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Your Dance With Cancer

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The New School at Commonweal

Lindsay McDonell and Host Michael Lerner

Your Dance with Cancer: A Conversation with A Metastatic Breast Cancer Thriver


Join Host Michael Lerner in conversation with cancer coach Lindsay McDonell about her journey with cancer, her coaching work, and her work with the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC.

Summary and Takeaways

Big takeaway: Doctors can get it wrong. A good oncologist knows it takes a village.
Lindsay’s conversation with Michael Lerner was so productive! We talked about:
  1. the limitations of the for-profit medical system and how to navigate that maze,
  2. my experience at the Commonweal retreat,
  3. the power of love, and
  4. honoring your feelings.


Michael Lerner on the limitations of medical care in the U.S.: “Medical research and medical care would be better outside of the for-profit system.”

Lindsay’s opinions on how to manage treatment in the U.S.: “I think [treatment] is about being open to conventional care [and] monitoring. And when it’s not working, being on top of it. [My oncologist] Regina wanted to see if a new medication worked for three months. That’s not good enough for me.”

A word of advice from Lindsay: “I believe that you should not self-diagnose supplements. Things can harm you without you knowing it.”

Lindsay discussing the Commonweal retreat I attended with host Michael Lerner: “the sense of power you gave us helped with the fear of death… [and] gave us a way to make peace with it.”

Michael Lerner on the power of love and joy from his newly adopted dog: “The healing of that puppy is astounding”

Lindsay on healing through feeling: “You have to honor what your body is feeling. …[When my tumor markers spiked], I didn’t judge it. I just felt it.”

What are your thoughts?

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