Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive ….

Dying to Live, Amy Susan Crohn, ImaginePublicity,Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

John Travolta’s character, (Tony Manero) In Saturday Night Fever was a carefree Brooklyn youth and dance idol on the weekends. His “star qualities” assisted him in temporarily forgetting the reality of his life: (i.e. a go nowhere job, conflicts with bickering parents, racial tensions in his community, and his “too cool, macho” friends.)

“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
Stayin’ alive….”


Amy Susan Crohn had her own Italian Stallion, Will, who stood vigil, was a devoted husband and gave Amy the fortitude to stay alive….

Constance Porter, a sophisticated magazine writer – photographer was in charge of the ship’s log in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 movie, Lifeboat.  “Providing she could show the copyright in all publications…”   The lifeboat held eight survivors following a Nazi torpedo attack. NOTICE THE FACT THAT CONNIE DRAGGED HER TYPEWRITER ON A LIFEBOAT!!! [Ladyjustice thinks that Amy Susan Crohn would have done the same thing…After all a girl has to make a living…life boat or no life boat!] Everyone has to STAY ALIVE!  See the classic trailer:

Such is the essence of life…whether real or imagined….. In Amy’s case, it was almost too tragic to be real…. But it was…. And…. make no mistake…her book, “Dying to Live; Running Backwards through Cancer, Lupus and Chronic Illness,” is definitely not just another tragic real life drama… for it has deep roots in medical research. Amy was the one to excavate information and innovate…. linking childhood deprivation and abuse to adulthood disease and chronic illness, in addition to the possibility of premature death…   Why is no one talking about this? Why don’t MDs know?

The “Shattered Lives” team, with Amy as guest, set out to make others aware of the emotional toll, and what “professional patients” and doctors need to do as soon as possible!

                    LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

  • Delilah on “Shattered Lives,” a radio show to learn from… as in life;
  • Introduction to our guest and her book;
  • Page 122:  “A medical rollercoaster” ;
  • Amy’s description of her journey – Stage Four Cancer and Lupus…. Close to Death…. And… the Aftermath that goes with it;
  • “The Statue” – A visualization…an alter ego, a barometer…
  • The need for bravery and doubt in the face of tragedy and chronic illness…;
  • The W’s…. What who, where, when, how, ….
  • Delilah asks, What compelled Amy to write her book?; Expressions of healing…
  • Ladyjustice’s  “aha” moments… matching her life and medical experiences with Amy’s;
  • A lawsuit …and no chance of winning;
  • A doctor without integrity…. “A MA…stake”
  • Delilah asks about Amy’s opinion on the care that is doled out versus the care that we really deserve?
  • The “Dear Doctor” story….  “Work with me….”
  • The “Horror” of being prepared;
  • Amy’s hope starting with Grand Rounds;
  • Ladyjustice asks about the important elements (i.e. the Ace Study-Adverse Childhood Experiences);
  • For over 20 years if  maltreated or suffered  trauma as a child, patients have an 87% likelihood of developing  physical, and psychological – psychiatric illness as an adult;
  • Question types discussed on the ACE;
  • Amy’s score on the test…
  • What’s the Resiliency Survey about?  Amy discusses other prerequisites needed;
  • If you have a score of one on the ACE, is it important?
  • Ladyjustice speculates on resiliency and premature death;
  • Amy discusses the  many difficulties of revealing your illness when you’re sick;
  • A discussion of toxic stress- trauma and “the roller coaster ride”
  • You want to get on with your life and not  have physicians “just treat the symptoms…”
  • Amy’s opinion on diseases of heredity and those we acquire “randomly;”
  • Coping with stress…. Bolstering the immune system;
  • Descriptions of Amy’s Mom and Dad…. What were the issues and how to deal?
  • Crying for help… but who listened?
  • Ladyjustice comments on the importance of having a home and her multitude of jobs to survive;
  • Delilah comments on Amy’s fortitude, her lack of nurturing childhood and losing it all….  She asks, “What did you gain?”
  • “The After Cancer Amy;” and “Earth is a School” according to Amy;
  • A sad commentary on her mother and father’s lives;
  • “When I don’t feel good, I really doubt myself…. “
  • Working for TV Cable Week – Amy’s gift and solace;
  • Foster parenting – a retrospective comment on what it was like then and now regarding child protective services;
  • Ladyjustice’s AMA vision for Amy;
  • ***Amy’s special message for a relative who made it all worth it….“the greatest gift”
  • Amy’s Contact Info:;
  • Amy’s Parting Message:  “We Don’t Cause our Own Illnesses….We Are Vessels… All things that come into out mind, body and soul are put there for a reason …..”

Questions You May Have…

  • What’s the difference between a misdiagnosis and a “missed diagnosis” and how did this pertain to Amy?
  • Of what value is “the Statue?”
  • What was the result of Amy’s doubting of her treatment plan?
  • How did Amy defy the authority of her initial Primary Care Physician, “Dr. C”?
  • What was the aftermath of the medical malpractice lawsuit – similar to the one on side effects of Xarelto or not that longlasting?
  • What was the outcome of the advice of Amy’s initial physicians?
  • Unfulfilled promises led to what kind of important patient tool?
  • How can we make doctors care about the entire patient instead of “check  the box” items?
  • Where is further research being conducted regarding ACE?
  • What is the benchmark score that would predict the likelihood of adult illnesses?
  • What happens after the ACE Study?
  • What populations were tested with the ACE Survey and what are the implications?
  • What’s the Number 1 cause of premature death?
  • Does it really matter what happened for the first 18 years of your life?
  • Do we cause all of our medical problems?
  • What were the family relationships in Amy’s quest for survival?
  • What is the significance of the location of Amy’s tumor?
  • What were the happy things?
  • What was the history of child protective services and the trends today?

Postscript from Ladyjustice:

A very special message-  a 3 minute 57 second video “Her Diamonds” from Rob Thomas who is the songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty, as well as a solo artist who has performed with many other musicians, earning three Grammys co-writing with Carlos Santana on the hit track “Smooth.”   The song, “Her Diamonds”  references his wife Marisol‘s auto-immune disease.

From Wikipedia:

Thomas and his wife Marisol Maldonado married on October 2, 1999 and currently live in Bedford, New York. The couple also have a home on Lake Marion in Manning, South Carolina. Thomas has a son named Maison (born July 10, 1998) from a previous relationship. The Thomases are committed animal lovers and supporters of animal charities.

Rob and his wife have established the Sidewalk Angels Foundation,[9] a non-profit organization created to help needy people in and around America’s big cities by partnering with various charities to assist people who cannot afford medical care, and animals that have been abandoned or abused.

Beautiful composition and interesting coincidences!

‘For you too Amy Susan…


The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.


  1. I’ve read Amy’s book, “Dying to Live” and I urge everyone to read it too… especially if you are suffering from chronic illness or have had childhood trauma…even if you’d just like to read about a real life love story that defied all odds (e.g., the “Italian Stallion” mentioned above), or just enjoy a good read!

  2. Pat!Thanks for your great comments and support of my blog and radio show…I hope you’ll pass on to others. Amy’s book content and the research has wide applicability. We all need to educate others about the links. Ladyjustice

  3. Amy’s book is a true story of survival. IT is hard to imagine putting all of these thoughts and feelings down on paper but she has done it with a great deal of power. No “I feel sorry for myself” from this author but a true statement of facts as it pertained to her. A must for anyone going through a traumatic situation especially when dealing with doctors. She learned to fight for herself and not listen to someone when her inner voice was telling her “this is not the way for me”. Courage, love and strength are what she is made of and it is reflected in her book. A must read.

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