A Phone Call

My daughter called me to let me know how her day went yesterday. I love listening to her report her journey into the mind.

Roxann is so very into The Work, her joy, her life, and at some point she asked me what I was up to and for no reason, out of my mouth, I said, “Oh, guess what? I have cancer!” I was thrilled, of course, to report my day.

There was silence, and then the line was disconnected.

She called back and said, “Mom, that is not something you say to your daughter as though it were an everyday event.” And of course it was.

The doctor had just called and said that he wanted me to come into his office as soon as possible to talk, that the biopsy showed that I have cancer on my nose, phase 2 basal carcinoma. He wants to start me on radiation for four weeks as soon as possible. I start Turnaround House, my heart’s desire, tomorrow, and am wondering how the days will look as I intend to be there daily with the exception of two weekends. Anyway, my husband and my sons cannot be upset, my daughter cannot be upset, they really don’t know what they are supposed to feel and until they do, they don’t. For me, I don’t bother. I love life and that is my job. When Stephen was talking to the doctor, my thought was, “Ha ha, ha, ha, I have cancer and you don’t!” This thought and thoughts like this continue to override anything untrue to my way of understanding and keep me laughing and loving what is mind. I continue to wonder why people (mind) continue to believe that what never lived can die. It really is quite wonderful to be mind free of physical self-image. Denial is believing that you, as you understand you to be, ever are what or who you are, have been, or ever will or can be.

I invite you all to inquiry, to your own marvelous death of the body (before it dies) as you understand it to be and to be born of who and what you are not to your mind and then to understand what you are in that, as that unknowable known. I hope that you have followed what I have just written, as so many of you who love The Work for so many months or years have been able to do. Your own answers to the questions and examples of turnarounds have kept us as one, undivided in peace and beyond, for so many months, even years. I live in you and I die in you, what else is possible? Nothing. I love living in you if you love it, and I can tell you that you live in me and only that, you are my life. I love not belonging to me and you do and belonging to you when I do. What identification have you given me? I live as that. Do you love me yet? I welcome you to love beyond the self.

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  1. good morning dear Katie,
    I woke this morning doing the work on “My son HAS to stop smoking pot.” As the work with this thought and the force attached to it progresssed, I found out exactly what I needed to see. I found the pain in this belief and the belief- I am afraid that without the thought “I would be irresponsible” and “I would lose my son.” I began the turnarounds. Then I rested, at peace with myself and my loving, the pain of believing the thought released my neck in its strangle hold. The second turnaround was I have to stop believing my thoughts around my son’s pot smoking. I wrote “you cannot force a Cancer from its home.” The turnaround did not feel totally complete and a bit later another turnaround appeared out of this verb “having.” What did I have in relation to this belief- only the ABILITY to stop believing my thoughts regarding my son’s use of pot, by doing the Work.
    I came to the blog to share this with you and thank you once again for The Work in my life. You had posted your letter.
    Oh Katie, you show me the way, you are in me and I will let this awareness of love come and go, knowing from experience that love is always under the belief. I love how you share your self. Thank you for including me in your life. The Work you have done and continue to live as, is the greatest gift. Endless Thanks.


  2. Dear Katie,
    I have been searching for the reason for my existence for as long as “I”, can remember; I stumbled on your books and that of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, all about the same period a few years back, you all say the same message, the truth!. Thankyou, what a relief to know that the “I”, who I think I am, is just that! Who would I be with out the voices in my head, ahh, big smile on face. I love that you are happy, I am happy, or is it that there is just a whole lot of Happiness going on. What a wonderful gift. And,”I” still don’t know, and its quite beautiful!

  3. Dear Katie,
    Her a note from Holland.
    I was shockt a little bit about your cancer.But i really loved cancer.
    Next year my mother died by cancer but through that, we learn to love eachother
    just how we are.And now she is still
    living in my hart and i met her everyday.
    I am very gratefull for that.
    I wish you love and joy.
    My englisch is maybe not so good but i hope you understand me.
    By dear friend.
    Iam so proud of you,you give the world a great instrument,”the work”.
    Everyone how likes to hear about it,i tell them.
    Mona Deibel

  4. Dearest Katie,

    I’m with Stephen and your family; I don’t know what I am supposed to feel either. You say that you are happy, so I don’t worry about you, and I’ve seen you endure so many physical “challenges” with equanimity from the time we met in 2001. I’ve had my share of those too, as you may recall. Physical pain, intense as it was a couple of years ago, wasn’t suffering, just pain. I was more than fine, as my leg buckled and I went down on the dance floor when something tore on my right side…as, barely able to walk, I dragged myself around for a year on one good hip, alone in a new city with no work, no health insurance, no friends nearby to help…as I tossed and turned in search of a sitting or sleeping position that wasn’t painful, and didn’t ever find one for months…as I went for various treatments that didn’t work, and maybe they did, because I rarely have hip pain now, for whatever reason. Before it got better, I remember asking myself, “Could I be okay if this is the way it’s going to be from now on?” and my honest answer was yes.

    What would I do with cancer? I’d go for treatments or I wouldn’t, it would be a death sentence or it wouldn’t be, the mind would do what it does (a life sentence with no parole unless I grant it), and I would hopefully sit and meet the mind with understanding. What do I do with your cancer? Am I attached to an outcome? It will be interesting to watch, and as I said, I know you’re okay.

    The mind flashed last night to my imagined last moments on earth; I had the thought, “Damn, I’ll probably still have to do The Work on my deathbed.” And then I thought, how delightful is that, a bunch of friends in my hospital room asking me questions, and all of us laughing and crying? If I could talk, I’d facilitate them too. Or it could be me alone, waiting, watching, asking, not missing anything in the meantime. If that’s what’s needed, to inquire into my thoughts on my deathbed, I am willing and I look forward to it.

    When I read this last night, I thought, “Huh, it never stops does it, this body stuff?” At once, I realized the mind never stops either, and it’s not necessary to stop it, as if I could. There’s no controlling either body or mind, they have lives of their own. No problem, unless I believe there’s a problem, unless I believe I need to live, that you need to live, that people shouldn’t have cancer when clearly we get cancer, that I need to be in control, that I need to have what I think I want. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare (Hamlet). Methinks the Bard might have had a nice death.

    After reading your news, I was moved to pick up Nisargadatta’s book I Am That last night…a weighty tome I’ve never been able to get through, and still might not, for all I know. He said, “Joy is only joy against a background of pain…The universe is complete and where there is completeness, where nothing lacks, what can give pain?”

    If there is nothing lacking for you, then I am happy for you, it makes my heart glad. I see how even that is all about me, entirely selfish; and maybe it’s that way because we are, as the nondualists say, just expressions of one. I haven’t a clue about that, truly, but I’m willing to consider it.

    Nothing lacking for the rest of us? I am not there yet, I’m working on it, and there’s always less murk around it when I do. I love you, dear friend, in sickness and in health. You don’t have to be healthy for my sake, and I may still grieve if your body dies before mine; grief is human, and humanity is sweet.

    Do I love you yet? My experience is that I never stopped. Over the years of our friendship, when I’ve disagreed with you or been upset with you—as I have disagreed or been upset with everyone I love at one time or another—love has waited for me patiently until I wanted it back. Or, maybe I don’t even have a say in the matter: love happens, takes over. I loved my parents when I didn’t want to, when I said I loathed them; I just didn’t always notice. Is that loving beyond the self? I don’t know, and I believe I don’t love everyone, or myself, unconditionally. Maybe I never will come to a lasting place of unconditional love for everyone and everything, and, fortunately, I have enough on my plate here and now without launching into that future.

    It does seem that I don’t “do” love, it is there or it isn’t. All I know that in this moment, I think, “Katie,” and it’s a wonderful thought that makes me smile; it produces instantly an entertaining Technicolor extravaganza I call The Katie Story, a.k.a. The Carol Story. I enjoy watching that mind-movie again and again. That’s where you live.

    Embracing you across the thoughts that we call miles,

  5. Dear Katie,
    Cancer huh? Well I just discovered you and the work last fall and my first thought was ,I just got to know ya damn it all! But my truth is you will live in me through the work until all my work is done. Death is just a concept. You taught me that! Right now in this moment I have peace about us because I don’t have a story of it any other way.Here’s to what is! I love you.

  6. Katie, I have never commented before here. Your words as always are an inspiration.
    Please tell us you were joking about the cancer. Not that I don’t love it, I do. You thought me that. However, your time is yet to come, as for so many lessons left to teach. so please tell us you are making a laugh and you will survive. please.
    I love you,

  7. thank you for your sharing. how inspiring it was to read. so often we try to run from our own reality…run from death. i know i ran for years, from things i did not want to face.

    i value you facing accepting..and loving what it is.
    you are truly an inspiration.
    much love…and support
    jenny ward

  8. Katie, I have never met you, yet I feel like I know you from your blog, the videos, and your books and CDs. Today I felt an undescribable feeling of sadness after I read your blog. Then I thought- wait, is that true?

    Thank you for giving me a way to cope with the hardships of life. No, embrace the hardships of life is more like it.

    Thank you for your example and for being so open here on this blog.

    Love you, Joyce

  9. Thanks for everything Katie,
    we’ve never met phisically but The Work is making my life easier and more joyful.
    I love The Work, I love you, your service, your cancer. And this last one, well, I would love it even more if it disappears ;-)!!
    All the best,

  10. Dear Katie,

    two weeks ago a friend of mine, which I love very much died at the age of 33 years. In the days after his death I was so close to him like never before. He was so present in life and “death”. All my tears were always also tears of joy and gratitude for him. During the days after his death while I lived with his family together, I felt a deep strength and certainty: We are all part of eternity, never born and never died!

    I have this certainty from “The work”! Thank you so much, my wonderful wise teacher Byron Katie. “The work” is the gift and love of my life! Still few years ago the death of a loved one would let me have despaired. But thanks to “The work” I am full of joy and love to my friend, who is close to me like never before.

    Yesterday evening I read your letter about your cancer. I closed my eyes, took your wonderful face in my hands and kissed you softly on your wings of nose and your nasal point. All at once I saw you sneezing and I had to laugh out loudly. My daughter asked me: “What is so amusing?”, and I said to her: “Out of the nose from Katie small coloured butterflies are flying!”

    (…while I write you this Email my cat sits beside my laptop and rubs the whole time her head on my nose. I think she greets affectionately your nose…)

    I like to send you a poem from Rainer Maria Rilke. I love this poem. It describes what happened with me, since The Work has come into my life. I hope, somebody can translate it. Isn´t Stephen a “Rilke translator”? Maybe he can translate it for you. I will kiss every evening your nose and be glad about the butterflies!
    Love and kisses from Germany , Cologne.

    Rainer Maria Rilke, 18.2.1898, Berlin:

    Als du mich einst gefunden hast

    Als du mich einst gefunden hast,
    da war ich klein, so klein,
    und blühte wie ein Lindenast
    nur still in dich hinein.

    Vor Kleinheit war ich namenlos
    und sehnte mich so hin,
    bis du mir sagst, dass ich zu groß
    für jeden Namen bin:

    Da fühl ich, dass ich eines bin
    mit Mythe, Mai und Meer,
    und wie der Duft des Weines bin
    ich deiner Seele schwer…

  11. Dear Katie,

    Ok let’s get this straight! You’re not going anywhere! 🙂

    My story: I had stage 2 basal carcinoma on my head six years ago. My understanding is that basal cell is the most curable form of skin cancer. I wondered if I was going to die. I had surgery. My body didn’t complain or concern itself as the surgeon cut my head and as I felt blood trickle down my head. It didn’t complain when the surgery was done either nor in the ensuing weeks after. It never said anything about it. I walked around with a big bandage above my forehead for a few weeks. And then that was that.

    I notice I’ve been more dead in my thinking than ever with my body. I watched the movie Bucket List last night with my wife. Two men dying of cancer and living it up. It was very sweet. I cried at the end of the movie, as I was deeply struck by how I actually die every moment and am reborn again in the same moment. I felt very moved.

    I love how you will use anything and everything in service. Not even ash remains. You are so ecological. You are so very kind.

    Katie could die. Turn it around: Katie couldn’t die. Another turn around: I could die. Especially to my thinking, that kills my life every day. I love finding me before the story. I love that the story you live as The Work helps me die a little more every day to my story that never was either. What a life!

    Loving you with hugs and kisses you big Sweetheart!,


  12. Hi Katie!

    My husband has had basal carcinoma and I was with him at a wonderful clinic in Kansas City when they did surgery on the cancer which appeared on his neck. I was fascinated to find out about our skin! I wonder if they will let Stephen be with you too if you have surgery? Any way, the nurse told me that basal carcinoma is very common and won’t kill you. It just eats away at your tissue. EW! You will have to start wearing hats when you are in the sun and put on good sun screen with SPF 30!

    I loved the thought ~ ha ha, ha ha , I have cancer and you don’t. I think you are impish and fearless! 🙂

  13. I’ve had 4 occasions where someone has said to me, “I have cancer.”

    Each time, I looked for a response and, for 3 of them, all I could do was report what I was thinking, which was, “How exciting!”

    Each one of them, after a moment of surprise, pulled me aside almost conspiratorially and said, “Actually, it is!” And then they told me about how they’re eating better than ever before, clearing up old emotional issues, being more attentive to their health… and on, and on.

    What did I say to the 4th? Well, all I could think when he told me was that if *I* was told I had 6 months to live, I’d do everything I’ve been putting off and nothing that I didn’t enjoy (as much as possible). And so, I said, “I’m so jealous!”

    Others in the room were a bit taken aback, but without missing a beat, my friend replied, “You should be! I’m resting a lot, only hanging out with people I like, taking vacations, reading… the last 6 months have been the happiest in my life.”

    So, Katie, I can’t wait to see what’s next (and know you’ll tell everyone 😉 )

  14. Dear Katie and Stephen and Family,

    I, too, read your post with the feeling – hey, you can’t leave yet because I have never gone to the school and can’t for a while – plus I had just joined the Parlor and was mad that you weren’t going to continue – wanting a refund – me looking up your likely good prognosis from cancer and feeling relief – which shows how all stories are ours… Since I love the work, I was able to laugh about my thoughts and know that the work is in me and somehow through Katie who is just me anyway, me with and without cancer, me as your children since my stepmother died of cancer last year, me as your spouse as I once was married to a cancer doctor, none of those things being true today, me with no stories, just a woman looking online while the laundry is spinning in the basement. It is a sunny day and thank you – I notice – I don’t feel well -and thank you – I can be gentle to the unwell person in this body – thank, thank you, thank you. Thank me. Loving what is and all of us…


  15. Dear Katie,
    Both of my parents had basal cell carcinoma…I also have basal cell carcinomas removed occasionally, as does my sister. It’s not a serious form of cancer…very common, in fact, especially among Northern European populations. The treatment is painless and simple.
    good luck to you,

  16. Dearest Katie and family,
    Cancer!!! You have got to be kidding!!!
    I just started working with you and your Work!!! There is no way that you are leaving now. I have to come to the school and do the work so your body will heal so my destiny can be fulfilled.
    I am saying this with total humour because I know how you like to laugh.
    I have been blessed by every single word that you have uttered and know that life will be. I love and appreciate every single day that you are on the planet.
    Love and Blessings to all who love and embrace you and yours.
    Eva Wilson

  17. Dear Katie,

    Recentley I have started the certification program. And yesterday I did my first one to one session on skype. I wanted to contact you because I feel stuck completely.Yesterday I saw so many thoughts in my mind that upset me, that I wanted to give up. I feel terryfid to question my thoughts. This is new to me. Because I thought I was that brave person. All my fears are here again and it seems to me that, no matter what I do, they will stay.
    So I notice that I do my best to get rid of my fears and that’s the way they will stay. I try hard to do The Work so that I will feel more free, result: I keep feeling prisoned in my own life.

    Then I read your message. And how you look at your situation with the cancer now. And I feel that I’m miles away from where you are. At the end of your note you wright that I live in you, if I love that. I guess that at this moment I feel completely disconnected with myself, and that of course is not true. It’s chaos in my mind.

    I’m sure you will do fine. It seems to me that you invite life to give you all the experiences your are looking for. So is this cancer story. And if I look at you that way, I must look at myself that way as well. So, I give myself all my experiences. The only thing I can choose for is to love my experiences just the way you do. Not hate them or being afraid for them. That’s the war inside me.

    I remember the deep love I have felt when we’ve met last summer in Bad Neuenahr. That’s reality. In that reality I want to find myself and you again and again and again.


  18. I think you will survive this cancer, but I’m glad you’re not worried about it. I didn’t understand everything in your post.

    But I do understand fear of death, particularly violent death. There has been a rash of abductions of women in my neighborhood. One was thrown in the trunk of a car by two men and then they drove off with her in the trunk, but she popped the lid and escaped. This crime has terrified the women in this neighborhood. We are afraid of being abducted, raped, and murdered. I would like to believe that I am not just my body, but violence to the body is very frightening.

    This isn’t Baghdad, by the way: it’s just Houston.

  19. dearest katie…

    i love checking up on your blog, and this latest post was so moving!… it is so wonderful to know that exactly what we need is always right in front of our nose! 🙂

    katie, you have been watering the precious seed that has been growing in my heart… i can see you everywhere – you are in the mirror in the morning, the bug that crawls across the floor, in my childrens’ laughter as well as tears, behind my partner’s eyes (even when he eats ‘my’ food out of the fridge… 😉 and you are the constant gentle presence that keeps asking “is it true?” and repeating the mantra “what would love do now?” – the embrace and be-ingness of what is…

    you know i love you, and that we can never part…

    with such gratitude and love,


  20. Dear Katie,

    I like to not think about the possibility of your being gone, but I do. And I know you will not be gone at all! It is like you say: you live inside us.
    The way you talk about your having cancer and about loving beyond the self is very inspirational and touching to me.
    I notice I feel like I’m in kindergarden in regard to The Work, but already I’m profiting and for that I am deeply grateful to you and your children’s socks.

    With love from the Netherlands, Lucy

  21. Katie, I am grateful for all the questions you ask and how you process your own stuff while bringing light to our stuff.

    You are a blessing to the world. Please know that love from all over the planet is flowing your way.

    Peace and the light of healing.


  22. Dear Katie

    I read your letter. right now. and i am crying tears.
    my thought is… i am going to miss her… as i wanted to get to know you – join your seminar this year.

    then i thought again.
    in my mind i already had images. of you.
    images about the future
    imperfect future
    my images

    of me
    being without you

    you are
    right now !

    i am

    right now

    i listen to my thoughts.
    want to wish you healing
    then i stop thinking
    do you wish it for yourself?
    do “I” wish to be healed right now ?

    what do i suffer?
    right now
    do I wish to be healed from it?
    probably not

    i embrace this emotion.
    realy feel it.
    and enjoy

    that i can do this
    because you are
    and i am
    right now

    and that my heart openes
    in love
    for you
    right now

    just the way it is

    bless you

    i am

    you are

  23. Dear Katie,


    If God is everything,
    how can you prefer
    this over that,
    more of this,
    less of that?

    If God is everything
    how can you want
    the other different
    than he is?

    If God is everything
    how can you not want it
    when life, which is God,
    meets death, which is God?

    Blessing to you, always, Christine.

  24. Someone contacted me about this new info, and I had no reaction, other than deep, deep trust. you, Kt, know what to do, or not…to do. You’re a rock to me, I lean on “you” completely, whether we’re a continent, or a life(-form) apart. (“apart”? no-no-no. Well…Maybe: “A part”) I cannot thank you any more than that, or any less. I am also grateful for your close family, who I am sure will do the work (not “the work”, but not excluding it either..) that this lead to in terms of…stephen researching what it means -basal cell carcinoma(I imagine), your kids doing what they do. I am grateful to you all beyond what I can express. And when I see you, katie, in LA in april, or on some DVD, all your helpers are in my mind with tremendous gratitude. You, The School, The Work, is such a gift from all to all, it seems. Thank you all. This is truly a pleasure knowing you.


  25. Dearest Katie,

    I just loved reading the Parlor this month. When I read the part about the cancer, a huge smile came accross my face and floated down to my heart, cancer? Katie? Of course :). I don’t know why, nor do I care, this has opened the door to so much peace and gratitude.

    Much love and light your way, thank you for all you do. Thinking of you and your turnaround house!

    Peace to you,


  26. Aloha Katie,

    as I read your blog, I can hear the sound of your angel -like voice.
    And you know what?

    the first thought that came up to my mind was “Is that true?” “Can you absolutely know that you have cancer?” Can they/doctors know it for sure?

    Well… probably not…

    Loving your presence in this world,

    see you in LA, my first school:-)

    Sweet Alohas from Hawaii,

  27. Thank you Katie because you are you-sweetheart!Thank you for your joy and love and bliss and courage.Thank you for loving everything and everybody in this mavellous dream called LIFE….I love you too! I am full of gratitude because you and THE WORK live in my heart. Ellen

  28. wow, what weird kismet. i was searching for some answers for my daughter’s living dilemma (single mom) and came to a Co-abode website which linked me to resources which led me to a reading list which included an intriguing author – you – and the Amazon.com website where a minister said she’d give your book to someone sooner than the Bible! to your blog here where i see you’ve just announced a personal crisis and i’m finding myself really concerned about you and i haven’t even read your book yet! but i’m planning to go to a book signing and hope you’re there in Asheville, NC. BE WELL! i send good energy your way. oh, and i’ll bring my daughter.

  29. Hi Katie,

    Could it be that it’s time for you to take care of your body (in addition to thinking) instead letting doctors to do that.
    Perhaps in a way described in books from Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, and many others.


  30. Katie,

    Can you say or share a bit more about this sentence?

    “Anyway, my husband and my sons cannot be upset, my daughter cannot be upset, they really don’t know what they are supposed to feel and until they do, they don’t.”

    What do you mean by they cannot be upset?

    With thanks,


  31. Hey, Katie. I do love you. You woke me up and I woke me up so profoundly in July of ’07. The journey is just dellghtful. Didn’t we do some wonderful work together? Doesn’t it just get better and better?

  32. hello Katie, this is the first time i have posted and i have been brought to see again and again how wrong i am about the world, which is a marvelous thing, because i really thought there were many bad things in my life, and when i am proved wrong so consistenly through the work it is such a blessing, thankyou so much for all the free youtube videos, and accesability of your work it is just open for the taking, also i have started to realise in a deeper way how i can be honest with myself, i think before i was doing the work but my answers were also coming from a kind of concept i wasn’t fully going inside for the truth, so i was cheating myself in fear that someone i loved might find my work and be upset, but when i turn that around i realised, no i am upset upon finding this work because i am not being compleatly honest with myself and holdong back.
    so the calm i feel now is from being honest and i wanted to meet you to do the work with you and to see you in person because you are so beautiful in the videos and there is an audio tape that i started to cry to, it was something like, ‘some people think that there is something wrong in the world, can you imagine that?’ it was so soft and sweet that i couldn’t stop crying, so thank you, i hope we do meet but if not i realise that all i need is already available to me
    thank you again

  33. If I were going to give you gifts for the journey before you now, I would offer the sound of your soft voice as you guide troubled women, the beauty of your sweet face as you smile at an audience and the powerful message that the truth is neither good nor bad but simply the landscape we walk through to get to joy. You have certainly helped me with my own work at InSpiritry. Blessings to you who have blessed so many!

  34. Hello all,

    An observation: how much love is expressed here in the face of cancer/death/disease.

    Where does that come from?
    Why is less of it expressed this way at other times?
    Why was this the first post I have made after reading this blog on occassion for about a year?


  35. Hello katie, I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my nose some months ago. Not only did I feel incredible fear in my entire body but I am ashamed to say, that as a healer, i was fearful as much for what my clients would think. “healer heal thyself” kept coming up. You are a wonderful example of no ego.
    Thank you for your honesty.

  36. Hello, Everyone,

    So many of you have been here for months or years; I am brand new to the work, one week old. When I first read the blog, I was angry: I’ve had numerous basel and squamous cell carcinomas, and they are not serious, not something anyone dies from. I thought, why are people getting so upset? Katie’s not going to die. And I was really angry. And then I read the blog again, all the way through, and was so moved by what people wrote. And I realized that my anger was for myself, because my mother died when I was a child (though not of cancer), and I realized, ah, here’s my work, and I began doing it. So, thank you, thank you, everyone. And thank you, Katie, for sharing with us all. I feel such gratitude, and look forward so much to the workshop I will do at the end of May.

    May you be blessed, Katie, in your treatment.


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