Archive for June 2013

Laughing in the Face of Cancer

Laughing in the Face of Cancer
The old commonplace is “laughter is the best medicine.” If laughing isn’t itself reward enough, consider that it has effects similar to exercise on your body. There’s no proof that it can improve your health, but I have no doubt at all that improves your life. I’ll be honest with you, I married my husband... Read more »

Advice for those Newly Diagnosed with Cancer

Advice for those Newly Diagnosed with Cancer
There are few things in this world harder to hear than, “You have cancer.” I was in a hospital bed, waiting to have what I thought would be a cystoscopy, which is a procedure where a scope is put into the urethra so that a doctor can see into the bladder. The day before, a... Read more »

Celebrities with cancer help us realize our potential

Patti Hansen, married to Rolling Stone Keith Richards since 1983, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and with bladder cancer in 2007. She had her bladder removed and is one of our best advocates for bladder cancer. When I read her story a few months after being diagnosed myself, I realized that I was going to be ok.
I am grateful for celebrities who have been public about their own experiences with cancer. They bring attention to symptoms and prevention and sometimes raise research dollars. Celebrities put a face on cancer. Admittedly, their faces are generally better looking than mine, but knowing that a successful, attractive woman has the same cancer that I have is... Read more »
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Using poems to cope with cancer

Using poems to cope with cancer
Writing helps me cope with having cancer, but sometimes it’s really hard to find the right words. Sometimes I have a clear point, a resource to share or a story to tell. Sometimes I only have feelings and images and stray thoughts. Here’s a confession: I’ve been writing poetry since I was a child, but... Read more »

This is why it matters that Angelina Jolie went public: SCOTUS bars gene patents

This is why it matters that Angelina Jolie went public: SCOTUS bars gene patents
It’s a rare day indeed when I agree with Clarence Thomas on anything. Even then, it’s hard for me to admit that I do in public. I’m doing so today because Justice Thomas wrote the unanimous SCOTUS decision that bars human genes from being patented. It’s good news for people with cancer, especially people, such... Read more »

Living with cancer: Gratitude

I am grateful for my husband and my daughter.
It’s easy to remember to be angry and frightened when you have cancer. That’s natural. It’s harder, at least for me, to be grateful. But, I have a lot to be grateful for. Here are 10 of them.
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Cancer Treatment Centers of America sells false hope

Cancer Treatment Centers of America sells false hope
Cancer Treatment Centers of America is to cancer treatment what Kaplan University is to education. Both are exploitive, make money from vulnerable people, and lie about their results. Both are for-profit corporations that gain much of their credibility from associating themselves with legitimate enterprises. (I’m pretty sure you’re not reading this blog to hear about... Read more »

Living with cancer: facing your own mortality gives you new eyes

Living with cancer: facing your own mortality gives you new eyes
Cancer changes your priorities. Small things, say a drop of water on a new leaf, seem more magical and special to me now. Big things, such as my daughter’s grades and waterproofing the basement, seem much smaller. Facing your own mortality gives you new eyes. Don’t think this means that we who have cancer all see... Read more »

I don’t want to live like this is my last day on Earth

I don’t want to live like this is my last day on Earth
Since August, when I was diagnosed with cancer, my attention is drawn any time there’s a television show about cancer or a commercial or billboard about cancer. I don’t know if it’s “new car syndrome,” wherein you see hundreds of cars just like yours right after you buy your car, or if pop culture actually... Read more »
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