Life and Legacy in the Face of Mortality: Lynn’s Journey with Metastatic Breast Cancer

metastatic breast cancer, life reflections, mortality, legacy, acceptance, quality of life, facing mortality, end-of-life preparation, funeral arrangements, natural burial, grief support, living in the present, body image, societal expectations, bucket list, making a positive impact, humor, resilience, wisdom

What if life’s greatest challenges became the catalyst for your most authentic and joyful living?

In this episode, I sit down with my dear friend Lynn, a remarkable woman navigating the complexities of metastatic breast cancer. Lynn’s story is nothing short of inspiring—a testament to living unapologetically and embracing every moment with grace and humor. From the initial shock of her diagnosis to the profound lessons she’s learned about slowing down and finding joy, Lynn’s journey offers invaluable insights into legacy, body image, and the importance of preparing for the end of life. 

Her reflections on mortality, family, and living in the moment are a heartfelt reminder to embrace life fully and purposefully.

Our conversation covers:

  • Lynn’s raw and honest emotions when she first learned about her metastatic breast cancer.
  • Reflections on life, mortality, and the importance of living life on one’s own terms.
  • how the diagnosis reshaped Lynn’s perspective on what truly matters, including her thoughts on legacy and what she wants to leave behind.
  • The importance of slowing down and finding joy amidst adversity
  • How Lynn’s views on body image have transformed throughout her life.
  • The importance of preparing for the end of life with grace and humor.

Don’t miss out on Lynn’s incredible journey and the wisdom she shares. Tune into our conversation and be inspired to live your life more authentically and purposefully.


Gilda’s Club – Cancer Support Community


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Katy Ripp (00:00:00) –  What if life’s greatest challenges became the catalyst for your most authentic and joyful living? Hi, I am Katy Ripp, your host of #ActuallyICan, and today I’m thrilled to have my dear friend Lynn with us.  While Lynn is navigating life with metastatic breast cancer, her story is all about living unapologetically and finding the joy in every moment. 

We will talk about everything from the shock of her diagnosis, but also how it’s reshaped her values and views on life, legacy, and body image.  It is a heartfelt and hopefully inspiring conversation. Lynn is one of those people I hold very dear and just a great human all around. So let’s dive in.

Katy Ripp (00:00:21) – Hey there, fellow rebels, welcome to #ActuallyICan, the podcast where we say a hearty hell yes to designing life on our own terms. I’m Katy Ripp, a lifestyle coach, business mentor, and serial entrepreneur here to guide you through the wild ride, defying what society expects of us and embracing our authenticity. On this show, we dive deep into taboo topics like death, money, spirituality, entrepreneurship, unapologetic self-care, and personal development, all while swearing and laughing along the way. Expect down and dirty conversations, plenty of humor, and a whole lot of exploration, leaving you feeling empowered to be your truest self. Whether you’re craving a good laugh, seeking unconventional self-care tips, or simply looking for some camaraderie, you’ve come to the right place. We only get this one short life, so buckle up and let’s design yours on our own terms. Ready to dive in? Let’s go. 

Katy Ripp (00:01:07) –  Okay. Well, welcome. Thank you. Lynn. I’m just going to ask you. Why are you here?

Lynn (00:01:27) –  Long story. I had breast cancer 12 years ago. I had a mastectomy. I had lymph nodes removed. Never thought about it again.

Katy Ripp (00:01:36) –  How old were you then?

Lynn (00:01:37) –  Well, I’m about to be 80. So 12 years ago. 68, though. Okay. 68. But I really thought I was done. It never occurred to me that this was ever going to happen again. I was cured in December. I went to the doctor because I thought I had a cracked rib. Knowing fully well they couldn’t do anything about it. But my husband nagged me to go. So I went and she said I did have a cracked rib, but it wasn’t for the reason I thought they had found that I had metastatic breast cancer on my bones, meaning there is no cure.

Lynn (00:02:11) –  I will live with this. I may die of cancer. I may die of something else with cancer. We have to find a way to keep this from spreading to organs. It’s on my bones. The cracked rib was because the little buggers eat your bones.

Katy Ripp (00:02:27) –  So not an incident?

Lynn (00:02:29) –  No. I have lesions from the top of my scalp to my pubic bone, front and back. There’s hundreds of them. That’s cancer. As long as they don’t go into an organ. I’m doing fine. Okay. When I first heard from this young woman was. It’s metastatic, meaning there’s no cure. So I was sitting there, and I was stunned. I am number one, one of the healthiest people I know. I am active, I may be almost 80, but I can put my palms flat on the floor and I play pickleball several times a week. I’m very active. My whole self-identity is wrapped up in I’m the healthiest grandma around me.

Katy Ripp (00:03:14) –  And you guys can’t see Lynn sitting here, but she is literally sitting crisscross applesauce in a chair.

Katy Ripp (00:03:21) –  Yes, like completely comfortable. I’m like, I’m telling my 12 year old daughter right now, please never stop sitting Indian style. Yes, because someday you won’t be able to like I cannot. It’s actually one of my goals in life and I can’t fake hips. I mean, you are almost 80. Let’s be real. In a few weeks.

Lynn (00:03:39) –  I don’t feel it.

Katy Ripp (00:03:40) –  I don’t act it.

Lynn (00:03:42) –  I don’t think about my age in those terms. I think about myself as being young and healthy. So when they tell you you have a chronic cancer, you think about dying. Yeah. I really never thought about dying my whole life. The one thing we live in, the most divided society known to mankind. People hate people for the dumbest reason. People fight for the dumbest reasons. Everybody’s different. Everybody’s entitled to be who they want to be. We’re not there as a society. But guess what? Everybody has something in common. You get born and you die. Nobody gets away with without dying.

Lynn (00:04:23) –  Yeah. So why did I wait till I got a diagnosis at age 79? To think about the fact that there are so many things. When I have lunch with you, Katie. And you said to me, what do you want your legacy to be? That was like when they told me I had cancer and it hit me in the head. It’s like, whoa. Why didn’t I think about that earlier? Why didn’t I think about that when I was raising kids or working or whatever? Because it was raising kids and.

Katy Ripp (00:04:51) –  Working and.

Lynn (00:04:52) –  Whatever. Doing whatever. But we need to take you take five minutes to meditate. You take five minutes to exercise. I don’t care what you do. We need to take some time to think about the fact that we’re going to leave this world at some point. No one knows when or how, but what do you want people to think about when they think about it? That you’re not there anymore? Yeah. There’s all these euphemisms to when I die, I’m going to die.

Lynn (00:05:18) –  I’m going to be dead, right? Nobody will have lost me. You lose your keys. I have a 21 year old granddaughter that I was in the car with last week or two weeks ago, and I insist on talking about my dying with my grandchildren that are their teenage and up and age appropriately. But you know, I’m going to die. So are they. But it is my privilege to die before them. That’s the order. I’m the grandma. As much as she doesn’t like talking about it. I am the grandma. So let’s talk about it. And she did find she was listening and she was crying and she was listening. And she’s trying to drive the car. And she was swearing because I made her teary while she’s trying to drive. But she came away with, your body is going to go away. I’m never getting rid of you. You’re in me? Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:06:12) –  I mean, figuratively and literally. Yes.

Lynn (00:06:16) –  You’ve talked to me. You’ve been with me. And your smell.

Lynn (00:06:22) –  When I open the closet and I smell your sweaters. All of that stuff goes with you. So, yes, your body dies. I’m going to turn into mulch. I’m having a natural burial. I’m coming back as a tree. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:06:36) –  I love that.

Lynn (00:06:36) –  But the rest of me hopefully is in the people that I love and adore and also the people that I meet. I have my support group on a pickleball court. I have my support group at Gilda’s. I had people from Harbor when I used to go there. There are people all over and I want them. So, okay. What is your job as a human being knowing that it’s going to end? Your first job is what do I want to do to make this world a better place. And I made mistakes like there’s no tomorrow. My earlier adult years were a mess I was a mess. Why did it take getting a horrible diagnosis to wake me up? Why couldn’t I wake up sooner and face once by obligation to people?

Katy Ripp (00:07:32) –  Do you have an answer for that? Do you have an answer for why you waited?

Lynn (00:07:36) –  I was busy being selfish, thinking about myself, having my own good time, raising my kids.

Lynn (00:07:42) –  But I was busy doing stuff. And I think we all live in this world where everything’s very fast. Yeah. And it’s getting faster now.

Katy Ripp (00:07:52) –  Well it gets faster as we get older too.

Lynn (00:07:54) –  It gets faster as we get older. But it’s also all this technology. Yeah I mean when I was growing up you didn’t order something and it didn’t show up at your door the next day. You actually had to go and get it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Everything’s very fast. We need to slow down as a society. We need to take pressure off of ourselves, our children, everybody to be better than somebody else. Just be the best you. And we all have different skills but we all have skills. I spend a lot of my life working with people with developmental disabilities who taught me an awful lot of stuff. Yeah. Everybody has something to teach. Everybody has a skill. We just need to learn how to slow down. I don’t know how to make people slow down. Maybe there’s one person out there that will click with me.

Lynn (00:08:44) –  It’s one more person. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:08:45) –  It doesn’t need.

Katy Ripp (00:08:46) –  To be 10,000.

Katy Ripp (00:08:47) –  No, it needs to be one. Yeah.

Lynn (00:08:49) –  And to slow down means it’s a gradual change. I think part of it for me too, was one of the hardest things in the world is to redefine your own who you are, your own identity. And when I first was diagnosed, I didn’t feel good. I slept a lot, which threw me for a loop because I am an A personality. You don’t nap. I was napping, I was having, I was sitting in a chair. The next thing I knew, two hours had passed. Yeah. And then I had to get up and say, oh my God. And I realized, okay, what didn’t I do in those two hours? Not much, but it’s not a big deal.

Katy Ripp (00:09:32) –  Yeah. Tell me about. I think there’s probably a lot of questions out here, and we’re just going to get down and dirty. I mean, I just I love that you are willing to answer these questions, because I think that we live in a society right now.

Katy Ripp (00:09:47) –  And I would imagine most of the people listening here are going to be middle aged women, right? I mean, I’m not expecting, like my son and his friends to listen unless I play the guitar.

Lynn (00:09:59) –  Or did something.

Katy Ripp (00:10:00) –  Yeah. Right. Right, right. Yeah. I think it also like we end up peeling back some layers as middle aged women, right? Like we’re looking at our kids who are teens and tweens and graduating high school, moving on to college, moving out of the house. And all of a sudden a couple of purposes go away. You know, you’ve been around for 80 years. That’s a lot of years. Did you find middle life that 40 ish, maybe 30 to 50 ish, learning anything that you take now as a life lesson for.

Lynn (00:10:34) –  Me, in those years I had been married very young. I had been divorced very young. I had 14 years, and then I remarried. I was in my middle 40s when I remarried. Okay. Up until that point, I probably wouldn’t have lasted five minutes with anybody because I was very busy racing around doing fun things.

Lynn (00:10:58) –  Having this really selfish, insecure child like in a grown up body.

Katy Ripp (00:11:07) –  Would you call that like a maturity level?

Lynn (00:11:09) –  My maturity level is in the tubes. Yeah. I mean, I was, you know.

Katy Ripp (00:11:14) –  Looking back on that now, do you think that that was like a coping mechanism, trauma response?

Lynn (00:11:19) –  I was totally trying to figure out how to be a full human being, but didn’t know how. And, you know, I mean, we could go back to, you know, my childhood, but really needing needing to be loved but not knowing how to get it. Yeah. And going about it in really hazardous ways. Right.

Katy Ripp (00:11:42) –  Filling a bunch of voids without knowing how to fill the.

Lynn (00:11:45) –  Void in very hazardous, immature ways. Yeah. Okay. Then I got to be my middle 40s and I reconnected with somebody I’d grown up with and who had been my best friend in high school, but a little insight into me. I didn’t like him romantically because he was a nice guy, wasn’t it?

Katy Ripp (00:12:06) –  Didn’t have to check the boxes.

Lynn (00:12:08) –  I would have preferred you been in prison. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:12:10) –  Right.

Lynn (00:12:11) –  Could we please be less nice?

Katy Ripp (00:12:14) –  Right.

Lynn (00:12:15) –  And.

Katy Ripp (00:12:15) –  Yes. More destructive. Yes. And then I will love you romantically. That’s right.

Lynn (00:12:20) –  Because then my crazy behavior wouldn’t be so terrible. Yeah, because yours would be worse.

Katy Ripp (00:12:24) –  Yeah, yeah. Keeping up with the Joneses in the office?

Lynn (00:12:28) –  Yes, exactly. I mean, I was never going to be tall and blonde. Never. I’m 411, and I have black and gray hair, but I was never going to be the tall blonde, so I was going to do something else. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:12:42) –  No, I’m going to feel that in a different way.

Lynn (00:12:44) –  Right, right. So and then I moved from Chicago, where I had spent my entire life, to Madison, Wisconsin, which is a very big change on so many levels. And it was so the best thing in my life immediately, because of the difference, there were two cities slowed down as much as I tried to make Madison faster, I finally got comfortable enough with the slowing down.

Lynn (00:13:15) –  I wasn’t aware of it because I was working, I had stepkids, I had a new husband, I wasn’t paying attention, and it really wasn’t. And I don’t know why. And I beg everybody not to wait till somebody says you have a disease that you know it’s going to kill you or your lifespan has been shortened. Don’t wait for that. But I don’t know how to get people to that point. I didn’t know how to get myself there. Yeah, I can’t tell anybody else how to do it. For Mother’s Day this year. My three children, my oldest child gave me five pints of ice cream. My middle child gave me a gift certificate to Portillo’s for sausage dogs and French fries. My youngest child gave me a subscription to a site where I can meditate. Those are my three children.

Katy Ripp (00:14:06) –  I mean, I love that.

Lynn (00:14:06) –  Okay, the first time I tried this meditation thing, I discovered you really shouldn’t do it while you’re drinking your coffee that you really need.

Katy Ripp (00:14:15) –  I mean, coffee is my meditation, but that’s just, you.

Lynn (00:14:17) –  Know, I’m sitting there drinking.

Katy Ripp (00:14:19) –  And. And then I was.

Lynn (00:14:20) –  Kind of doing leg lifts while I was relaxing.

Katy Ripp (00:14:23) –  Right. Because. We can’t sit still. Sit still.

Lynn (00:14:28) –  I’m up to two minutes now. I mean, that’s huge.

Katy Ripp (00:14:32) –  Two minutes. Huge.

Lynn (00:14:33) –  Two minutes.

Katy Ripp (00:14:34) –  It’s kind of all you need, though.

Lynn (00:14:35) –  Yeah, well, it’s probably not going to get past three, but nonetheless, learning to slow down is hard. It’s really hard.

Katy Ripp (00:14:46) –  But I’m just learning now.

Lynn (00:14:49) –  Partially because my body doesn’t have the energy it had more so I’m having to redefine okay and find ways to accept this is okay. Yeah. And that’s the big thing. Learning to accept this is okay. That’s a tough one.

Katy Ripp (00:15:09) –  I have a friend who has survived breast cancer in her 40s. And I asked her what she wanted me to ask you. Oh yes. And she said she gets a lot of questions about how long it took her to accept that she might die. And I asked her, I said, when you got the cancer diagnosis, like immediately did you think you were going to die? And she was like 150,000% immediately.

Katy Ripp (00:15:41) –  It didn’t matter what level it was. It didn’t matter what kind of cancer I heard cancer and that equaled death. And I was going to leave my kids, and I’m just going to leave my house, and I was going to leave this earth. I thought I was going to die. And then. And so she asked, I wonder if you could ask her how long it took for her to accept that she was going to die from this.

Lynn (00:16:04) –  I get asked that a lot in the support group by Gilda’s, because I’m a two time cancer person and it was like the first time. I was really naive and. I mean, I had, you know, bag hanging off of me, a drain bag after the mastectomy. And I went to the gym because I was, I was fine, I was fine. They they took it away, I was fine, and I stubbornly refused to accept the possibility. It could come back. So the first time around. I didn’t think I was going to die.

Lynn (00:16:42) –  I think I hid that for myself, is what I did. I covered it up really well, a.

Katy Ripp (00:16:46) –  Denial, oh.

Lynn (00:16:47) –  Such denial. And I’m good at that. I’m really good at that. And the I think to a certain.

Katy Ripp (00:16:53) –  Extent we’re all really good at it. Yeah. I mean, society has taught us to like, we’ll just put that underneath here. Yeah.

Lynn (00:17:00) –  Right. We’ll set it aside.

Katy Ripp (00:17:01) –  And then we might revisit it or we might never. We’re just going to put that under the bed.

Lynn (00:17:06) –  It went away I, I, I ignored it as best I could. I mean obviously, you know, there are things you can’t ignore. I mean, you and the boob. I did not opt for fillers or implants. I didn’t opt for a padded bra because I also had this thing about my grandchildren were teenagers. Well, one was teenage and the other were pre-teen, but. My personality didn’t change because my breasts changed, and that was important to me to get that message across.

Lynn (00:17:37) –  But yeah, my t shirts look a little for me, but so what? I’m still me. Yeah. Okay, the second time around, death was a big, important part of it. It still is. And I go to support group every week, and there are people in my group that are actively dying. I am not, but at some point I will be. Well, we are, but so will you. I mean, so will everybody.

Katy Ripp (00:18:01) –  Yeah.

Lynn (00:18:02) –  I just think about it probably more now because I have the C word on my brain. I was diagnosed in December. It probably took until six weeks ago, maybe for cancer, not to be the first thought in the front of my head. Oh, interesting. People would say to me, how are you? And I’d say, I’m fine, I have cancer. Care. Some of us, I mean.

Katy Ripp (00:18:26) –  So I mean, well, I mean.

Lynn (00:18:29) –  How are you? All they want is I’m fine and move on for sure, you know, and I like people.

Lynn (00:18:33) –  How are you? I don’t want the truth. Okay, good.

Katy Ripp (00:18:37) –  Great, great. Yes. It’s like I, I also I love that people are like using. I’m busy as a badge of honor. Yes. Right. Like busy, but good. Well. Yes.

Lynn (00:18:49) –  Right. Yeah. Wait. What?

Katy Ripp (00:18:51) –  Okay. Yeah. Right. Are we there? We’re like, oh, yeah. The more busy you are, the better. Yeah. And if you don’t say I’m busy, then you’re lazy. You’re you’re a failure and you’re lazy.

Lynn (00:19:03) –  But anyway, that’s what we. Because people are there. We don’t stop and think it’s okay not to be busy. Yeah. It’s okay to think about. Okay, I have children, I have grandchildren, I’m going to be dead at some point. I want to leave them or something. That’s going to make it easier for them. I want them to laugh. I don’t want to die in a hospital with machines. Yeah. You know, if I’m if I’m in a car accident, that could happen for sure.

Lynn (00:19:34) –  But if I had my choice, I’m having a party. And maybe I won’t know so much that there’s a party going. Yeah, but there’s going to be a party, and people are going to cry and they’re going to laugh. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:19:48) –  And they’re going to.

Lynn (00:19:48) –  Sing disco.

Katy Ripp (00:19:50) –  And.

Lynn (00:19:51) –  The Beaches and Say a Lot is one of my favorite songs. Well, even I rock there. I’m Somebody is. So enjoy. Well, we all.

Katy Ripp (00:20:00) –  Are staying alive, right. So we are not I mean.

Lynn (00:20:04) –  But that I meant something. You need to think about it before you’re laying in the bed and you’ve got, you know, ten minutes left.

Katy Ripp (00:20:11) –  Yeah. Tell me about your plans. Like, do you have plans? I know you sit. Yeah. So tell me all about your plans.

Lynn (00:20:18) –  I have been talking about. Dying for a long time, actually. My oldest granddaughter, she has the playlist for my funeral on her phone, which she’s had. She’s 25. She’s had it for at least ten years.

Lynn (00:20:32) –  So I guess I did think about it way back, but it was almost like a funny thing then.

Katy Ripp (00:20:39) –  Oh yeah, like a like a distant thing. My mom, my mom and I have this, like, ongoing joke whenever we take pictures. She was like, oh, that’s a good funeral picture. Yeah.

Lynn (00:20:48) –  There you go. Yeah, there you go.

Katy Ripp (00:20:50) –  Sort of a it is going to happen. However, we’re going to laugh about it. We’re going to like we’re just going to creep it out from the back. I mean, it’s like.

Lynn (00:20:57) –  Okay, you want those shoes when I’m dead, they’re yours.

Katy Ripp (00:21:00) –  Yeah, yeah. My mom started, like, giving her crystal away to us, right in that kind of thing. And of course, we have this, like, ongoing joke that we’re like, every time we go to our house, we put our name with a poster, poster and stuff, right? Like, I mean, in in the abstract, it is funny, it is funny.

Lynn (00:21:18) –  And you know what? It can be funny.

Katy Ripp (00:21:21) –  When it actually.

Lynn (00:21:22) –  Happens. Yeah. As well as sad. Yeah. And hopefully it is sad. I mean, wouldn’t it be really awful if nobody cried when you left when you died?

Katy Ripp (00:21:31) –  Yeah, I don’t want that either. No, you better damn well cry your eyes out.

Lynn (00:21:36) –  Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:21:37) –  Hello. For sure. I want you to ugly cry when I die miserable. But then I want you. But only for like, two minutes.

Lynn (00:21:44) –  Exactly. And then I want you to laugh and remember that I said lovingly. I want you to be miserable. And then you’ll laugh. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:21:52) –  For sure. And remember when she said she wanted us to be miserable? Let’s do it for two minutes and be done, right?

Lynn (00:21:57) –  Yeah, exactly. I mean, yeah. And and so. Okay, so back to when did I really. It took me. This time in my first round, trying to figure out meds that work for me.

Lynn (00:22:11) –  That’ll keep the cancer at bay that I can also tolerate. because it’s very important to me not to just take medicine, but to be able to live my life.

Katy Ripp (00:22:22) –  And when you say medicine, is that chemo? It’s chemo. Yeah. Okay.

Lynn (00:22:25) –  And chemo is rough stuff. There’s no question about it. But it doesn’t have to be debilitating. Yeah. And I deserve to live my life while taking these chemo pills. And happily, my oncologist walks on water and totally agrees with me. The quality of life is vitally important, thank God. But it took a while because of my size and my weight to get to the right level. So the beginning, probably two months, were really tough because physically I was a mess. Yes, sick, I was sick, I was sick. Right now I’m perfectly healthy.

Katy Ripp (00:23:04) –  I mean, you I mean, you look amazing and I’m perfectly. Yeah, yeah. You look great, I feel wonderful.

Lynn (00:23:09) –  I’m not having emergency. Horrible fatigue. Yeah.

Lynn (00:23:14) –  I mean, I’m the fluid on my lungs anymore. I don’t have a rash, and I’m not having diarrhea. Excuse me? I mean, all this stuff that happens, I’m on a level and I’m doing fine. The hardest part of this is that every few months I have to have a scan. So there’s a little bit about what are they going to find. So every couple of months I am keenly aware that my life could get cut short quickly. And I see this at Gilda’s too. There are people who are fine fine fine. And then spread cancer is a tricky beast. And one little cell that nobody knew was alive and well I mean I had 12 years in between. Yeah. That little bugger was hide down.

Katy Ripp (00:24:04) –  I mean in theory you could have another 12 years.

Lynn (00:24:07) –  In theory I mean I said to the doctor when I was first diagnosed. And she said to me, we’re going to reassess in five years. And I said, Bobby, 85, that sounds good to me.

Lynn (00:24:17) –  I said, I really want to be at least 90. And she said, you could, you could. But then every three months I have a scan. So every three months I’m reminded I’m going to die.

Katy Ripp (00:24:31) –  I.

Lynn (00:24:31) –  Don’t wish that on anybody, but I kind of do. Well, I kind of want you to have a timer in your kitchen or something that just every once in a while reminds you stop. Think about what kind of a human being you want to.

Katy Ripp (00:24:47) –  Be right here.

Lynn (00:24:48) –  What do you want to do for your family? For your friends? Maybe you don’t want to do anything. Then decide that you know I have to get really deep and happy, but you have to stop and you have to think about what’s important. And you go from there because nobody ever gets out of here without dying.

Katy Ripp (00:25:09) –  Yeah, nobody gets out of this alive. That’s what I like to know. Yeah, yeah. Death has been. You know, we lost my father in law quite a few years ago.

Katy Ripp (00:25:18) –  Now it’s going to be seven years next week, actually, which is hard to believe. Time goes so fast. Yes. And it changed our lives, right? He was 59 years old, and he died completely unexpectedly. We had no idea. Yeah. We think in some spiritual way he must have known because the things he did to. And he could have never known. Right. Like this is a I mean, as routine as open heart surgery can be. It was an old routine, open heart surgery, and the way he died was a complete fluke, right? Like he had a blood clot and died. But he must have had some kind of inkling because he prepared everything, everything right, like they got a grave spot. He had lined up all of the usernames, passwords, you know, phone codes, you know, everything. Life. And sure, everything was done. Everything was done. But he was 59, right? Like such a young age, at this time in our lives.

Katy Ripp (00:26:14) –  Right. Like 59. Used to be a crazy, well, you know, old, right.

Lynn (00:26:18) –  59 Medicare. Yeah, yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:26:21) –  I mean, seriously, for real. Right. Like he he was kind of starting a new career too, which was interesting in and of itself. But, you know, it fucked up our lives for a while, right? Because everybody was just like, not prepared for it. And I think the cliche is we can never prepare for something like that. That’s actually not true. Right? Like I’m a perfectly healthy 46 year old. I could also die from a blood clot tomorrow. I can prepare for that. I can prepare my kids. I can put my quote unquote affairs in order. I can get usernames and passwords ready. I can get life insurance taking care. You know, you can do a lot of things. When he died, I realized what a gift he gave my mother in law. By having everything prepared? Yes, because she was not in a state as anybody is in that situation.

Katy Ripp (00:27:13) –  She was not in a state. Well, and they give you so much to do after that, right? Like the 42 death certificates you have to have and the like. Who do you need to call for this? Who do you need to call it? The funeral home who like it’s just a it’s so many decisions. Even though he was prepared, there were so many decisions in the first 72 hours she had to make that the fact that he took most of those decisions away and did it ahead of time was such a gift, and it made me really open up my eyes to like, wow, we could prepare. And so I reached out to my parents and said, listen, I need to know what you want us to do. And they’re like, oh, our trust is all set up. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, I get those affairs. Oh, look, in my dad’s case, I said, what do you want us to do with your taxidermy? That sounds crazy.

Katy Ripp (00:28:07) –  But he has hunted in fish all his life. It’s his greatest joy over his children. Okay? Greatest. It’s his greatest joy. Okay. He used. We used to have a sign in our house that said we interrupt this marriage to bring you to hunting season. Okay. Yeah, right. If we only knew how true that was at the time, right? Because it did. But in any case, I said to him, what would you like us to do with your taxidermy? Right. Like it’s super important to you. What would you like us to do with it? Like, we can’t, like, put it on a pyre, right? Like I’m not really interested in burning like your lifelong hobby, Joy, right. And he was like, well, I don’t really care. Oh, you know, donate. I was like, but but you do, right? And like, we want to honor you in that way. My father in law had a very, very traditional Catholic burial, you know, five hour a week with people in line, open casket, all of the things.

Katy Ripp (00:29:04) –  Very beautiful Catholic ceremony. We walked the casket up to the burial, like the cemetery. We buried him, you know, and then the church lunch afterwards, like we did all of those things my parents don’t. I was like, do you want that? They’re both were raised Catholic. Do you want that? And they’re like, well, I don’t really know what we want. Well, in their divorce, my and my mother is remarried. So I’m like, hey.

Lynn (00:29:27) –  Listen that one out.

Katy Ripp (00:29:27) –  Listen lady. I had to.

Lynn (00:29:29) –  Figure that one out.

Katy Ripp (00:29:30) –  Yes. Please let us know what you want us to do. And when I approach the subject, it was ignored for months. Right. And my sister and brother, I don’t think, had an opinion at the time. They were like, yeah, that’s fine. If this makes you feel better, just do it right. And I didn’t really ask for permission. I did it anyway. Why does that not surprise me? I don’t know, I mean, we are who we are, but since then, I’ve realized again how much losing somebody changes you.

Katy Ripp (00:30:05) –  If you’re not prepared for the grief, if you don’t have some sort of practice in place for meditation. Yeah, for your mental health. If you’re not already seeing a counselor or a therapist, then to do that after grief is rough. And those are things that we can do to prepare. And we’re also in a situation. I mean, I am in a situation where my parents are in the 75 years old range. We’re either going to have to take care of them or say goodbye to them sooner rather than later, right? Like, if we’re lucky, we have 30 more years, right? 20, 20 more years. They’ll be 95. Yeah, that’s not that much time left. That’s right. And thinking about it and talking about it is just not the norm. Yeah. And so when you bring it up it gets oh okay. Yes.

Lynn (00:30:59) –  It gets people very uncomfortable.

Katy Ripp (00:31:02) –  Yeah. It’s just a, it’s a discomfort level that people are not willing to talk about. And just talking about it prepares you.

Katy Ripp (00:31:10) –  Yes. Right. Like just having the conversation like we are all going to die. To your point before about like this is the order. When you said that to me at lunch, I was like. God, what a gift you gave your granddaughter to tell her that this is the order and this is how things should go rather than her. Well, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know how your granddaughter felt about that, but I find it to be such a gift that I wish. Right? It’s my wish that I get.

Lynn (00:31:41) –  I get, as I said, it’s my privilege to die first. Yeah. And when I went and selected, I selected a natural burial, which at first people. When you.

Katy Ripp (00:31:53) –  Tell me about that.

Lynn (00:31:55) –  What is it? I’m going I went to now. It’s terrible because I can’t remember where. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:32:00) –  It’s okay. You don’t need to know. We’ll take you there.

Lynn (00:32:03) –  Yeah. And and frankly, I also said, do not take me there in hearse.

Lynn (00:32:08) –  I do not want to stop traffic. I don’t want a lot of black cars. I don’t want flags. I don’t want to go through red lights. I’m going to be buried in a shroud, which is something that’s biodegradable. I’ll sheet of linen, something I don’t take up a lot of space. Throw me in the back of the car. Oh my God, drive me.

Katy Ripp (00:32:30) –  Get me there. Are you serious? No, I swear. When has your family agreed to this? Well, then.

Lynn (00:32:35) –  You have a little bit of a problem with it. And I need to swear. We. We’ve talked about this repeatedly. Repeatedly. We have discussed this. I think Jennifer, my oldest child who lives here in town, she understands. She also went with me. The second time I went, I took Jennifer, Tom, my husband, the dog and myself went. The dog picked the site. Oh, nice. Pearl picked the site. The sheep on it.

Katy Ripp (00:33:02) –  Or just sniffed it out.

Lynn (00:33:03) –  Sniffed it out? Oh, it was by a lovely tree. And I mean, I paid for it right then. Okay.

Katy Ripp (00:33:09) –  Where is this place?

Lynn (00:33:10) –  This is that sanctuary whose name I can’t remember. Oh, yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:33:13) –  But here in Madison.

Lynn (00:33:15) –  In one of the suburbs.

Katy Ripp (00:33:16) –  Oh, yes.

Lynn (00:33:17) –  Okay. And I decided then and there I want this, and they’re going to dig a hole in the ground and they’re gonna put me in.

Katy Ripp (00:33:23) –  So we’re going to pull you out of the trunk.

Lynn (00:33:25) –  I’m not going to be in a box.

Katy Ripp (00:33:27) –  Okay? Be in my shroud. So and I’m curious about how you get there. Like, is Tom going to carry you?

Lynn (00:33:33) –  Oh, well, once the car gets there.

Katy Ripp (00:33:36) –  Get a dump. You put you, like, in a golf.

Lynn (00:33:38) –  Cart, I don’t know, and tank, I don’t know how they do like a Weekend.

Katy Ripp (00:33:41) –  Of Bernie’s.

Lynn (00:33:42) –  Like they figure it out over there. I mean, they got that all down path. They do that I do.

Katy Ripp (00:33:46) –  I like, love the details of this.

Lynn (00:33:49) –  After a year, they’re going to put a stone in the ground with my name on it. And I said, do not do the beloved wife and my wife, mother, grandmother, dog owner, just, you know, my name and my birthday and my death day is fine. That’s fine. Doesn’t need to be a whole long thing.

Katy Ripp (00:34:07) –  What made you decide to do that?

Lynn (00:34:10) –  My parents, generations of my family buried outside Chicago, in Skokie, Illinois. And when you pull up to our section, there’s this ginormous piece of, I don’t know, marble stone, something huge thing like the size of the table out there, perched there, says Rosenberg. And there’s generations of us. And for years, every time we’d go to somebody’s funeral, I would say to my children, don’t stand there, you’re standing on me. So maybe I did have the death humor a long time.

Katy Ripp (00:34:43) –  Yeah, yeah.

Lynn (00:34:44) –  But over the years, how many times have I gone there? Not enough, according to somebody.

Lynn (00:34:50) –  I don’t mean to go to a spot. I mean, my grandma was there. There are certain trees I walk by. It’s like, hi, grandma, because it smells like her. Yeah. My grandmother died when I was pregnant with Jennifer. Jennifer’s 57 years old. My grandma. I can tell you things she said to me. I remember bubble baths with her. She had a porcelain chicken. When we took the top off, there was candy and it was just for the grandchildren I have always had in my house. Not a porcelain chicken, a beautiful basket, but it has candy. It has garbage candy in it. I finally gave up the Swedish fish because the red dye was, you know, maybe not so good. So.

Katy Ripp (00:35:37) –  But the rest of it is fine.

Lynn (00:35:39) –  We have a few other things, you know. Now we have healthy gummy worms and Tootsie rolls, you know, whatever. Good stuff. Yeah. but, I mean, I don’t need to go to Skokie, Illinois and find.

Lynn (00:35:53) –  No, she’s with me. And that’s what you want for people.

Katy Ripp (00:35:57) –  Yeah.

Lynn (00:35:58) –  And my colleges said to me. A couple of weeks ago. I want your family to come in and meet with me. And you. You know, she said, because it has been proven that families that have the opportunity to meet the doctor. Have a better relationship with a terrible diagnosis, and I don’t care what it is. There’s a lot of horrible diseases out there. Yeah. Take your pick. Families have a better chance of success. So at my June appointment, my daughter will not be teaching anymore. And her two girls are going with me to meet the doctor. The 21 year old granddaughter came to Gilda’s last week. She just came for the dinner. You have dinner first? Yes. And then you go have your session. She didn’t go for a session. She said she doesn’t think she’s ready for that yet. But she came and had dinner with us, and she met real life people that have real life cancer.

Lynn (00:36:58) –  All different kinds, all different ages. I’m the oldest in the group.

Katy Ripp (00:37:02) –  Yeah. You’ve become the matriarch.

Lynn (00:37:04) –  I’m guessing I am kind of the matriarch, but they’re, you know, they’re men, women, all different kinds of cancer, all different stages of it. It’s all real people. Ages vary from probably late 30s to me. Yeah. And real relationships are formed. Yeah. We real relationships. Tom and I are going next week a couple. Tom met the woman in the support givers group. Oh, yeah. And they became really good friends. She’s a schoolteacher. I mean, he could be her father, you know? Yeah, yeah. And they have children, and the husband is one with cancer. He’s in my group next Sunday. Wait for Sunday. We’re going. They’re renewing their vows. I think I’m probably going to live a lot longer than him. Oh, yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:37:57) –  It’s heartbreaking.

Lynn (00:37:58) –  That’s hard. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:37:59) –  It’s hard. I mean, death is real. Yeah, death is real.

Katy Ripp (00:38:02) –  Death is death, right? Like, it doesn’t matter what age you are because we are all going, but it’s always a little bit. It twists the knife a little bit harder when it’s young.

Lynn (00:38:11) –  But what they’re doing because their kids go. The thing about Gilda’s is I go for the active cancer people. My husband goes to the people who live with us and care for us. And the children, they have a room for little kids. They have a room for middle schoolers. They have a room for high schoolers. They all have their own therapists, lead them in groups. I’ve never been because I’m not a kid, so that’s theirs. But what these parents are giving their kids a gift because these kids are going to Gilda’s Club. They know what it’s about. Yeah. And it’s being addressed at whatever age they are and whatever level these kids are at. Yeah. And they know.

Katy Ripp (00:38:53) –  Our kids were I think about this five and eight, is that right? Yeah. They were five and eight when all died.

Katy Ripp (00:38:59) –  Yeah. And we came home, you know, al went to the hospital with the full intention that he was coming home. We had, you know, we had a rough three days. It was three days of my bed. Yeah. It was just he didn’t die right away. It was a, you know, it was a pretty long process. It was like three days. You know, my mom came down and helped with the kids, and they were young enough that we needed child care. And we had to leave in the middle of the night and, you know, that kind of thing. And we came home from the hospital after. And that’s that’s a very surreal situation to to have somebody die in a hospital and then like, nobody knows what to do afterwards. Right. Like there’s not really a playbook for this. I think there should be write like here, read this before you go to the hospital or and nobody really wants to talk about that either. There’s also something about like not mentioning it because you think it’s going to jinx it in some way, right? Like if you say, I’m worried you’re going to die, it means that they’re going to die.

Katy Ripp (00:39:56) –  I don’t know how I feel about that. Like I get it. And whenever anybody says it, it’s like, well, you know, we’re only talking about hope. We’re only talking about positive things. I find it to be a little bit of a disservice to everybody involved, because if and when it happens, I am an optimist to the core. I happen to be a little bit of a realist as well, but when we came home, we had to tell the kids that all died, and I was very intentional about it. I did not sugarcoat it. I didn’t say he took a nap and never woke up. I didn’t say, you know, he’s in heaven. I didn’t say anything except that Grandpa Al died and he is not coming back. That’s it. We didn’t have a real long conversation about it. They asked a couple of questions. They were so little. My son definitely knew. Right? He was eight. My daughter had a little bit of a like. He didn’t she didn’t really get it, but she saw that Myles was very upset.

Katy Ripp (00:40:58) –  So she was upset. Right. And then, you know, we went over to some friend’s house a couple days later. And I mean she just walked in the house and she was like, you know, somebody asked how she was or I mean, you know, we were still it was very fresh. So somebody asked, oh, hey, Madeline, how are you? And she was like, find my grandpa dead. And then walked in and everything I read about it was like, that’s exactly how a five year old should react. And of course, everybody was like, oh my God, right. Like it’s like. And I was like, that’s how we talk about it. Yeah. Like that’s age appropriate. That’s. It’s not that she didn’t care. It’s like that is just how their little brains work, right? But then the, you know, the whole grief thing is a whole nother story about, you know, how people grieve when they grieve, how long they should grieve, you know? Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:41:48) –  That whole thing. I’d love to ask you about any regrets in life. And I would also love to ask you about what you’re hoping to leave.

Lynn (00:41:59) –  Okay. Before we get there, I just want to say, for me, having the reality in my face that I’m going to be dead someday has been a gift. It has made me slow down. I really do smell flowers. I really do enjoy walking on these paths where I’m all by myself. I don’t know what I’m thinking about. I’m looking at twigs on the ground and I come and I feel good. And I never did those kinds of things before. Oh, I have a bazillion regrets. A bazillion. The thing about regrets, it’s like, should I coulda, woulda all that.

Katy Ripp (00:42:42) –  Yeah. You can’t do anything about it now.

Lynn (00:42:43) –  So, yeah, I mean, I can’t change the past. What I can do is be a better human being, a better wife, a better mom, a better grandma, a better friend, a better whatever today.

Lynn (00:43:00) –  And that’s the other thing today I never thought about today. My calendar was filled the whole week and the weeks after. And I’m looking down and I know what. I’m going Christmas shopping and it’s June. no, I don’t need to think about Christmas shopping right now. No, that’s how I used to live. And everything was planned and organized. But then when everything was also chaotic and many levels, I can only hope that today is meaningful for at least part of the day.

Katy Ripp (00:43:31) –  Every day. Yeah.

Lynn (00:43:32) –  And if it is, and if I take stock of who I am and where I am, my legacy, I mean, I hope that, you know, I’ve done good stuff. I hope that, you know, my jobs make people’s lives easier, better. That’s all in the past today. What can I do if it’s just one thing today to make one person, whether I know that person or not? I mean, maybe there’s somebody out there that’s getting something positive from this.

Katy Ripp (00:44:02) –  Wow.

Lynn (00:44:03) –  That’s a huge contribution. Because if you’re getting something from this, you needed to hear it. Yeah. And it’s so hard to live in the moment. It is so hard to tune out whatever. And you don’t have to do it completely either. I mean, you can be thinking about 14 things at once, but if you’re really honing in on how can I just be a better me, you can still have Riff Raff going, well, right?

Katy Ripp (00:44:29) –  We all have to. Yeah, yeah, but just give it some.

Lynn (00:44:33) –  Time and give it 30s. Yeah. The 30s if you do 30s today or 10s today by the end of the week, and they do 10s more, at some point you’re going to take a minute every day to stop and think, okay, if I drop dead right now, I don’t have a chance to go back and fix things. Yeah. What do I want to leave then? I don’t have to fix.

Katy Ripp (00:44:57) –  What’s not important anymore. Everything simple. Everything is important.

Lynn (00:45:02) –  But in a funny way, what’s not important is how I dress. I don’t really know. I spent a lot of years caring.

Katy Ripp (00:45:10) –  Did you care?

Lynn (00:45:11) –  Oh, did I ever.

Katy Ripp (00:45:12) –  Oh, this is. That’s so good. Because I think so many were in such an image conscious, heavy world. Right? That and people are very concerned about how they look and what they wear and what they weigh, and, you know, all of that.

Lynn (00:45:26) –  okay. Sorry, mom, but I was raised by a woman who told me my entire life I was fat. Oh. When I came home from college and had gained weight, I was taken from the airplane to the fat doctor who put me on amphetamines. Oh, my gosh. So that I would lose weight. I lost the weight, I never slept.

Katy Ripp (00:45:45) –  I mean, amphetamines do the trick.

Lynn (00:45:48) –  I was in bed at night with my eyes wide open, shaking, wondering what the hell’s going on because I didn’t know what.

Katy Ripp (00:45:54) –  But I’m thin, but.

Lynn (00:45:56) –  I got thin. And I remember when my college roommate came for my wedding. And my mother. The first words out of her mouth was, look how good she looks. She lost weight. So, I mean, I had all kinds of issues. And I lived in Chicago and I.

Katy Ripp (00:46:09) –  Worked jobs that required.

Lynn (00:46:10) –  That I dress, and, I mean, I wore pantyhose and heels. I wore makeup, which I haven’t had makeup on since I moved to Madison. When I first know when I first came, I still use makeup and I still worry about my hair. And slowly I made fun of people who wore Birkenstocks. Sure. I now own like six pair of Birkenstocks. And my other shoes are healthy shoes. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:46:36) –  You know. Yeah, I don’t care anymore about that stuff. But the fascinating part to that for me is that you did and you don’t anymore. Because I think that it’s easy to listen to this and say, well, she probably never cared. Oh no no no no.

Katy Ripp (00:46:51) –  Yeah. So I, I love that.

Lynn (00:46:53) –  How I looked, if I had had a mastectomy 40 years ago, I would have had a nervous breakdown.

Katy Ripp (00:47:00) –  Oh so interesting.

Lynn (00:47:03) –  I would have had to have the padded bra because my mother had breast cancer. Okay, okay. Now, my mother said the day she died reminded everybody she weighed £85. That was everybody’s goal. Didn’t matter how tall you were or anything. That was ankle. She was short. Yeah, nonetheless.

Katy Ripp (00:47:21) –  Yeah.

Lynn (00:47:22) –  She was 81 when she died and she still was worried about. How she looked. She told the nurse that she was dying. My mother had these long red nails all the time. I’ve never worn nail polish that I never did. And she told her she could take the nail polish off one finger to see if my nails are blue and if I’m dead, and then you put it right back on.

Katy Ripp (00:47:44) –  I mean, that sounds funny, but she.

Lynn (00:47:46) –  Died with her nails done, her hair done, and in some fancy nightgown.

Lynn (00:47:51) –  There probably was a mortgage payment. Yeah, because that was her. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:47:55) –  I mean, we are who we are to. Yeah, right.

Lynn (00:47:57) –  Like cool. Going in a shroud. She’s going nuts, let me tell you. But no, I cared about all those things I was raised to care about. And image was extremely important in my family. Extremely important. Who you were, who you married, how many volunteer jobs you had. Because women shouldn’t work. I was that I mean, it was. When I told my mother I was getting divorced, her response was, well, what will I tell my friends? And I said, frankly, I don’t give a damn. I have three children under the age eight. Image was very important, and when I first moved here, I was the best dressed social worker in Madison. Let me tell you. And that started to chip away. So I was in my 50s when I finally realized, it doesn’t matter if you know my purse is fancy schmancy or I have a backpack.

Lynn (00:48:54) –  Yeah, it doesn’t matter. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:48:56) –  So that wasn’t so much a death thing as much as it was like a.

Lynn (00:49:00) –  Change of environment and growing.

Katy Ripp (00:49:02) –  Yeah, yeah.

Lynn (00:49:03) –  What’s important now, thinking about it’s going to end is that I don’t waste time. That I face the things that need to be faced, that I face, say I’m sorry I made mistakes to people that I don’t need to hold grudges. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:49:22) –  I mean, do you feel like there’s something missing that you didn’t do?

Lynn (00:49:26) –  I still haven’t finished apologizing. Oh, I was a mean girl. I was not a nice human being. And I was very selfish. And I probably heard a lot of people’s feelings and stepped on a lot of chose to get what I wanted. Boy that’s changed. And I, I mean I think, I think there’s so many gifts that come from having somebody say you have cancer. Yeah. In my group I have made everybody face up and talk about the perks of cancer. Because there are perks.

Katy Ripp (00:49:59) –  And what a gift to talk about it. What a gift to talk about that. It’s a gift. Right. Yes. The experiences we have that normally we would say no thank you to. Yeah are the ones that change our lives. Like if you allow them to they can be a diving board for a beautiful situation.

Lynn (00:50:20) –  The hardest things and you know this the hardest things to do are to make serious changes by yourself. Yeah, there’s a lot of work.

Katy Ripp (00:50:29) –  It is a lot of work. And I think for me it’s so good. It’s peeling back those layers and realizing that I have one life and I’m done answering to anyone else about it my husband, my kids, my staff. I’m just I’m not apologizing. I’m not doing anything to apologize for anymore. So that helps when you stop actually digging the hole. Correct? Correct. Right. Like stop digging the hole. Amend that, you know, but I also don’t do anything in my life that I have to apologize for. I’m done apologizing also for just being me.

Katy Ripp (00:51:10) –  Yeah, right. Like, I, I mostly do things in my life now that are aligned with my values, and if they’re not, they feel icky physically. Physically, I feel bad. And so I can tell and I’ve I’ve done a lot of work, but it is hard. It is hard when you make a change. But again, and my change started when something really shitty happened. But now I look back at it like such a gift and I think such a gift.

Lynn (00:51:40) –  I think that’s the thing. Something shitty happened to you. Something shitty happened to me. The giant cancer. Yeah. Hold on. What the hell are you talking about? And first I thought you were reading the wrong stuff. Somebody else is somebody in the next room. It’s not me and I think out of bad stuff. But why is it that we have to go down before we could go off? I don’t know, yeah, I don’t know. They talk about hitting rock bottom. Yeah. And rock bottom can be somebody saying you have all timers.

Lynn (00:52:11) –  Yeah, whatever.

Katy Ripp (00:52:13) –  Whatever. Whatever. I always like to say I never hit rock bottom. I just skipped along the bottom for a while. Okay okay, okay. Yeah. I mean, I do think that there’s something to be said about that, but, you know, if it never rained, we’d never appreciate the song. Yes. Right. We like we’d never get a rainbow. We’d never write. Like if the sun didn’t set every night, we’d never get a sunrise. There is something to be said about being able to compare and contrast. If you’re comparing and contrasting to the right things, right? Comparing ourselves to other people just does not make sense. It just doesn’t. Everybody’s just like running their own show, man.

Lynn (00:52:51) –  It just hurts you in the end.

Katy Ripp (00:52:53) –  In the end, it really just doesn’t matter. No, it doesn’t.

Lynn (00:52:57) –  Doesn’t matter. And so much of life for me was.

Katy Ripp (00:53:02) –  Spent worrying.

Lynn (00:53:03) –  About things that didn’t matter. I’m just grateful that I finally got out of there.

Lynn (00:53:07) –  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:53:09) –  Did you have a bucket list?

Lynn (00:53:11) –  Oh, I really don’t have a bucket list, because I think Tom asked me recently if I wanted to go somewhere. I want to take a trip. And my first reaction was watch my die and trip. No no, no. And I said to him, you know, we’ve traveled a lot and we had some wonderful times and we went to some really interesting. I mean, I rode a camel in Egypt by the pyramids, but we’ve done some good stuff. I don’t feel the urge or the need to do anything big. And I think about, okay, when I’m dead, what am I going to miss? Yeah. I want to see my grandchildren as adults. I don’t know that that’s going to happen just by virtue of the fact that I’m 80. Yeah, yeah. And some of them are, you know, like younger. I’m not going to be around to see that. Just the numbers game has nothing to do with my health.

Lynn (00:54:04) –  Yeah, but I want I just want to keep watching them grow. I want to see my kids as they get older, enjoy their lives. And they do. I mean, I think my kids are all in great places and they’re fabulous parents, and I think things are going well and I want them to continue. I just want to watch all of that good stuff happen. I don’t feel or need to do much. Yeah. I mean I have these silly games I feel like you know my push up game. Yes. For my 80th birthday, I do them for my niece now but I’m going to do 80 push ups.

Katy Ripp (00:54:40) –  I will never forget speaking the hot yoga class. And we had to do 75 push ups for Lynn’s 70. Or was it your 7070?

Lynn (00:54:48) –  I think it.

Katy Ripp (00:54:49) –  Was 70th, yes, 70th.

Lynn (00:54:51) –  I got a tattoo. Oh you.

Katy Ripp (00:54:52) –  Did?

Lynn (00:54:52) –  Yes. Good things come in small packages. So I guess small package. Oh I love it. And I’ve been talking to the girls again, Lulu and Ruby about because they went with me to get this, getting an 80th together.

Lynn (00:55:06) –  And we haven’t figured out yet what it’s going to be.

Katy Ripp (00:55:08) –  Oh, amazing.

Lynn (00:55:10) –  You ain’t going to be a coffin.

Katy Ripp (00:55:13) –  Just a d.

Lynn (00:55:14) –  Just for the fun of it.

Katy Ripp (00:55:17) –  maybe.

Lynn (00:55:18) –  It was a flower sticking.

Katy Ripp (00:55:20) –  Out of the ground. Yeah, that’s.

Lynn (00:55:22) –  Going to be me. But, yeah, we’ve talked about it because I’m not just going to get something they hurt.

Katy Ripp (00:55:27) –  Yeah. You’re right. Like, let’s be real. Yeah I mean yeah. Fun. Yeah. This hurts.

Lynn (00:55:32) –  Yeah. And I chose this particular spot because it’s on the same side as the mastectomy. So I was numb.

Katy Ripp (00:55:37) –  Well even numb it. Yeah yeah yeah yeah. No. So okay I.

Lynn (00:55:42) –  Don’t know what it’s going to be, but it’s going to be something.

Katy Ripp (00:55:44) –  That’s amazing. Yeah. We talked just touched on legacy. What would you love for in your death? What would you love people to do for you. Because there’s always that question like, what can I do for your daughter? Right.

Katy Ripp (00:55:59) –  Like, what can I do for your granddaughter? What can I do for your kids? What can I do for time? What can I you know, what can I do? What could we do for you?

Lynn (00:56:07) –  The first thing that comes to my mind is talk to your friends, family, the people around you about what you want when you’re dead. Start the conversation and you can frame it around. Look, I just have a friend who just died. This was her wish. It makes it less threatening. Find a way that’s less threatening. Start the conversation with your people. And I want people to think. She made me laugh. She made a difference. She made me think about being a better person. I made sure I want everybody to recycle, and I want everybody to save the earth. And I, you know, I want all those things that I want world peace. Yeah. I can’t control any of that. I can hope that the people that take notice of my death will take it into themselves, that I need to live the best I can and be the best I can.

Lynn (00:57:10) –  And that’s going to be different for everybody. Yeah, because everybody’s best is different. Yeah. And I’m not going to be perfect every day of the week. That’s dope. No such thing. But I am going to make money just getting better and making it a little better place for people. Yeah. And sharing some love that to me. If that happened and you laugh, you have to know. I mean, I really believe you have to love.

Katy Ripp (00:57:37) –  Yeah. I mean, some of the best emotions I’ve ever had is laughter through tears. Yes. Right. Like, yes. And I would definitely be miserable when people. Well I’m glad. Good. I had.

Lynn (00:57:50) –  An impression. I made an impression on you that I.

Katy Ripp (00:57:52) –  Mean, you just said, oh.

Lynn (00:57:53) –  Shit. You know, somebody else just died. Now I gotta send flowers. I mean, crap, no.

Katy Ripp (00:57:58) –  Are you having a funeral?

Lynn (00:58:00) –  I don’t know, I mean, Tom, I won. I said to Tom, I said, you and the kids figure it out.

Katy Ripp (00:58:04) –  Yeah, whatever they want. Because it is really for them.

Lynn (00:58:06) –  Yeah, it’s.

Katy Ripp (00:58:07) –  It’s not for, you know, I’m not going.

Lynn (00:58:09) –  To know. So you do whatever you want to do. If you just want to have a big party, if you want to go bowling, God knows why. But whatever.

Katy Ripp (00:58:17) –  Yeah, yeah. Let them do whatever they want.

Lynn (00:58:20) –  That’s totally up to them. I have as much as I’d.

Katy Ripp (00:58:24) –  Like to be in.

Lynn (00:58:25) –  Control, I have no control over what they do when I’m dead. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:58:29) –  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lynn (00:58:30) –  My reign of terror is over. Well, hopefully.

Katy Ripp (00:58:35) –  It’s not over for quite some time.

Lynn (00:58:37) –  Well, yes, if hopefully it’s not. And I don’t think it will be.

Katy Ripp (00:58:40) –  But you never know.

Lynn (00:58:41) –  I mean I don’t know. Yeah I mean I did accuse my doctor. I said you tried to kill me with the first round of chemo. And I said, yeah, you really tried to make. Yourself look better.

Lynn (00:58:50) –  Like, look, she doesn’t have cancer anymore. Well, no she doesn’t. She’s dead.

Katy Ripp (00:58:55) –  She’s dead from the chemotherapy, right?

Lynn (00:58:57) –  Yeah. So. And my dad, she’s the best. Yeah.

Katy Ripp (00:59:01) –  She’s the best. Yeah. I think I know some other people that are, you know, oncology nurses or pediatric oncology nurses or, you know, that kind of really heavy, heavy job. But I think humor is like the only way to survive some of this stuff.

Lynn (00:59:16) –  I like to say attitude. And my doctors has repeatedly said to me that my attitude is part of my success with this. You gotta have a positive outlook and you gotta make fun of yourself. And make fun of a bad situation.

Katy Ripp (00:59:33) –  Yeah, right. We don’t need to take ourselves so seriously. Now that’s real easy for me to say because I’m not actively dying. But we all kind of are actively dying. Yeah, I guess, and.

Lynn (00:59:45) –  You know, I don’t want to make you sound all Pollyanna. When they first diagnosed me, there was about two weeks when I went down a dark black hole, okay? And I really didn’t want to get out of bed.

Lynn (00:59:57) –  And I was having a lot of pain and as well. Yeah, but I really was heading towards depression. And at one point in time, Sanjay, get up. And you said, okay. And I got up and kind of threw cold water on my face and said, all right, you did it. That’s fine. Now you know what being sad is all about. That’s nice. Yeah. Now you have a choice. And I think everybody has the choice. You get told something you don’t like, you can either bury yourself under it, or you can be sad for a few minutes or a few months, or however long it takes you, and then you get up and be the best life you can because you are still alive. And I want to read the best life until the last 30s. Yeah. And then, okay, I’ll get it.

Katy Ripp (01:00:47) –  Then we’re gonna take a nap. Yeah.

Lynn (01:00:50) –  Right now. But I mean, I want ice cream. Yeah. You know, that’s my last meal.

Lynn (01:00:55) –  I want an ice cream.

Katy Ripp (01:00:56) –  What’s your favorite ice cream?

Lynn (01:00:57) –  It doesn’t.

Katy Ripp (01:00:57) –  Matter. Oh, well, we’re gonna get ice cream. We are going straight over there for ice cream, for lunch.

Lynn (01:01:03) –  But just appreciate the fact that you are alive. And it is a good day. And I don’t care if it’s rainy and freezing and miserable outside. Your feet are on the ground.

Katy Ripp (01:01:17) –  Yeah. Thanks, Matt. You’re not wrapped in a shroud in the back of a Prius. Is that right?

Lynn (01:01:23) –  Yeah. I mean, I fit in the back seat just fine.

Katy Ripp (01:01:28) –  Yeah. I mean, the visual of that. Oh, yeah.

Lynn (01:01:31) –  Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Katy Ripp (01:01:32) –  Yeah.

Katy Ripp (01:01:33) –  I’m one of.

Katy Ripp (01:01:34) –  Us. Poor Tom, poor Tom. That day you’re like, where is she? I what is she in the car? Right, right, right. Yeah, yeah, in.

Lynn (01:01:44) –  The back seat, wrapped up in the sheet. All right. This is very formal, but it has to be so that it biodegrade.

Katy Ripp (01:01:53) –  Yeah, well, of course.

Lynn (01:01:54) –  I mean, I can’t go in a taffeta dress.

Katy Ripp (01:01:57) –  Can they plant anything on top of you?

Lynn (01:01:59) –  Eventually?

Katy Ripp (01:02:00) –  Yeah, sure. Like at your, like you’re going to be.

Lynn (01:02:03) –  I’m going to be like, right under this beautiful tree. Right by the tree.

Katy Ripp (01:02:06) –  So how do they do that? Do they sell plots? Yes. Okay. So it’s like a six foot water.

Lynn (01:02:13) –  I said to them, do I get a discount? Let me know their standard size. Okay. Have to be. And they dig a certain depth so that. Yeah, certain creatures don’t have a field day. Yes. I don’t want my dog digging me up.

Katy Ripp (01:02:30) –  I mean, she would.

Lynn (01:02:31) –  Pearl the other day was in the dog park, digging like crazy. I mean, and all you could see it. Pearls, £85 and mostly £85 of ass. She’s got the biggest behind ever.

Katy Ripp (01:02:43) –  So she’s a Bernie, right? She’s part Great.

Lynn (01:02:46) –  Pyrenees, oh. Part gold.

Lynn (01:02:48) –  So you see this big blonde rear end, that’s all you see in town is sand or pearl? No. No response three times. And I said to him, she can hear you just fine.

Katy Ripp (01:02:59) –  You don’t have to repeat it. I mean.

Lynn (01:03:00) –  She knows your calling.

Katy Ripp (01:03:02) –  She’s busy digging the whole.

Lynn (01:03:03) –  Yeah.

Katy Ripp (01:03:04) –  No, no, nothing. Nothing, nothing. Then she looks up like.

Lynn (01:03:08) –  So he wanted me.

Katy Ripp (01:03:10) –  On my time. Everything. Yeah. Oh, thank you for being here. We’ll have you back, I could talk. Amazing. We’re going to do it again, I mean. Yeah. This was good. Thank you. Yeah.

Lynn (01:03:23) –  And I hope somebody out there, you know.

Katy Ripp (01:03:26) –  Well, it hit me so good. Okay. Mission accomplished. There you go. There you go.

Katy Ripp (01:03:33) –  And that’s a wrap on today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed diving deep into the world of living authentically with me. Before you go, don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram. Shoot me a message at Katy Ripp. I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and connect with you further. And remember, if you want more details on today’s episode or just want to explore more about designing your life unapologetically, head on over to my website at Katy Ripp dot com. There you’ll find all the juicy details and resources you need to keep the inspiration flowing.

Lastly, if you’d like to join me on the show, whether it’s to tell about your experience of designing your own life, to share your expertise, or if you’d like to participate in lifestyle coaching live on air, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your story could inspire countless others on their own path to living authentically. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep living boldly designing your life. And remember, #ActuallyICan. 

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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