Learn how a long journey through cancer prepared Anna to be a hospice volunteer and inspired her spiritual growth.
My guest Anna Byrne holds a combined degree in Psychology and Gerontology, is a certified teacher, and has been a coordinator for a hospice society in British Columbia. She survived 4 cancer diagnoses in her 30’s and then worked as a volunteer for an elderly hospice patient throughout one entire summer. She is the author of the book Seven Year Summer which tells the story of her own journey through cancer and her days of sitting at Eleanor’s bedside, discussing life and the approach of death. Learn more at her website:
This episode includes:
- How Anna’s perspective on cancer changed throughout her 4 diagnoses
- The “hero’s journey” of cancer treatment and how it fell apart for Anna
- The spiritual tools and support that helped Anna navigate her illness and losses
- The use of “battle” metaphors in medicine and how they cause harm
- The difference between curing and healing
- How Anna’s suffering prepared her to be a hospice volunteer for Eleanor
- The difference between chronos and kairos time
- How caregivers can better support patients who are facing the end of life
- How writing the book helped Anna heal some of the trauma of her cancer journey
Links mentioned in this episode:
- The Conference on Death and Bereavement Studies: A Professional Development Symposium – January 10, 2021 Learn more here
- Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness Course – with Terri Daniels – starts January 7th Learn more here
- Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
- Support you local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
- Subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher Radio
- Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
- Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug: “Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!
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