Thanks for landing at Witnessing This Life! You find me here, after a lifetime of winding roads and unexpected detours, sharing with you what I have learned in my daily work with cancer patients and the people who love them.
People often ask me how I do this work, telling me how
“sad” or “hard” it must be. What they can not and do not understand is how beautiful it is, to see life happen in a way that most do not — as precious and hard and real and imperfect. How incredibly blessed I feel to be let in to people’s lives, at the very moment they need it most. Ultimately, I know this work, in this field of oncology, helps make me feel whole. Connected. Human. It is a greater gift than I have words to express.
My story, as most are, is a meandering one. And how I came to land here is a tale unto itself. After studying theater in New York City, and later getting my BA, I initiated PhD studies in social psychology with a focus on Health Psychology, working in HIV research for nearly four years. During this time, it became very clear to me that the elements of the work that I loved most and felt were most gratifying had nothing to do with research, and everything to do with the people I encountered, who were willing to share the intimate details of their life stories with me. Their honesty, resilience, and depth taught me more than I could have imagined, and I decided to re-focus my energies on a Masters of Social Work degree.
In my second and final year of master’s level study at the University of Southern California, I was encouraged to pursue an internship with a focus on oncology. At that time, quite unforgettably, the trajectory of my life changed, and I found what I believe is my true calling—work with cancer patients and their families.
The years that have come since my initial pursuit of a PhD have been filled with immense change and transition, both personally and professionally, but my love of this work has not faltered. I believe that the best life is one that allows constant growth, evolution and change. I consider myself to be a constant learner of this life and its lessons. More than that, I am a witness to countless personal stories—of challenge and sadness, of growth and movement and joy. The richness of the human experience is made available to me each day, in my work with those confronting cancer in its many forms. It is my hope that my musings and thoughts as the fortunate companion along the trajectory of the cancer experience will inspire or heal, or maybe just help us to see something differently than we did before.
I am filled with gratitude that you are here. I hope you find something that suits you, and that you are able, over time, to become a witness to this new venture as it evolves and grows and changes. I can’t wait to see where we’re going.