Life isn’t always bright and shiny, as Kate Bowler knows. Kate is a young mother, writer and professor who, at age 35, was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. In, warm, insightful, often funny conversations, Kate talks with people about what they’ve learned in dark times.
Emily McDowell: Artist
Why is it so hard to say the right thing to those going through difficult circumstances? Artist Emily McDowell has been on the receiving end of some terrible responses after her own diagnosis. Now, she creates kind and irreverent greeting cards that teach us all how to be a little more human. She speaks with Kate about the best and worst things to say and do when our loved ones are hurting. Read full transcript and view show notes.
Guest: NYT Bestselling Author Nadia Bolz-Weber
Before Nadia Bolz-Weber became famous as a foul-mouthed pastor and bestselling author, she was an alcoholic and stand-up comedian. This episode is devoted to the insight of outsiders, and how Nadia learned to confront her own demons with hard truths, good company and a delightfully inappropriate sense of humor. Read full transcript.
Guest: Dr. Ray Barfield, pediatric oncologist at Duke Children’s Hospital
Dr. Ray Barfield knew when he entered the field of pediatric oncology that he was going to have an unusually tough day job. Some kids die. Some kids live. But after one particularly tough case, he couldn’t do it anymore. Ray Barfield talks with Kate about what that case taught him about medicine and life. Read full transcript.
When Lucy Kalanithi fell for another doctor, she couldn’t know how much love would teach her about suffering. Lucy Kalanithi is the widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, author of the bestselling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air. She talks about the high cost of love and how all the best things in life are those you are afraid to lose. Read the full transcript.
Guest: Alexandra Petri, Washington Post columnist
Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is the queen of awkwardness. She didn’t audition for “America’s Next Top Model” and become a yodeling champion without a high tolerance for the sound of people laughing. And, as it turns out, building up your ability to embrace awkwardness can be a kind of superpower during difficult times… if you know how to use it. Read the full transcript.
Guest: Margaret Feinberg, author and speaker
Bestselling author and speaker, Margaret Feinberg was writing a book about joy when her world fell apart. Suddenly, she was fighting for her life and re-writing the book from scratch. Feinberg talks about how she learned how to be happy again, despite everything. Read the full transcript.
Wes Moore had a rough childhood growing up in Baltimore. His father died when he was a child, he struggled in school and was arrested for vandalism before something shifted. Moore grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, White House fellow, and published writer. And along the way, he learned of another man who shared his same name, but is serving a life sentence in prison. He talks with Kate about what he learned from “the other” Wes Moore. Read the full transcript.
Guest: Alan Alda, award-winning actor and bestselling author
Alan Alda is best known for his prolific acting career. But he has also spent years learning about, and teaching, communication. The Emmy-winning actor and star of television’s M*A*S*H teaches doctors and scientists to communicate more effectively and wrote the recent book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?. He talks with Kate about why human beings are so bad at talking about sickness– and about what helps them improve. Read full Transcript.