Finding your strength and living to tell about it is something Lianne Saffer is familiar with. She survived her first marriage which was marked by emotional and financial abuse, only to find herself confronted with breast cancer in her second marriage, just as she had found love and was looking forward to rebuilding her life.
What complicated things further was that her second marriage is to a woman. It’s not complicated for Lianne or her partner, Stephanie, but more so for Lianne’s family.
In her memoir, Please, Don’t Send Me Flowers, Lianne writes about finding her strength to overcome relationship-related hardships she wasn’t expecting, caring for and raising two daughters on her own, and a very public fight for her life.
Her honest and raw accounting of the events of her life will leave you understanding the hardships of being a survivor and the realization that not only is everyone going through something, but you don’t always know what that is.
“You never know what’s going on behind closed doors.”Lianne Saffer
Lianne found her strength in running and how strong her body became. The physical strength translated into mental strength and gave her the emotional fortitude to get out of her broken marriage.
From feeling your own strength you can begin to find joy in the world even, when you are going through the hardest of times. Cancer is a trudge, but there are moments of levity. In the interview, there are so many common experiences that we laugh about. I believe you will too.
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Highlights from the episode and a link to the whole episode are below.
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
- 1:39 Finding the lump on her honeymoon.
- 3:22 Cancer is not just for women over 50.
- 4:06 Finding your tribe through hashtags.
- 5:30 Waiting for the shoe to drop…
- 8:18 Emotional abuse and how our stored feelings affect our health.
- 13:04 Seen vs unseen abuse.
- 16:43 Running away and toward your life.
- 18:16 Meeting her soul mate… and realizing it’s a woman.
- 22:34 Questioning the right or wrong of same-sex partnership.
- 24:29 What not to say to a cancer patient.
- 27:54 Is it a journey?
- 35:48 Finding joy throughout treatment.
- 38:21 Celebrating your wins.
- 42:32 Life after cancer.
- 47:39 Finding support from strangers.
- 48:50 Finding humor.
- 49:44 To give or not to give flowers.
Links mentioned in today’s podcast:
- Please, Don’t Send Me Flowers (book) by Lianne Saffer
A new podcast will be released every second and fourth Thursday of each month.
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