Episode #015 Michelle Kaley // Parenting with Cancer

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Parenting with Stage 4 Melanoma

My friend Michelle Kaley is a force to be reckoned with. She is a fighter, and when you hear her story about parenting with cancer, I know you will agree.  And that is not the only mountain she has had to climb.  Michelle talks briefly about surviving an abusive childhood.  She also shares the unique way she met her husband and tells us about owning a dance studio that put her through college.Parenting with Cancer

She is a mama bear who always fights for her babies.  First through her struggle with postpartum depression.  Then later helping her son with a handful of uncertain challenges, all before the age of 2.  Her son was diagnosed with low functioning, non-verbal Autism, slight mental retardation, and sensory processing disorder.  The doctors set her down and told her he would be institutionalized by the time he was 12.  She thanked them for their help, but informed them they did not have a crystal ball.  And they did not know her son the way she did.

She did her research and found some amazing therapists to assist her in the journey.  And eventually relocated their family for what would be best for him. Listen to how all of that turned out.

Her oldest is a senior in high school, which is a tough transition for any mama, and if that isn’t enough, Michelle was diagnosed a year and a half ago with Stage 4 Melanoma which she is currently fighting. She is learning all about parenting with cancer, and we discuss that bleak word, terminal, and what it means to have stage 4 melanoma. She is optimistic as she looks ahead for treatments, and living life as a dance teacher, and found that distracting herself has been great for her morale.

Listen to Michelle’s podcast here:

Parenting with Cancer

{See more of the family pictures I took of them in 2011 along with the sock wars that she talks about in this episode}

Keeping Perspective During Cancer Treatments

I want my children to understand that happiness doesn’t come from anywhere else but themselves. They have a choice in how they live their lives.

Favorite scripture– Proverbs 4:5 Trust in the Lord in all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.

I love how she is empowering her children, and assuring them that they need to live their best life now.  One silly thing that I wanted to mention that I never got to during our chat was that throughout all of her chemo treatment, and everything that she’s been through, she still has her long, thick, gorgeous red hair. You’ll have to head to her show notes to see the picture, or chat on instagram. Find that at @capturingjoy.kristenduke. If this episode resonated with you, I’d love for you to leave a review on iTunes, I’d greatly appreciate it! I hope you have gleaned something from listening to help take your parenting Beyond Good Intentions.

See a few beautiful dance pictures she had taken in the past year or so:

Parenting with Cancer


Parenting with Cancer



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