“A project representing the different side of my cancerful life and the different sides of cancer.   It represents my story and many others”                  Angela Amoroso 

“I don’t believe we see enough of the ‘real’ side of cancer.  I want people to see it, to see how light and dark it can be.”         Angela Amoroso.  

Those who knew Angela personally or though her blog, know that she was working on a three part Photo Essay on cancer.   The first two parts, Beauty and The Dark are part of her blog.   Part 3 she referred to as The End although I think of it as Legacy.   

Unfortunately Angela was not able to complete the third part.  She had completed an interview and her friends completed a song and music video as part of her project, both of which are linked below.   

I believe that we all learned different things from Angela, from how she lived her life, her writing, photos, conversations, and what she shared with us.   

It is my belief that her legacy is personal, individual to each of us with a general theme. It is about everything we learned from her that has become part of who we are and how we choose to live our life.   

Angela’s legacy, for me, is about living. She lived with grief daily:  loss of friends and family, living with a terminal illness, loss of independence, body image struggles, and uncounted challenges in her daily life.  After spending many of the seven years bald, she once told me that she missed her hair.  Angela also, despite the dark times, the challenges, acknowledged the the blessings she found in living with cancer. To see only the darkness, you miss beauty around and surrounding you. 

Angela wrote openly and honestly about how she would be down at times, go to her dark place.   Despite those dark times, she always found a way to continue to embrace the beauty in life and to find a way to live with her darker times while continuing to find joy in moments.  The joy of working in the gardens and her smile as her plants thrived, listening to the birds and enjoying the dragonflies on the patio, time with friends and family, a good book, research for a trip.  Living, for Angela, was not just about her struggles and challenges, but learning to live despite them.  She recognized and believed that we all had struggles and also believed that each persons challenges were equal to hers. Angela did not believe that cancer gave her struggles greater weight than any others. 

It is often said, we are born needing care and we die needing care.  Angela knew it was how we lived the time we had between that mattered.    

As I have learned from Angela, living isn’t just about our own challenges, our own struggles.   Living is about our resilience, it is about how we persevere despite those obstacles.  

It is close to two years since Angela passed away.   While I continue to grieve her loss, miss her physical presence in my life, I am aware that I am taking steps to rebuild my life and think about how I want to live.  With me in this process is all I learned from Angela.  She is always walking alongside me. Despite grief, I seek beauty in each day.  

Friends, acquaintances, and people who didn’t know her, but found their way to her blog, have shared with me how her life affected them and how they live their lives differently, more fully, with purpose because of what they learned from her. I see that as her legacy.  As my grief becomes less brutal, I find Angela’s legacy, her voice becoming a stronger voice for me.   

Angela’s legacy is about how she chose to live her life.  It is about her effect on those in her life, however brief the time.   It is how others live their lives differently, more fully, more present in the moment, and the ability to find joy in those moments.   When we live our lives differently, that affects those around us, our loved ones.  In that way, Angela continues to live on in all of us.

Below are the links for the interview and music video which tell more of Angela’s story.  It is OK to cry and to smile when watching them!  

My heartfelt thanks and overwhelming gratitude to the artists Angela was working with, who completed this project for her.   This would not have been possible without their belief in Angela and her vision. 

Liesl Clark – Photographer

Ben Proulx – videographer, director

Charlie Chronopoulos – songwriter and musician.   



I wish all of you well.  Each step forward can be a challenge, but we always have Angela walking alongside us.   

Enjoy moments. Laugh. Celebrate Life. Share your blessings with friends, family and people you are just meeting.  

Posted by Carol Hordis

– To Do Before –

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live” Stuart Scott

I was recently sitting at Angela’s desk looking for something and found one of her many lists. Ange had been making lists for years to hep with the effects of treatment. This one was titled – To Do Before –

I was hit with my initial sense of panic and questioned if I wanted to read this. After closing my eyes, deep breathing to relax, and talking out loud to Ange, my answer was yes. I don’t know when she made this list, but believe it may have been the past year. She had also asked me to make a list of things I wanted her to do.

The first item on the list was : Laugh.

Continue reading

I made it through another year.

“Move, as far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.” Anthony Bourdain

I’ve been writing this blog for a few months. I decided after being so overwhelmed with the content I scrapped the whole piece. A lot has occurred over the last few months and instead of talking about the good and bad I will leave you with photos from the last few months of travels.

Continue reading

Tahiti & Cancer…Beyond the Postcard

“Strength of character lies in performing the drama of life with courage and confidence, practicing self-reflection. And self-control under any circumstances.”  Daisaku Ikeda

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Continue reading

Vino, Vino, Vino, Viva Cancer!

“Death is not fearful, suffering is.” BJ Miller

This blog comes at an awkward and sad, yet, joyous time of my life. Having just received some incredibly disappointing scan results, I’m finding it difficult to focus on what this blog was originally going to capture. I was supposed to be writing about an amazing trip to Spain but my thoughts are with The Dirty Dozen. I can literally feel them re organizing for their next war, as I squint through a tumor headache, swallow a pain pill and attempt to see Spain through the Cancer.

Continue reading

The Dirty Dozen

“Death commences too early-almost before you’re half-acquainted with life-you meet the other.” Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

“If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself.” Nikita Gill

This blog was originally going to be a very lengthy read and still may be, actually it will be, considering the amount of time that has passed and the events. This is my first blog since August 2017 and I apologize for that to you and to myself. As pages and pages and new titles were written over the months, I decided to trash it all. I may be a little all over the place but stick with me, there is so much to talk about. Since I have last posted, there has been a relentless attack on the labyrinth of my brain. I ended the already extremely difficult year with brain surgery #2 and the loss of someone dear to me. It was a loss that shook me to my core and still does some days. The stability of my disease last year is far-gone and I’m on another new clinical trial drug that began the first week of January. It’s called, Pembrolizumab (aka Keytruda) and it’s an immunotherapy drug.

Continue reading

Holy Moly Magical Moments, Holy Moly Menopause, Holy Moly Hanalei, Holy Moly Long Blog

Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

-Leonard Cohen

I’ve been holding off on this entry for several months. Why do I feel like I’ve said that before? When living a life in two-month increments, things can change quickly. As I look back at my life since December, SH%T has been crazy to say the least and not in a good way. As I write this though, happy to be writing again I’m listening to the seagulls fly above the cottage up in Maine.

Continue reading

Game Changer

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley

This blog is going to be filled with the story of my 2017 so far. This blog isn’t going to be filled with wonderful adventure stories and pictures from the Maldives or some other exotic location. It’s a long one and I hope you stay with me. I started writing this entry over 2 months ago on a day when I was sitting at my desk, looking at a blizzard outside my window. Today the seagulls are calling and the rain is out and I’m in flip-flops and I can’t see any snow in my view, just ocean.

New, years are supposed to be about new beginnings, fresh starts, new yous and better lives. That’s what I was hoping for. I entered 2017 thinking this is going to be my year. I had my travel plans all figured out. I was optimistic, happy and I was starting the year off in Hawaii. Not only was I looking forward to that for selfish reasons, but for my family and friends who could use the break from my cancer too.

Continue reading

Other Than That

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But, that’s ok. The journey changes you-it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you…Hopefully you leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain


“How are you?”

A question I am frequently asked, as most of us are. Normally, my responses are “pretty good”, “hanging in there”, “not bad”. This month it has been mostly, “Meh” or “Ugh” which to me means “not awesome, at all”. This is not exactly the word I thought I’d be using to describe the beginning of my new year. The first week of January was awesome but everything went downhill quickly after that.

Continue reading

The Dark

“Fate rarely calls upon us at a time of our choosing.” Optimus Prime

No, it really doesn’t.

I have just finished the second part of my cancer through photos project, The Dark. I struggled a bit with the timing of this entry and when to release it. Posting it around the holidays feels a little wrong to be honest. Despite the darkness of this topic, I still love the holidays. Maybe the holidays are not always perfect, but I made it to another holiday. I lived another year. I choose the word ‘lived’ because I did so much more than just ‘survive’ another year.

Less than a month ago I found out that I have two more brain tumors. Less than a week ago I had another gamma knife surgery to treat these fast growing newborns. The ‘weight’ of brain tumors #4 and #5 has thrown me quite a bit in the last few weeks. There are a lot of days recently that I have felt incredibly sad. In ten months I have had five new brain tumors.

Continue reading