My Story

Why I Write…(scroll down for our video interview)

It’s probably fair to say that “let me explain” is not the most stellar introduction for a book. But I feel like I might as well be upfront with you and tell you that I am not a “real writer.” I am just a girl who started blogging about her Leukemia journey and can’t seem to stop.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (read: “abrupt and devastating interruption to life as you know it”). I spent 70 days in the hospital over the next 7 months. After the first week, my husband started a blog site so we could update people on my status. As I began feeling better, but still confined to the hospital room for 6 days at a time for chemo, my blog became cathartic in getting outside of my head. I started to share my fears, struggles, inspirations, and spiritual observations with those who read. I told on myself about the raw, messy, embarrassing and often ugly thoughts and feelings I had about what was happening to me and why.

Eventually I was even able to find ways to be grateful for what my disease had triggered in me and in my life. My blog went from updating people on the health and healing of my body to reflections on the health and healing of my soul.

What surprised was that even though I was often sharing about my own disease and what I was learning from the experience, other people seemed to relate and be encouraged by what I wrote. Like I said, I didn’t see myself as a writer (I had never written anything in my previous, pre-cancer life, nor did I want to), so this confused me. But my writing itself was not what was inspiring them. It was the connection they felt to someone who made them feel like they were not alone in their pain, their struggle; their weirdness, if you will.

I write a lot about cancer, addiction, and diseases of the soul. Diseases like worry, fear, control, comparison, resentment, just to name a few. Apparently, I am not the only one who has them. I used to worry that when my cancer went into remission, my writing would go into remission with it. But since the diseases of the soul, the “common plagues of the heart” as I call them, are chronic, it seems I will never run out of material.

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I have proven this to be true, since I this is the second addiction of my first book, Soul-Selfie, which covers the first 120 blogs I wrote during my Leukemia battle. Soul-Selfie: #NoFilter covers the aftermath.

Even though I write about a variety of topics, there is one theme that presents itself in every single entry: ME. My Soul. I write about what I observe, struggle with, screw up, celebrate, and grieve. I talk about what I believe in with all my heart, what I wish I could believe, and what I am completely confounded and confused by. I touch on territory in my soul that I have come to find out also exists in yours.

I love when I hear from someone who identifies with my craziness. Because that’s the beauty of it. We are not alone in our hurt, our failures, our passions, and our longing to be better than we are today. We’re not the only ones. What a relief.

When talking with my sister-in-law a few months ago, she said “it’s like God used cancer to root out a cancer in you that has nothing to do with cancer.” Ooohhh that’s good (she’s much deeper and more well-spoken than me). Yep. God went to town on my soul. And unfortunately, or fortunately, I think He’s got His work cut out for Him. I don’t see any end in sight, but I do see progress. And honestly, that’s probably the most one can hope for in this life.

So, why Soul-Selfie: #nofilter? Because I have wasted way too much time looking outward. Taking pictures of other people’s behavior and either judging it or trying to imitate it. Cancer and writing have been my cues to tap on that little icon on my “I”-phone camera and flip the focus back on myself.

Instead of focusing on you, I have to look at me. But as I take my Soul-Selfies and share them with you, maybe we can be broken and vulnerable together. We can remind ourselves that there is always hope and we are all in this together.

Can I have a WORD with you? Click here for Podcast

Video Highlights (minute markers)

00:27 Heather shares a bit of her background, from California, married for 30 years and 3 kids, empty nester, author of Soul-Selfie

1:28 Gary thanks Bruce Pulver, a Check Your Game”r” who shared his story and nominated Heather

1:58 Gary shares about his rock bottom experience that led to the words, check, your and game and have others share their stories

3:30 Gary shares words from Heather from her website (in essence, we are not alone)

4:10 Heather talks about a point when she had to check her game (forced to learn things the hard way)

4:47 Gary repeats another quote from Heather in regards to her cancer and asks Heather about it

5:18 Cancer and being at the hospital for over 35 days- had a lot of alone time (God informed her that she should stop worrying about others)

6:48 Heather shares about what she writes in her blog posts that started in the hospital and continued after

7:39 Adversity usually takes place before we make changes

8:25 Heather talks about SHOULD “ing” on herself and on others (tries to avoid that word now)/Church world/resentment, fear, anger and then the Leukemia

10:00 When there’s adversity in our lives, life can be unifying

10:24 Heather talks about getting better or bitter during her hospital stay

11:55 The blogs were about what Heather was going through 2 Cor. 1:4 God comforts us in our affliction so we can comfort others….

13:00 Talking about not waiting to get perfect before she writes about it/found it to connect with others much better

14:30 Heather’s favorite part of her story- bragging about how God gave her the ability to write (she never was a writer)

16:30 God can use our mess to encourage others (share your story)

17:40 Community is essential (we need each other to get through life)

18:28 Job in Las Vegas- didn’t work out/real estate license- then she got cancer 1 month later (God, this feels mean)

19:25 Heather realized that God’s plan is best when he took away her plans from minute marker 18:28

20:34 We need to cultivate the community before the adversity

21:55 The 2 plans that Heather had were changed by God/Heather’s advice to get community

22:49 “They treated me like I had cancer.”

23:50 People are all spiritually or physically sick with something- treat others with kindness and love

24:30 The sludge of the grudge- let some things go

25:26 2 books are discussed (fear, anxiety, control issues and things we struggle with)/read just one blog at a time!

26:55 Scroll down to learn more about her on her business card or got to

27:28 Heather shares about what areas she serves with her real estate/passes out her book to clients in order to connect with others

28:19 In her new book, there is a place in the back that you can use in a study (Heather will join by zoom at the beginning and end)

30:14 Gary thanks Bruce again and appreciative to get to know others (1 Thess 5:11- “Therefore encourage one another, lift one another up, just as you are doing.”)

30:75 Heather shares her last words (how to invite God into our lives/encourage people in the every day little things in our lives)

32:44 Gary finishes

Heather has Nominated (N) or Introduced (I) the following:



My business card

Heather Carter (Soul-Selfie)

author/speaker/spiritual growth

Soul-Selfie: Helping people harness hope and healing in the trauma, drama and minutiae of every day life. I am available for retreats, podcasts and book signings. I also have an outline of how to do a book study in the back of Soul-Selfie #NoFilter and am open to ZOOM intros for your group.

My typical customer

Anyone open to learning how to grow through whatever life brings them.

Contact me

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Peggy Bodde says:

Means so much when I’ve actually MET the person you’re interviewing! Heather! Thank you for sharing your story. I love your sense of humor, zest for life, and how authentic you are. Your words breathe HOPE. Enjoyed this, and I’m so glad we “met” on Zoom.

What an amazing story! It’s so awesome to hear the wisdom and love for people that has come from the transforming work that God has done in your life.

I am currently reading Heather’s book “Soul-Selfie. She writes candidly and vulnerably during her bout with Leukemia.

Heather, thank you for sharing your story. I am enjoying getting to know you better by reading your book. You have a knack for paralleling biblical truths with what you have gone through. And you are hilarious! Sometimes I just burst out laughing with the things you share in your book because I can so relate with what you share. I’ve experienced a range of emotions.

I really enjoyed your interview with Gary. God bless. Darci