Living with Cancer as a Chronic Illness -Diana Sloan

When you hear you have stage IV cancer, it is hard to wrap your head around the connotations that go with the news. Immediately your mind goes to this is the worst possible diagnosis. What do I do now? As you discuss options or the lack thereof with your doctor, the fear and uncertainty can be overwhelming. You just want it gone and, if your doctor says they cannot remove it, it is easy to fall into hopelessness. But I …

Five Years

~By Diana Sloan

For cancer patients, the five-year mark can mean different things. For some, it may be five years since diagnosis. For others, it could be five years without evidence of disease which cuts down the chances of a recurrence dramatically. I hit my five-year mark since diagnosis on December 12th; but, for people like me, it is completely different. I am a stage IV colorectal cancer patient, and I am incurable.

When I found out my staging, I …

Thankful For…

By Kenny Toye

I’m thankful for cancer because it taught me how to use everything I have to survive.

Sitting on a fake, deteriorating, peeling leather couch. Trade winds blowing through the 267 square foot apartment. Inhale the potpourri of the neighbors cooking their delicious, greasy breakfast. The sound of the sirens and cars are the soundtrack to this beautiful moment in time where everything is picture perfect.

The previous paragraph isn’t most people’s idea of paradise. Paradise is a …

Another 10

A tumor was removed along with my spleen and part of my pancreas on 12/27/2007. It was the 4th time cancer returned to my body after the initial stage IV diagnosis in 2004. My cancer was always unusual. Instead of spreading to lymph nodes, liver, and lungs which is typical in colorectal cancers, mine went straight to my ovaries. Then it came back in my small intestine, twice, peritoneum covering my bladder and finally my spleen. In 14 years of …

I’m Still Me

– By Diana Sloan


To say everything changes with a cancer diagnosis is the understatement of the century. Of course, there is all the medical stuff, planning normal life around appointments, and just adjusting to feeling sick and worn out. Another aspect that changes dramatically is your relationships. They can be strengthened or fall apart. With people I am really close to, the biggest shift seems to be with what they share with me in their lives.
Let’s face …

Creating Experiences to Last a Lifetime

Guest Blog By Sarah DeBord


On the night I was diagnosed, I came home and nursed my baby boy to sleep through uncontrollable tears. As is the case with most babies, he was obsessively in love with me and I with him. My only thought as I stared down at him was if I would live long enough for him to know how much I loved him. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would die before he and …

Let’s talk about sex……AND cancer.

By Riley Lewis Castro

When most people think of sex, the last thing they think about is cancer. That is not the case for me, or the millions of other people in the world that have had the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your outlook) ‘honor’ of experiencing this wonderful disease. I have attended many cancer related functions; and, other than cancer, they all have one complaint in common. Sex and the lack of education survivors are given before, during, …

When Did that Even Happen?

By Diana Sloan


When we are fortunate enough to have our parents with us to a ripe old age, we often end up becoming their caretakers. We return the love and care they gave us when we were unable to care for ourselves. We expect and accept that this is the way of things. It may be hard on both parties to admit the roles have changed due to illness or frailty, but we do it. We take care …

The Talk I Never Wanted to Have

By Diana Sloan

When you have incurable cancer and children, the talk about death is inevitable. But, man, do you really try to avoid it. Not because we shouldn’t talk about death with our kids, but because it is a specific discussion about your death. And like any parent, you want to protect your child from all the pain in the world. Especially this pain.
So when my eight year old daughter snuggled up beside me on the couch this …

Fighting the Fight: Through a Caretaker’s Eyes

By Kristina Smith

After my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, had a total colectomy, then being reopened, to allow his abdominal wound to heal from the inside out, body issues were a daily struggle for him. A confident, well-built man in his thirties, he now had an abdominal opening that began under his rib cage to below his belly button. There were also issues of having to use the bathroom seven to nine times a day, the