Posts in category "Uncategorized"

My doctor fired me because I wrote him this letter

I went for a regular mammogram last week. On Monday evening the results were posted on the main portal for the Advocate system. The report said there was an indistinct 7mm oval mass. I now need a diagnostic ultrasound. On Tuesday morning I called my doctor at 6:45 a.m. It turned out that he was... Read more »

Anxiety: the present moment is better than trying to live in the future

Anxiety: the present moment is better than trying to live in the future
Your life supposedly flashes before your eyes just before you die. I have no idea if that’s true, but we’ve seen it depicted in movies and fiction so often that it feels true. My experience of anxiety is like this, only backwards. What I mean is that anxiety, as I experience it, is the future... Read more »

Life is sometimes a surprise and a delight: thankful for a miniature murmuration of starlings

I don’t know what Leonard Cohen had in mind when he sang about a bird on a wire. I’ve always imagined it was a caged bird. But yesterday, I wondered if he was writing about Starlings. I was sitting at a stop light, behind a woman who was determined to drive six miles below the... Read more »
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In tough times, art can make our communities better: cancer posters from the 1930s

This was created by Vera Bock. One of the agencies mentioned, The Women's Field Army of the American Society for the Control of Cancer, helped to more firmly establish the work of the American Cancer Society. Women have always been critical to the work of the cancer community.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Works Project Administration in 1935 to get unemployed Americans back to work. This history is familiar to me. However, I’d never heard of the Federal Project Number One, which was a program committed to including art projects in the WPA. Writers and artists, musicians and actors were included, their work taken seriously and... Read more »

Months have passed and Brian is still a survivor of pancreatic cancer, one day at a time

Months have passed and Brian is still a survivor of pancreatic cancer, one day at a time
November is Pancreatic Awareness Month. A friend and reader, Jennifer Bannan, told me about her husband’s experience with pancreatic cancer when I was doing some research. She is such a lovely writer, that I asked her to write a guest blog post. Please “like” her piece and share it. We’ve made woefully little improvement with pancreatic... Read more »

Trump's presidency will hurt the cancer community; that's bad for everyone

Trump's presidency will hurt the cancer community; that's bad for everyone
By all accounts, Donald Trump is going to have a busy first day as President. Among many other things he claims to do is to destroy the Affordable Care Act. According to his website: “On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” When people say... Read more »
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Trump won, but "hope will never be silent"

Trump won, but "hope will never be silent"
It’s almost midnight, and I’m waiting for the announcement that Trump has won. As the guests at my election party left one by one, worried, heads down, distraught, I found myself calming down. I’m rarely the calm one in the room, rarely the strong one. But calm descended on me. I hear the word “hope”... Read more »

Happy birthday from your favorite daughter, a few days late

Happy birthday from your favorite daughter, a few days late
When I was little, I used to think that everyone celebrated your birthday by dressing up in their favorite costumes. I was always a gypsy because I got to wear makeup and large hoop earrings, lots of mom’s jewelry. Michael and I once took Jinx out to Trick or Treat with us, the proverbial sheet... Read more »

None of us deserves the cruelty or the grace: how Leonard Cohen helped me heal

Leonard Cohen just released a new album, “You Want It Darker,” and it has broken my heart. From one song to the next, I hear the voice of a man who is ready to die, who feels he has finished his work. I don’t believe in much, but I do believe in Leonard Cohen. And,... Read more »
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Writing is worth the struggle: it helps me understand my world

Writing is worth the struggle: it helps me understand my world
I’ve been struggling to write over the past week. It’s not that I lack ideas. My mind is swarming with them. I attended the BCAN Leadership Summit in Rockville, Maryland, last weekend, and it was amazing. I want to report on immunotherapies for bladder cancer and on the power of advocacy and about how good it... Read more »