Archive for June 2015

Changing my mind: I am ready to embrace being a survivor

Changing my mind: I am ready to embrace being a survivor
Two and half years ago, I wrote a blog post about the words we use to describe ourselves after a cancer diagnosis. I wrote that I was uncomfortable with being called a “survivor.” This was my thinking at the time: It takes quite a bit of confidence to describe yourself as a “survivor” of cancer.... Read more »

Even when I struggle to believe in me, I’m excellent at believing in you

It’s ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour! Here’s our assignment: “Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight’s challenge: Without trying to be humble, write about something you’re really good at.” When I was 11, my family and I had just moved to Kansas City, MO. It was a... Read more »

Don't say these things about cancer

Don't say these things about cancer
“That’s a bad one” The actor John Hurt has pancreatic cancer. When a friend posted a news clip about the diagnosis on Facebook, people said, in rapid succession, (and I paraphrase), “Oh, that’s a bad one” and “Only 5% of people survive that” and “He’s not long for this world.” No doubt they felt sad... Read more »
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The sins of our fathers: men I do not celebrate on Father's Day

The sins of our fathers: men I do not celebrate on Father's Day
My mother was an incest survivor. Her father was a hateful man. A WWII vet. Who knows what his eyes saw and his hands did? Who knows where the anger came from? Who knows why he did what he did to her? Repeatedly. My father’s father was a brute. Angry and violent, he beat his... Read more »

Cancer stories: making our wounds visible so they can heal

Cancer stories: making our wounds visible so they can heal
I’ve carried a little bit of shame and a lot of embarrassment about how I first reacted to hearing a doctor tell me that I had cancer. I’ve told the story before, but to set the stage, I had been admitted to the hospital and on the third day I was there thought I was... Read more »

If you want to get bladder cancer, I recommend smoking

If you want to get bladder cancer, I recommend smoking
I’ve written before about my torrid affair with smoking, about lying to my doctors for most of my life about smoking, and about the shame associated with contracting a “smoker’s” cancer. I smoked my last cigarette on August 27th of 2012. I didn’t know it was my last cigarette, but I haven’t smoked since being... Read more »
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