In Memory of {Deena Stayner}


Her smile and energy pulled me in from the moment I walked into the room. Deena was my roommate at the Healing Odyssey retreat I attended back in October.    There were (3) of us in that bunk room, sharing the same diagnosis….Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer.   I was happy to be sharing quarters with my fellow metsters.  Deena was different than most stage IV peeps that I meet.  Deena was a thriver…..not one to focus on the “incurable” part of our diagnosis but the “living” part of life.

She laughed.  A lot.

She hugged.  A lot.

She was authentic and vulnerable.

She was brave.

And even though life was hard….she was fully present and she was “Grateful.”

Her gratitude for life and opportunities  exuded from the very core of her being.



We kept in touch just a bit via text message after the retreat, but as life often does….it takes over, and the text messages got less and less.

She posted in our private Facebook group in January, about how the cancer was very active.  We let her know how much we loved her and that we were thinking about her.

and then…..


She was gone.

Though I have lost a countless number of fellow “met sisters”, it never gets any easier….and losses like Deena’s once again put things into perspective about life, and love.

Deena had a remarkable spirit and a resilience that encouraged others on the cancer journey….most especially me.

Deena loved her experience at the Healing Odyssey retreat.  And it is why, I have made a donation to  Healing Odyssey in her name.

If you are able would you make a donation in memory of Deena?  Here is the link and you can donate any amount that you can afford.

Deena’s journey continues, it just looks different.  May her life and endearing spirit continue to encourage all of us that had the privilege of knowing her.

With light and love,




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