CANCER TEAM | Renew | Repurpose

27 April 2020

Dirt trails and the 52 Hike Challenge

“Have you heard of this?” my daughter asked. The link was to the 52 Hike Challenge. According to their website, it’s a movement to get people outdoors. (Not sure if that was an intended pun. Movement, get it?).


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Continue Reading
18 October 2018

Why tenacity matters

My husband, Gary, was stubborn tenacious. Diagnosed with late-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer, there was a two-year life expectancy. But Gary stubbornly insisted on living ten years. Ten far-reaching, astonishing years.


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


I loved that I was married to a tenacious man.

Continue Reading

15 September 2018

9 signs you might be a proactive cancer patient

I remember exactly where I was when my cell phone rang. “It’s cancer,” said the deep voice I knew and loved so well. “Oh, hon,” I said, letting my breath out, my brain firing in all directions like that little silver ball in a pinball machine.


Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash


Continue Reading

22 July 2018

Supercharge your caregiving batteries

When my mother moved in with us, I stumbled into the role of an Alzheimer’s caregiver with zero experience.

Not long afterward, these scary, life-altering words were pronounced to my husband, Gary: “It’s cancer.” And just like that, a double assignment was handed to me.


Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash


Continue Reading

8 July 2018

Why Misery Ridge isn’t all that miserable

Yesterday I hiked up to Misery Ridge and sat for a while, doing absolutely nothing. Well, except for munching fistfuls of nuts, and crunching on fruit, and slugging back cool, refreshing water.


All photos: Marlys


Continue Reading

17 June 2018

Celebrating a life … while the patient is still alive

An email arrived recently from a friend — her grandfather died, and a week and a half later, her grandmother was diagnosed with late stage cancer.

“My grandma went through such a long, rough time being a caregiver for my grandpa,” wrote this young woman, “… and now this.”


Photo by Jake Thacker on Unsplash


Continue Reading

10 June 2018

Alphabet list of caregiver tips

Being a caregiver was one of the most challenging and sweetest roles I’ve ever held. The challenging part was in the beginning, when terminal cancer was dropped on us from a high-flying bomber we didn’t see coming.

A year later—after my husband, Gary, finally admitted his fears and feelings of failure as a man—we sorted things out, determined to live more fully, found ways to give back, and made more fun and memories. That was the thunderous, sweet, majestic part.

If given the assignment to share tips from my cancer caregiving years, and if the assignment required an alphabetized list …


Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash


Continue Reading

28 May 2018

Crew, posse, network: Do you have one?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said this:

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.

That’s because a crew needs to be in synch; to pull together at equal strength. Connected. Coordinated.


Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash


Continue Reading

8 April 2018

10 practices of lucky people

According to Mark Banschick, MD, my 15-year-old grandson and I had a lucky week.


Photo by Irene Dávila on Unsplash


Continue Reading

25 March 2018

Meet Marni, world changer

When Tyler Henderson was diagnosed with brain cancer, Marni brought their two sons home for online schooling so they could spend as much time together as a family while they still had the hours, the weeks, the months.

Turns out, they only had fifteen more months together. Which wasn’t nearly enough time.


Tyler and Marni


Continue Reading

About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai latte snob. I love getting outdoors—would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

Read More