Coping With The Emotional Residue Of A Life-Threatening Illness with Cheryl Krauter

There are many stages one goes through when facing a life-threatening illness. First is the initial diagnosis when decisions are being made regarding treatment. Then there is the treatment stage: depending on the course of treatment, this stage can be quite brutal. These stages are followed by the post-treatment stage which has no expiration date. When going through a catastrophic illness, a patient is usually surrounded by a team of health professionals and, if they are fortunate, family and friends. The stage of post-treatment is rarely acknowledged and is often experienced as a wall of silence. There are no more appointments and schedules to keep. Friends and family may not want to remind us of our recent ordeal and they may be exhausted by their efforts at caregiving. This can be a very lonely time and one of hypervigilance. Cheryl Krauter gives practical advice for coping with the residue of living beyond the illness. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Cheryl Krauter, MFT is a marriage and family psychotherapist with almost 40 years of experience in the field of depth psychology. Her own voyage through cancer combined with her experience as a therapist brings a unique perspective to her clients. She conducts talks and workshops on living with the uncertainty of life-threatening illness.

Cheryl Krauter is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Cheryl Krauter go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How to work with a “new normal” after treatment of life-threatening illness
  • How to work with living with uncertainty
  • Why does Krauter use the term “survivor”
  • What is the power of telling and writing our story and working with fear, depression, and grief
  • What can we say to someone even long after treatment of a life-threatening illness
  • What are the different layers we may go through when surviving a life-threatening illness
  • What are some questions we can ask our doctor about the diagnosis
  • Why is it important to have someone go with you to your doctor’s appointment in the early stages of diagnosis
  • What should we be aware of after treatment
  • How can we be more compassionate towards health care professionals when certainty is not guaranteed
  • What is her advice for working with both professional and non-professional caregivers
  • What is her advice regarding the tyranny of positive thinking
  • What is her advice regarding researching on the internet and consulting “Dr. Google”

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 8/24/2017         Program Number: 3620

The Healing Powers Of Cats And Dogs with Carlyn Montes De Oca

Carlyn Montes De Oca describes how she became guardian of many rescue animals. She uses the term “guardian” instead of the more common term “pet owner” because, “We are here together and I think of guardianship in terms of our environment, in terms of our world. I think it’s a healthier place in many ways to come from instead of ownership. . . I started applying that term not only to my dogs but to my stepchildren. I never liked stepmom but guardian somehow made it feel like it’s more of an allowing place.” She goes on to share with us the “superpowers” that dogs and cats have that can help us on many levels: mind, body, and spirit. She encourages us to consider volunteering at an animal shelter, which will not only benefit the animals but has great health benefits for us as well. She also has many creative ideas for how to choose an animal that fits our lifestyle, and even ideas as to how to “share” dogs or cats and be able to spread out the responsibility and the financial expense of them. She shares this powerful statement with us: “Think of the side effect of having a companion animal in your home. A side effect of unconditional love, companionship, friendship, loyalty, kindness. If somebody were to give you a medication for all those things, how much would you pay for that? Here are these perfectly adoptable, wonderful animals . . . I would say please adopt and don’t shop.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Carlyn Montes De Oca is an acupuncturist, plant-based nutritional consultant, and animal-human health expert. A former film editor for Lucas films and spokesperson for the Guardian Campaign at In Defense of Animals, she is the founder of The Animal-Human Health Connection.

Carlyn Montes De Oca is author of:

To learn more about the work of Carlyn Montes De Oca go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How her cats helped her through depression, anxiety, and insomnia
  • Why Montes De Oca uses the term “animal guardians” rather than “animal companions” or “pet owner”
  • What are some superpowers that our dogs and cats have
  • What is an observation about President Trump not sharing his life with a dog or cat
  • How studies show that a child’s immunity system is developmentally stronger when they have an animal in the house
  • What are some emotional and physical health benefits of sharing our life with a dog or cat
  • How animals can help bolster our Emotional Quotient (EQ) and teach us empathy
  • What was her experience with dog whisperer, Cesar Millan
  • What are some thoughts of rescuing animals during climate disasters
  • How do colleges use animals to help students with stress
  • How dogs are used with inmates in prison programs
  • Stories of the healing powers she and her clients have experienced
  • What are the benefits of volunteering at an animal shelter
  • How dogs, most especially, are loyal, deep listeners, and can be our cheerleaders
  • How animals can teach us the lessons of forgiveness

Host: Justine Willis Toms             Interview Date: 9/1/2017             Program Number: 3621

Rewiring Our Pain Pathways with David Hanscom, M.D.

David Hanscom describes two sources of pain: “The source of pain can be non-structural, which is inflammation of tendons and ligaments. Probably 90% of pain in the body has to do with the size of the blood vessels, inflammation, etcetera, but you can’t see it on a test. So we call that non-structural. The second source I call structural. In other words you have a bone spur with matching symptoms. That’s a structural problem. The only time that surgery is effective is if you have a structural problem that you can correct. You can’t surgically correct pain unless you can see the source.” He goes on to talk about how we create “pain circuits” and how they are permanent and can’t be unlearned although you can create new pathways around the old pain pathways. He says, “If you are “managing” your pain you are concentrating on the pain . . Chronic pain is unresolvable by trying to resolve it.” He also talks about anger and anxiety and giving up the habit of being in pain. And he suggests a process of expressive writing in order to circumvent our “pain circuits”. Writing down your thoughts is the first step in physically separating from these thoughts. He has further suggestions as to how to release them. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


David Hanscom, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine problems in all areas of the spine. He has expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis. A significant part of his practice is devoted to performing surgery on patients who have had multiple prior spine surgeries. He works for Swedish Neuroscience Specialists in Seattle, Washington with eight neurosurgeons and a physiatrist. Besides performing surgery, when it is called for, he advocates a comprehensive and effective program of pain reduction he labels DOCC (Defined, Organized, Comprehensive Care), which takes into account the Mind/Body Syndrome.

He’s the author of:

To learn more about the work of Dr. David Hanscom go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Hanscom’s personal experience with pain
  • What is the way the nervous systems works with pain
  • What is the difference between structural pain and nervous system pain
  • What are pain circuits and what are some antidotes to them
  • What is the process of expressive writing
  • What are the success rates of reducing pain by lower-back surgery
  • Why there is never a single answer for chronic pain
  • Why anger makes us feel powerful
  • Why sleep is important to our health
  • What is Hanscom’s advice regarding meditation and expressive writing as a healing process
  • Why emotional and physical pain are considered equivalent by the brain
  • Why we tend to get into the habit of being in pain

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 7/22/2017          Program Number: 3618

Principled Design Based On The Laws Of Nature with William McDonough

What is meant by the idea of “Cradle to Cradle?” What is the difference between technonutrients and bionutrients and how can we safely recycle both? How can we turn sewage treatment plants into nutrient management plants? What is happening in China? William McDonough says, “Things are designed to either go back to biology or back to technology without contaminating each other. . . Technonutrients can be recaptured to be reutilized forever, in safe healthy ways.” He tells us that we can and must design things to go back into an intelligent material pool for human benefit without contaminating the environment. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


William McDonough is an anticipatory design architect. But more than that he is a philosopher for the 21st century and is asking some of the most critical questions we should be thinking about in these challenging times. He’s the former Dean of the Architecture Department at the University of Virginia, and was named “Hero of the Planet” by Time magazine. He’s also the winner of three U.S. presidential awards including the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development.

He is the author with his partner, Michael Braungart, of:

To learn more about the work of William McDonough go to and

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is meant by the idea “Cradle to Cradle”
  • What is the “technosphere” and why must it be kept separate from the biosphere
  • What is meant by accruing a “materials bank”
  • What is the difference between a consumer and a customer
  • How China is looking at sustainable development
  • How we can turn sewage treatment plants into nutrient management plants
  • How humans can become tools of the natural world once more

Host: Justine Willis Toms       Interview Date: 11/15/2012       Program Number: 3455

Tar Sands Devastation

Even with the price of crude oil low, there are still companies investing in and working the vast bitumen mines in Alberta, and building pipelines to refining and shipping points. The local devastation is massive and the effects on local and global environment worse. Activists from Canada and Texas speak.


Osprey Orielle Lake, President of the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus; Crystal Lameman, a Beaver Lake Cree from Alberta working with Sierra Club and Indigenous Environmental Network Alberta; Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a Lubicon Cree environmentalist from Northern Alberta, working with Greenpeace and the Indigenous Environmental Network; Julia Trigg Crawford, Manager of her family’s farm in northeast Texas, in court against TransCanada’s condemnation of their land; Eleanor Fairchild, 78-year-old farmer from eastern Texas working to defend her land against the Keystone XL pipeline; Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe indigenous rights activist and environmentalist, and Executive Director of Honor the Earth. (NOTE: First aired in 2013. The mining has slowed for now with the price of crude temporarily low, but the struggle against the pipeline goes on and on.)


Produced by Melinda Tuhus; series producer, Frieda Werden. 

The Arrival: Trump’s Travel and Refugee Ban

Leading up to the US Supreme Court hearing on Trump’s travel ban, we’ll hear about the orders impact on people from affected, Muslim-majority countries, and how advocacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations are responding. On this edition of Making Contact, we begin with the story of a woman who was in flight to the US when President Trump signed his first travel ban.

Nisrin Abdelrahman, Stanford PhD student in Anthropology; Zahar Billoo, civil rights attorney and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area chapter.


Host: Monica Lopez
Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Marie Choi, Monica Lopez, R.J. Lozada
Executive Director: Lisa Rudman
Audience Engagement Director: Sabine Blaizin
Development Associate: Vera Tykulsker
Contributing Producers: Nisrin Abdelrahman, Helvia Taina, An-Li Herring, Eileen Williams

Special thanks to the Stanford Storytelling Project and State of the Human podcast managing producer, Jake Warga.

Cultural Baggage – Legalizing Weed in Canada

Today on Sprouts, we’ll hear the latest from Cultural Baggage, a weekly half-hour program hosted by Dean Becker. Cultural Baggage is a part of Drug Truth Network from Pacifica’s KPFT in Houston. The program focuses discussion on the war on drugs, with topics ranging from medical marijuana and sentencing reform, to racial profiling and police corruption. Today’s segment will feature a conversation with Jodie Emery and Matt Elrod on the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

Find archives of past shows on

ARTSPEAK RADIO with Kat Husk, Samantha Slupski, & ArtsKC

Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017

Host/producer Maria Vasquez Boyd talks with painter/sculptor/photographer Kathryne Husk, poet/writer Samantha Slupski, and ArtsKC.

Kathryne Husk is an award winning and nationally exhibited artist. She was the recent subject of the short documentary “Kathryne: Uncensored”, and her artwork and poetry has been published in various literary journals. Kathryne’s activist work has lead to numerous lectures and presentations on Intersectionality and issues facing the disability community, while her current focus is bringing awareness to the lack of accessibility within the Kansas City arts scene.​
In my current series, I intend to initiate a dialogue about issues facing the Persons with Disabilities community through the use of mythological and contemporary symbolism and the female form. By incorporating symbolic elements of struggle in my figures, my art serves as a form of activism by functioning as a voice for myself and others within the disabled community.
Inspired by feminist revolutionaries, iconography, and the political elements of street art, my work explores cultural ideas of female nudity, and the empowerment that is emblematic in nude representations of the disabled. While my figures have a poetic vulnerability, my work has an overarching narrative of strength in the face of oppression. My intention is to break down the barriers of how disabled bodies are viewed in contemporary art and in society.

Samantha Slupski is a 23-year old poet and mental health advocate. She currently serves as the Slam Master for Kansas City Poetry Slam, Executive Director of Poetic Underground, and a board member for Fountainverse, the small press poetry festival in Kansas City. She is an ARTSKC Inspiration grant recipient, a competitor in Texas Grand Slam 2016 and 2017, and was published through EMP Press in January 2017, as well as various online journals. Her main focus is using the power of poetry to save lives. She feels it is so often that we are left alone in this world, and poetry gives us the chance to reconnect, relate, and heal. She believes poetry can save lives because it saved hers.

ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council was founded in February 1999. ArtsKC was started as a result of a community-wide planning process facilitated by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and supported by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. ArtsKC has developed programs and services designed to “unleash the power of the arts.” This includes programs for the arts community, the business community, and services to the civic community. Today, we serve Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties in Missouri.
ArtsKC acts as a central hub of information, resources, and support. Each specific program or service we provide to artists, arts organizations or the community at large was developed to address a need within our local arts ecology. ArtsKC continually assesses and adjusts our services to respond to the needs of our growing arts community.
ArtsKC serves as the voice for the arts in civic dialogues. By working closely with both the arts and business communities, we keep informed of challenges and provide a forum for the community to discuss current issues and opportunities. ArtsKC promotes networking, learning, and collaboration among the arts and business communities.
Kansas City is one of the largest regions in the United States that does not have an established source of dedicated public funding for the arts, which is crucial to the long-term health of our arts community. Securing sustainable public funding for the arts is a long-term goal of ArtsKC, and perhaps one of the most important. In 2007, ArtsKC started the ArtsKC Fund, a united arts fund. The ArtsKC Fund support arts organizations and artists through a competitive grants system.
Have questions about our work? Join us for an ArtsKC Lunch and Learn or give us a call at 816.221.1777.