Ebb & Flow (2011)

Everyone has a story... and sharing stories is the way wisdom is passed along.

Ebb & Flow encourages cancer survivors to view their lives as epic stories and uses basic story structure principles to help them learn how to share their story with friends, family, and health care professionals in a meaningful way. Our stories are too important not to be told… we need to share the wisdom we have gained from our journey with the people around us.

Click on each of the 5 Phases below to learn more about how to share your cancer story.

In the first phase of a story, the hero discovers his/her purpose. In looking at our lives as a story, it is vital that we know who we are and what our direction, goals, and dreams are because otherwise our story doesn’t truly matter. Creating a life mission statement will help you set the direction of your story.

It is in this phase where conflict is first introduced. Although it can be difficult, conflict creates momentum and moves our stories along. Conflict causes motion and change, which is never purposeless because it always leads us to a different place. We have been taught to avoid conflict, but embracing it fosters movement in your story.

The climax is not the point where everything “turns around” for the hero but rather where he/she makes an intentional decision about the conflict being experienced. This often involves a change in attitude or shift in perspective and a commitment to step out boldly and live differently. This decision ultimately sets the course for the rest of the story.

This phase of the story has the most tension. The conflict reaches its highest point and things look hopeless for the hero to ever accomplish his/her goal. The hero is tested past his/her limit but does not waiver from the climax decision. This phase ends with the hero letting go of everything; it ends with acceptance.

“Resolution” here is not finite or complete, but rather the process of accepting the way things are now. It is not a defeated acceptance but instead one that causes us to act and think and live in light of the lessons learned from the conflict in our stories. Life is not predictable and does not close neatly like the end of a fictional story, but acceptance leads to peace no matter the ultimate outcome of the story.