Kelly’s story

Not long ago, Diana asked which I would choose if I could go back to 2006: Door #1 with life continuing on as it had been, or Door #2 with the life we’ve had since. I didn’t hesitate—and neither did she—in choosing Door #2.

There was, of course, a Door #3…the one to the here-nor-thereafter that Diana’s prognosis ushered her toward. In 2006, Door #3 seemed imminent (which it was not) and inevitable (which, I suppose, it could still be). What it became, though, was irrelevant.

My background is in the sciences and business. I was trained in the what-ifs, if-thens, and then-whats so I had a very practical, evidence-based view of the world. It has served me well, but it wasn’t up to the task of dealing with the entirely different world of despair and hopelessness brought about by Diana’s diagnosis. My thinking had been firmly entrenched in the realm of probabilities. Probabilities are not only useless in addressing insurmountable circumstance, they’re counter-productive. What I found was that I had neither the experience nor imagination to adequately anticipate the way the world could work, which is a much more interesting than the way I thought it should work.

During this time, Diana learned how to enter into a profound conversation with her body, which was extremely amenable to the discussion. I, on the other hand, entered into a bare-knuckle fight with my mind.

I’m still a practical, results-oriented guy. I just don’t anticipate the results as much as I used to nor need to know the mechanism driving the evidence. I’ve traded the “says who” for “who knows?” I like it better this way.


Kelly’s Thriving Communities talk

Diana and I were invited to speak at the Thriving Communities Health conference, but the birth of a new granddaughter combined with my imminent surgery for kidney cancer prevented us from attending in person. This 5-minute talk was videotaped and shown instead, and is a thumbnail-version of what I’ve learned as Diana’s caregiver.


The New School podcast about Healing Circles Langley with co-founders Kelly & Diana Lindsay

Diana Lindsay was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2006. She was given three months to live and told to go on hospice care. But her new granddaughter gave her a powerful reason to live. Even though new medicine was helping some patients with lung cancer, Diana and her husband Kelly felt the medicine would not be enough. So they embarked on an intensive “joy protocol” in which her intuition guided her in both medical and integrative therapies. Her intuitive power of visualization was unusually strong.

More recently,  they founded Healing Circles Langley to share their experience of healing with others. Healing Circles Langley is a program of Commonweal and a pioneering site for Commonweal’s Healing Circles project. Join TNS Host Michael Lerner in conversation with Diana and Kelly, authors of Something More Than Hope/Something More Than Everything.

33 thoughts on “Kelly’s story

  • Reply
    Cousin Carolyn

    My dear cousins, your story is beyond amazing. It truly is a miracle! I am so excited for your book release and certainly a movie to follow? Let’s kick off your book tour at the family reunion this summer!!! Love you both!
    PS UT your story telling is not lost on your offspring! Love you too!

  • Reply
    Kathy Layman

    I have so enjoyed your blog, Kelly. Laughter, tears and your wonderful writing and sense of humor. I look forward to the book you and Diana are writing. You two are the best and I love you both.

  • Reply
    Nancy Jo

    Your stories Kel, have given me a whole new perspective on my friends and coworkers who have a family member going through a medical crisis. I use to always ask about the spouse/partner/child, but now I ask about the person who has to hold everything together – like yourself. I’ve been there, too, and it is still hard to figure out exactly how best to ask and to support the “care giver”, but the main thing is to try.

  • Reply
    Pam Zaid

    Kelly and Diana,

    You guys have inspired us in so many ways, including our recent choice to walk away from the 14-hour workday that has kept us apart for too long, and instead travel the country in search of starry skies (oops, I think I just spilled the beans on Ken’s upcoming retirement). Kelly, I have been a silent groupie, anxiously awaiting each of your posts. Needless to say, I am thrilled you two are finally going to publish your book. If there’s any way to pre-order, count us in!
    We love you and wish you all the best.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindsay

    It’s coming up on 8 years since Diana was diagnosed. Seems so unreal. So amazing. So miraculous. So scary. So empowering. Thank you both for sharing your continued journey. Who would have thought your lives would be this rich 8-1/2 years ago?! The challenges you’ve faced are daunting. How you’ve turned those challenges into blessings is nothing short of spectacular.

    I love you both so much and am glad you are my family. Love Susan

  • Reply
    Marty Behr

    We journeyed to Whidbey Island together and your story is so tied to that special place. I am looking forward to more inspiring “chapters”. Love, Marty

  • Reply
    Jessie Sutter

    Love you guys, your stories, your perspectives, your sense of humor, and accepting the unknown as a welcoming challenge.

  • Reply
    Doug Kelly


    Since we have known each other from the days of Sara and Eric’s track meets I have been profoundly aware of the great opening of your heart and stopping of the endless questions in your mind to have the courage to live now paying close attention to the moment while not forsaking your practical, pragmatic, results oriented self. Your story reveals the journey to the place you have come to know so well over these last years: walking day to day with DIana, holding hands, resting in each others arms. Nice work telling your tale with such style and sharing your story with those in search of something more than hope.


  • Reply
    Craig Collord

    Laying here thinking about what the two of you have meant to our lives…’s been 45 minutes now and I have gone from smiles to tears to smiles and asking Ellen if I’m lieing here or laying here writing this post….still don’t know but spell check says I’m laying here.

    Not a day goes by that something doesn’t bring back a memory of being with you guys. Doing the remodel, a few days ago, I dug out the cook book holders we made back in the Santa Cruz days….I doubt you remember them but they were the only gifts El and I could afford to give that Christmas. We made a dozen or so. Your gift to me…..teaching me to make them. And so you keep on giving….the smell of the pine on a hot summer day hike, the appreciation of a great, or not so great, horror classic, the love of a good drive in movie……Dutch babies and escalation of camping amenities in the snow. Life, what a long strange trip it’s been. We miss you guys. Both of you are fantastic writers. Been reading all these years but don’t post, after all, what can an old soldier add to such beautiful prose that boarders on poetry. Be well and come and see us when you can, love you guys…..Peace. Keep on writing.

    Wow, after reading everybody else’s post I guess I should use the stage name “Rambling Craig”.

  • Reply
    Nancy Jo

    Thank you for sharing your perspective, Kelly. Your gift of writing makes these heart-wrenching stories beautiful and thought-provoking. Love you!

  • Reply
    Martin Hellman

    I have also said that, if I could go back and undo the biggest mistakes I’ve made or prevent the worst things that have happened to me, I wouldn’t do it because of all I’ve learned from those experiences. But it was quite something to hear you say the same thing. Life is such a mystery!

  • Reply
    Dave Alden

    Kelly, thanks for the effort and the heart that you’ve poured into this effort. You touch a level of sincerity that is both impressive and inspiring.

  • Reply

    Well….. I had this dream, and in it Wonder Woman fell in a hole, and Super Husband descended down slippery walls with no hand holds other than some Japanese fungus here and there, one of which WW was holding on to with her ever growing fingernails and will power. The hole was very dark, but intermittently a irradiated bat flew by and provided a moment of light which SH used to locate WW, unfortunately, he could only grab one finger and one toe, so although that provided some relief and a bit of confidence, WW slipped out of his grip only to visualize a notch approaching wherein Don Juan’s grandmother was offering respite, but she said she could only grasp falling women who believed in both the unbelievable and the impossible… which was right down WW’s alley. And there she was when SH came tumbling down that hole, which proved to be a huge rabbit hole, so it was not straight down, but still slippery however. Luckily, the resident rabbit turned out to be an owl.. a wise old owl, and WOO had a library out of which SH managed to grab a book of tricks entitled Reiki. Being a fast reader (having taken a speed reading course in his youth) and a quick study, SH learned Reiki super fast, and meanwhile WW was in absolute touch with her bod which was talking fast and furiously to her …. well, that’s about the time I came out of that dream state. So, I cannot wait to read the rest of the book these two uncommon brilliant and entrepreneurial first time survivors and authors turn out.

  • Reply
    Barbara Brachtl

    Oh, my…. I’ve read your introduction and first post and can tell I’m going to have to read them all. Your blog is visually beautiful and beautifully written — and with so much heart in the content. Yours, Barbara

  • Reply

    Finally got to check out your blog and realize how timely it is for nudging me to process feelings I’ve been keeping a lid on regarding caregiving for Eva’s Mom. It’s easier not to go there, but then results in very little spiritual growth and self-realization. Thanks to both you and Diana for being so available and authentic with your experience. And, your creative writing style brings a smile to my heart!

  • Reply

    Kelly, I am in awe. You spin a great yarn from Wal-Mart to cowboys. What amazing souls you and Diana are. I am thankful for both of you. Look forward to your posts…

  • Reply
    Nancy Jo

    Simply stunning. All of it. The cancer coming out of nowhere. The treatment(s) coming from everywhere. The recovery coming from who knows where. And now the blog (and book) coming from the heart. Write on!

  • Reply
    Cindy and Buddy Nierenberg

    We are so inspired by you both and look forward to reading the book….Peace and good health always…..Love, Buddy and Cindy

  • Reply
    Siri Kloud

    Kelly, thank you for including me. I am so inspired by both of you. Looking forward to the book and the blog. All our love to you guys.

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  • Reply
    Tim Ernst

    Looking forward to reading your blog. Diana’s hope will no doubt give hope to all of us, and your courage and devotion will inspire. Alll the best to both of you

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