Archive for May 2013

Talking about cancer at work

Talking about cancer at work
It isn’t easy to tell people that you have cancer. Of course, it isn’t always necessary either. But some people need to know. The people you work with, for instance, need to know. It’s hard to imagine a more challenging audience than colleagues and bosses and the consequences, real and imagined, can be daunting. Let... Read more »

Five songs for comfort

I am not a religious person, but since being diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been trying to be a more spiritual one. I’m learning that I always have been spiritual and that my holy texts are songs. Music anchors me and inspires me. It helps me cope. My saint and guru is Leonard Cohen. I bought... Read more »

Cancer etiquette: How to talk about “it”

Cancer etiquette: How to talk about “it”
Etiquette has everything to do with situation, context, timing, individuals, circumstances, and cancer etiquette is the same. Many of us respond to the awkwardness of talking about cancer the same way we do to the awkwardness of eating lobster in public. We don’t do it. I suppose if we take Hippocrates as our guide–first, do... Read more »
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Cancer Caregivers: 4 ways family is affected

Cancer Caregivers: 4 ways family is affected
It’s bad enough to cope with cancer for the person who has it. But for every one of us, there’s usually two or more family members directly affected and a network of friends and loved ones. Their lives are touched, too. They are cancer caregivers and I’ve noticed four ways they are affected. Roles change... Read more »

Double Mastectomy: Angelina Jolie’s choice is not advice

Double Mastectomy: Angelina Jolie’s choice is not advice
I heard on BBC’s World News today that Angela Jolie is advising women to have preventive double mastectomies. When I raced home to read her New York Times piece, “My Medical Choice,” I was relieved to see that, at least in this piece, she is doing nothing of the sort. I hope she never gives... Read more »

After you're diagnosed with cancer, time is the enemy and a gift

After you're diagnosed with cancer, time is the enemy and a gift
Time changes after you’re diagnosed with cancer. You lose the ability to imagine or to plan the future. The present is so suffocating that you can’t remember what it felt like before diagnosis. Time is the enemy at the very same time that it is a gift. “You have a tumor, and it’s cancerous” remakes... Read more »
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Learning to live with cancer: Stop buying pink ribbons and join the American Cancer Society’s Prevention Study-3

Learning to live with cancer: Stop buying pink ribbons and join the American Cancer Society’s Prevention Study-3
Awareness campaigns–think Susan G. Komen–don’t cure cancer. A recent article by Peggy Orenstein in the New York Times suggests that these campaigns may do as much harm as good by over-simplifying the disease, creating fear, and spurring unnecessary treatment and screening. We need to stop buying pink ribbons and invest in something that can help... Read more »