Life with a deadline

Stage 4 Living is a philosophy of embracing life, safeguarding health, and investing our time well, however limited or abundant it may be. While we don't like to think about dying, our mortality reminds us to approach our precious life with meaning, gratitude, and joy. Stage 4 Living was founded for people with advanced cancer of any kind, by someone living with advanced breast cancer since 2016.

Special welcome to people with MBC

A special welcome to any person with MBC—metastatic breast cancer. You have a friend here, as I am also living with MBC. I am happy you are here; let's support each other on our shared journey.

Pink warrior photo taken by friend / photographer Kay Beaton
Pink warrior photo taken by friend / photographer Kay Beaton

Principles of Stage 4 Living

Stay in the game

“If you want life to grab hold of you, you must grab hold of life.” I saw those words on a t-shirt years ago and the message stuck with me as a reminder to stay engaged and committed to life, no matter what gets in the way.

Lighten your load

Holding on to resentments, limiting beliefs, negative thoughts, and toxic relationships serves no purpose. Determine what matters, manage your burdens, and let go of excess baggage to move through life with ease and grace.

Honor the journey

If you believe all you see on social media, everyone seems to have a life of comfort, ease, and perfection. But rather than dismissing or ignoring the imperfections, let us bear witness to the inevitable struggles in every life.

About the lotus flower

Rooted in mud, the lotus flower submerges every night into murky water and re-blossoms the next day in pristine condition. As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us in the title of one of his many wonderful books, No Mud, No Lotus. Whether it's cancer or something else, we all have to deal with mud and muck. The choice is ours to emerge and show up every day as beautifully and unscathed as possible. That is why I've chosen the flower as a symbol for Stage Four Living. (Thank you Pixabay for lotus flower images.)

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Memento vivere


Memento Vivere—Remember to Live. Such a beautiful message, especially in Latin. And by living I mean with purpose and intention, not simply going through the motions. You could get a tatoo, which I did in a pact with my dear niece. As writer Anthony Doerr says in his book, All the Light We Cannot See, Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.