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Why them and not me?

 

I think every cancer patient asks why at some point? I know I did. Why did I get sick? Why did I get colorectal cancer under 50? Why me? I quickly realized there are no answers to those questions and stopped asking. But why has been creeping back into my mind a lot recently. This time the question is different. It isn’t about me and at the same time it is. I want to know why so many of …

Harvesting the Journey: Embrace, Empower, Endure

Embrace: to accept

As a pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner, I journey with patients and their families through the toughest of diagnoses, including disease-related pain and symptoms. I sit with them as they receive good and bad news, including conversations leading up to the last breath. As I reflect on the work I do, the word embrace takes on a much different meaning.

One of the favorite stories my husband Andy and I loved to share, was how we met. …

I Have Cancer: How Do I Tell My Children

Any parent can tell you, they have all had conversations that they would rather not have with their children. It could be the awkward puberty talk or confronting them about suspected substance abuse. If you are a new patient and a parent, you may be wondering how best to approach the subject of cancer. We asked our survivors what advice they had from their experiences sharing their diagnosis with their kids, and they delivered!

Many survivors say they struggle to …

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, …