I am so glad that you are here!

This Substack explores all aspects of the cancer journey — the initial shock, grief, treatment, hope, and resilience. It’s a human story about finding meaning in the cancer journey and choosing to embrace life. It’s also a behind-the-scenes look at the publication of my next book.

Every week, I also publish a podcast interview of someone who has a unique perspective on the cancer journey from the point of view of survivors, caregivers and even a hospice chaplain. I treasure the wisdom that these individuals have shared with me and see these conversations as an opportunity for me to learn about how to live life to its fullest.

⇢ Paid subscribers make my writing possible. For the cost of a little more than one hardcover book a year ($30), you’ll get:

·        Support independent journalism and keep this space ad-free

·        Be the first to read my latest work

·        Join me in the journey to explore all aspects of the cancer journey from a physician and scientist (me), along with my podcast guests who are cancer survivors, caregivers and a hospice chaplain

·        Have a behind-the-scenes view into—and the chance to contribute to—the publication of my new book and the writing life

·       Know that you are supporting the writing of someone who is bringing the inner, emotional journey experienced by so many cancer patients and their loved ones into the light

I treasure my paid subscriptions, because they indicate support for my journey and motivate me to continue. However, I intend to keep all of my content free because I know the financial toll that cancer takes on everyone.

*A monthly subscription is also available for $5/month but that’s more than the annual, so just do the annual!

About Me

I am a physician and scientist at the University of Washington, who has spent my life dedicated to women’s health. I am an obstetrician-gynecologist that has practiced for more than 20 years and a scientist that studies pregnancy. My fascination with pregnancy is probably only matched by my love for infectious diseases and the placenta. (Joy!!)

Imagine my shock when my youngish, healthy husband was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, an incredibly rare diagnosis in men. Doctors couldn’t find a genetic reason for his cancer and we were left with no answers as to why this might have happened. My search for meaning in this journey launched this Substack. This newsletter tells the story of the rollercoaster that cancer can bring, and how to move forward to find meaning in this bewildering new place.

As a physician and scientist, I have written more than 120 scientific manuscripts, monographs, book chapters and editorials over the last 30 years that have been published in premier scientific publications like Nature Medicine, Science Immunology, and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. I have been interviewed and written Editorials for CNN, the Washington Post, Science magazine, the Seattle Times, STAT News, and Healio. I’m the recipient of the 2023 Society for Reproductive Investigation President’s Achievement Award. Several of my scientific articles have been awarded an “Editor’s Choice” Award by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I have advised the World Health Organization on a scientific roadmap to address the impact of mosquito-borne diseases on pregnancy. I am also the Chair of the Preterm Birth International Collaborative North American Branch, which brings together scientists to address the problem of preterm birth and stillbirth.

In Seattle, I share my home with my husband, two teenage daughters, and a rambunctious yellow lab.

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Personal essays about the emotional highs and lows of cancer, finding hope, cultivating joy, and learning how to truly live.


I'm a physician and scientist with a prolific scientific career dedicated to improving women's health through research on infectious diseases. When my husband was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a search for meaning evolved into this Substack.