Erica’s Cancer Journey: Chewing words


What if I chewed words? Which utterances are as delightful and satisfying in my mouth as savoring Garvan’s potato-and-leek soup, Krause’s raspberry cordials or Lagusta’s peanut butter cups? I am constantly finding ways to transform the fear, negativity and stress that persistently emerge in my daily life around cancer, elder care and parenting. Here are Ten Things that Feel Good to Say Out Loud and to Hear Myself Say Out Loud that I plan to say more often:

• “This hand holds pain and suffering…This hand is not empty.” – Vassar Hospital chaplain

• Dole Whip

• “Mom’s spaghetti.” – Eminem

• “I am a hot-blooded fire and I am fearless.” – Amy Schumer


• “Wherever you are is called Here.” – David Waggoner

• Constantinople

• “When you knock me down I get the f**k back up again.” – Hercules Mulligan/Lin-Manuel Miranda

• “The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.” – Anne Lamott

• “What I have not seen or failed to see, I leave as a gift.” – David Whyte,

• Blessed be.

What words or phrases comfort or inspire you by speaking them aloud? Feel free to share them with me at

Head On and Heart Strong!

Love, Erica

Kids’ Almanac columnist Erica Chase-Salerno was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the Summer of 2015. To read more about her experience, visit