The Simms/Mann - UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology is part of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Oncology.


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Insights Into Cancer – November 19, 2019

Cancer: Insiders and Outsiders

Presented by Michael Eselun, BCC

About the Lecture

Michael Eselun, BCC, Simms-Mann Center certified inter-faith chaplain shares reflections on the experience of being an insider or an outsider. The poet David Whyte writes, “There is no house like the house of belonging,” and yet the cancer experience can sometimes leave us feeling like we do not belong anywhere—at least not in the ways we did before—an outsider in every sense. Or, we might find ourselves belonging in a completely new way—perhaps within a new society of others in the “cancer club.” We were often taught as children, “Don’t talk to strangers,” and yet in our yearning to belong, comfort and connection can sometimes come from “perfect strangers.” This talk explores these themes and whether we can find peace within an ever-shifting reality in which we may sometimes feel like the insider and the outsider at the same time.

About the Speaker

Michael Eselun, BCC, has served as the chaplain for the Simms/Mann Center since 2009. He speaks extensively to doctors, nurses, social workers, patient populations and faith communities about his work-weaving stories with insight, vulnerability, and humor to wrap around the larger questions of life, mortality and meaning. He has a TED talk and has been published widely in journals and periodicals.

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