Category: Illness

Young, Naive Cancer

Young, Naive Cancer
When I was 23, my fiancé was diagnosed with glioblastoma- terminal brain cancer. Most of our friends were graduating from college, getting jobs, enjoying the freedom that comes in the years after you turn 21 and you make all your biggest mistakes, but not us. Our lives revolved around chemotherapy, radiation, clinical trials, and managing... Read more »

An Adventure in Misdiagnosis, for Dysautonomia Awareness Month

An Adventure in Misdiagnosis, for Dysautonomia Awareness Month
I’ve recently learned that October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month, which I found utterly stunning. I thought dysautonomia was a rare disorder, incredibly rare. I was spectacularly wrong. However, it is often misdiagnosed. It takes an average of six years to diagnose dysautonomia. It took five years to diagnose mine. When I was eighteen, I started... Read more »

It's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, so here's an Expert!

It's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, so here's an Expert!
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. As you know, I write a lot about mental health, but today I want to hand over this platform to an amazing mental health warrior, Sarah Fader. She’s writing here today about being a mental health advocate for your children, because early intervention is the best intervention, and an active... Read more »
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Hot Dogs, Birthdays, and Life's Big Questions

Hot Dogs, Birthdays, and Life's Big Questions
Yesterday was my husband’s thirty-sixth birthday. He has lived a third of his life knowing he has brain cancer. At some point in all of our lives, we have an existential crisis. A moment where we wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “I’m going to die. One day, I’m going to be... Read more »

What Fear is Trying to Teach You in the Dark

What Fear is Trying to Teach You in the Dark
During my Complete Mental Breakdown(TM) a few years ago, I fantasized about my husband being killed. Stabbed on a dark train platform on the way home, he clutches his stomach as a small, faceless stranger disappears into the shadows. They take his computer bag, which is later found in a dumpster a block away. Or... Read more »

Names and Nightmares

Names and Nightmares
PTSD is a funny animal. And by “funny” I mean “not funny at all, fuck you PTSD.” Last week I posted about the reluctance of people in the lives of rape survivors to find out how closely they might be connected to an assailant. As you might expect, a few friends reached out to me... Read more »
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Reaching Back When You Reach Out

Reaching Back When You Reach Out
I write about a lot of things that people often don’t know how to talk about in person. Hell, I write about a lot of things I don’t know how to talk about in person. Part of that is the complexity of the social dynamics in a conversation (is this a person I can talk openly about... Read more »

Sit at a Typewriter and Bleed

Sit at a Typewriter and Bleed
I am writing a novel. I’m telling you this because I want the entire world to be as excited about it as I am, even though it (like pretty much everything I pour my soul into) is a heartbreaker. I am writing a novel. This is in between working three part-time jobs, taking care of... Read more »

Brain Diseases are Real Diseases

Brain Diseases are Real Diseases
You know how it seems like every month is something month? Like, last month was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, March was Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month? May is both Brain Tumor Awareness Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m sure this wasn’t exactly planned, but I think it’s meaningful that these two awarenesses are overlapping. Back before... Read more »
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A Letter from the Future

A Letter from the Future
Dear Lea, I am writing this letter for you to read the night after Mike’s surgery and diagnosis, once you’re sure all your houseguests are asleep. You won’t be sleeping anyway. Five days ago, on the happiest day of your life, Mike asked you to marry him. Four days ago he had a seizure and... Read more »