February 16

I’m Not Fine yet Perfectly Fine with Cancer with Deb Krier


I’m Not Fine yet Perfectly Fine with Cancer with Deb Krier

By Deborah Johnson

February 16, 2023

accountability, American Cancer Society, cancer, Deb Krier, diagnosis, perfectly fine, podcast, PostSecret, stuck, trying not to die, unstuck, warrior

How can you be perfectly fine with cancer? If you have ever had the big “C” diagnosis, the words perfectly fine don’t readily come to mind! Deb Krier had to work emotionally through her initial diagnosis of Stage 0 cancer that moved to Stage 4 triple positive breast cancer. She is now a coalition builder and warrior who is rewriting the playbook on how to live with cancer. Even after catastrophic complications from her first chemotherapy treatment, she maintained her sense of humor and continued to work. In fact, her work expanded and intensified with a renewed purpose.

Like many who move through difficult experiences, Krier expanded her coaching business with a mission to ensure we are no longer just perfectly fine with cancer. Providing educational materials and support to those on similar journeys has now become her passion. What Krier did with her Cancer diagnosis is a beautiful example of how one can use a situation in life, whether good or bad, to propel one to action in an area that would normally not be pursued. The perfect time for this is at mid-career or the halftime of life. Deb was able to get beyond her fear and physical setbacks to move forward. She had both the skills and the passion that uniquely equipped her to help others.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson I'm Not Fine yet Perfectly Fine with Cancer with Deb Krier 2-21-2023
00:00:00 00:00:00

Diagnosing the I'm Fine Syndrome

How many times have we been asked, “How are you?” and we’ve given the answer, “I’m fine!” Probably more than we can count. It is a go-to response many of us know all too well as it’s easy and non-committal. It saves both the inquirer and listener the awkwardness of an explanation of events that may or may not be comfortable to share. There are a number of reasons for this. Sharing details takes time, energy and emotion. Listening is no easier. How should we respond?

Responses to her illness created a trigger for Krier, who many years ago worked for an oncologist (cancer specialist) with the American Cancer Society. She understood many of the issues people face with the diagnosis. In fact her website, TryingNotToDie.live came out of her passion to help others live, not die. She has seen what happens when cancer controls people and is on a mission to ensure that we are no longer just “fine” with cancer. The process she outlines of truth, loyalty, compassion and thoughtfulness occurs with the energizing of our voices and expanding our choices.

Many have experienced the disconnection and despair of a system where cancer, or another serious diagnosis, is the star of the show while they watch silently from the sidelines. Krier is using her experience and expertise to kill cancer with honesty, communication, and collaboration. She imagines a day when people dealing with cancer no longer fight their own lonely battles but instead create coalitions that honor each other, with selflessness and society. Cancer has provided a blueprint for this process.

Fighting for Our Future

Pain, whether physical, mental or even financial, serves to signal the need for action. Resolving pain takes a mental commitment to a plan. It’s an emotional decision and if put off, symptoms will usually escalate. If Deb had waited, her outcome could have certainly been much worse or even fatal. After 8 different Chemotherapy sessions and complications from Sepsis, her whole system was shutting down like a cardiac attack. It was serious.

However, difficult times build the warrior inside all of us, especially if we fight for survival. There is an unattributed quote that says: Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm.” The warrior replies, “I am the storm.” There are many times in life where we are called to be a warrior and fight. Fighting for our health and future is one of the fights we all face, especially with an aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, all baby boomers will be sixty-five or older. Usually, additional physical challenges are brought on with age.

Defining Personal Champions

When my dear mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at the age of 80, we as her family as well as some of her close church friends became her champions. Then when a staph infection almost did her in, a medical team stepped in for home care that brought her back from a situation that was as dangerous as the growing cancer. That medical team served as additional champions to help her fight her battle when she felt like giving up.

No one wants to be a downer with daily negative updates. This is why communities of warriors like the one Krier has developed are so important. Even if not facing a life-threatening illness, the intentional act to try not to die while still living a very productive life is a healthy mantra. A support system including communities of champions is desperately needed to reassure others they are not alone in their journey. This type of encouragement applies not only for cancer but other physical, personal, and mental challenges.

I am the storm quote-Deborah Johnson

Creating a safe place to share feelings unloads a huge weight of stress, fear and worry. There are websites that have been established to allow users to divulge their own deepest, darkest secrets. PostSecret was one which gave users the freedom to share a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation. Unfortunately, after accumulating over 80,000 users, the site was shut down in 2012 because of pornography material being submitted. But it was a good example of how valuable it is for people to have a place to share feelings.  

Deciding to Live No Matter What--You Are in Charge

As with most cancer patients, dying starts from the day they are diagnosed with the disease. Questions we can ask ourselves are:

  • How do we ensure we not dying before we are dead?
  • How do we keep working and growing despite the disease?
  • How do we ensure we are not stuck?

It is necessary to constantly lead your tribe of encouragers, invigorate your soul, voice your feelings, and elevate your mindset with input that will help you stay mentally centered after any diagnosis. Life is transient, so it is important to remember to really live, reassuring yourself that cancer, or any other of life’s challenges, doesn’t control you. Find a place for input that uplifts your spirit and keeps you focused and mentally balanced. Reading good books also helps. Women at Halftime is one written especially for the second half of life.

 We're not a warrior of ourselves but a warrior that has a tribe of supporters around us, whether those are the caregivers, the healers, the elders, the sage, or others. We never have to be alone through our challenges but ultimately, the choice is ours. No matter what we're doing, starting a business, or experiencing a life-change, gathering people we can trust with some type of accountability to push us forward beyond our comfort zone will help to draw out the warrior in all of us. Because it will be a fight and it’s better to fight together!

- about deb krier

Deb Krier is a coalition builder and warrior who is rewriting the playbook on how to LIVE with cancer. She's on a mission to ensure that we are no longer "fine" with cancer. She's also a podcaster, founder of Wise Women Communications, and LinkedIn Strategist - truly living her live with cancer.

It is necessary to constantly lead your tribe of encouragers, invigorate your soul, voice your feelings, and elevate your mindset with input that will help you stay mentally centered after any diagnosis.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,263 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

Never miss a good story! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news, articles, music & trends!

Never any Spam!