you is what you already did start saving yourself. It's not like you're just going to start whether or not you're going to figure out that voice after the cancer is over. It's like that voice of save yourself is literally what led you to continue to trust your own instinct and to continue doing these tests and to do what you needed to do because nobody else was doing that, including the doctors. That was you and your hunch and your relentless pursuit of what that voice was telling you to do. It's almost like that's the one. Now you know what it sounds like or something.


Yeah. Maybe that's the part, the first step out of the woods, right? Who knows?


Well, I love you.


I love you so much. I love you both so much. Really, really, really do.


Pod Squad, we love you, too. Go forth and ignore all the voices or the one voice that just tells you the meant someone else's life instead of your own and save the only life you ever could save. We'll see you next time. If this podcast means something to you, it would mean so much to us if you'd be willing to take 30 seconds to do these three things. First, can you please follow or subscribe to We Can Do Hard Things. Following the pod helps you because you'll never miss an episode, and it helps us because you'll never miss an episode. To do this, just go to the We Can Do Hard Things show page on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Odyssey, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and then just tap the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner or click on follow. This is the most important thing for the pod. While you're there, if you'd be willing to give us a five-star rating and review and share an episode you loved with a friend, we would be so grateful. We appreciate you very much. We Can Do Hard Things is created and hosted by Glenn Doyle, Abby Wambach, and Amanda Doyle in partnership with Odyssey.


Our executive producer is Jenna Weis-Burman, and the show is produced by Lauren Lagrasso, Allison Schott, Dina Kleiner, and Bill Schultz.