9 signs you might be a proactive patient
Posted July 23rd, 2018
“What can we do in addition to what you’re prescribing?” we asked the medical professionals. My husband, Gary, and I knew we didn’t want to sit around hoping surgery or treatment was all he needed; we instinctively wanted to be proactive in facing down cancer. I remember exactly where I was when my cell phone rang. […]
Cancer as a gift? No, thank you.
Posted February 19th, 2018
I walked beside my husband, Gary, with late stage prostate cancer for several years longer than the professionals originally projected. Ten burbling, courage-filled, memory-making, oddly-sweet years. The experience taught us to notice life, and all the simple pleasures we hadn’t meant to take for granted, and all the astonishing people who surrounded us in love. […]
Cancer and Counter-Culture Courage
Posted February 16th, 2017
Since bringing my 89-year-old mother-in-law, Ivalene, home from the hospital where she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we’ve both been hit with the upper respiratory plague that’s been going around. The most energy I’ve expended has been in heating up chicken broth, making mugs of TheraFlu, and throwing a fleece blanket into the dryer to tuck around […]
When Your Partner is in Denial About Cancer
Posted January 18th, 2017
I recently spoke with a woman who was stressed because her husband has cancer and he seemed to be in denial over the seriousness of his situation. What was especially upsetting to her was that he didn’t want to address any end of life issues like drafting a will. I’ve been mulling this over ever […]
Helping Those We Don’t Like
Posted September 15th, 2016
In my columns, I often suggest practical ways to help people with cancer. Giving support to nice people is relatively easy. You want to bring them soup and give them a hug. But contrary to what you see in the movies, not everyone with cancer is angelic. Some of us are cranky. Others are downright […]
Is There Anything I Can Do For You?
Posted August 9th, 2016
Spoken one way, it ends conversation and doubles the distance between me and, my friend, my tennis mentor, who now in his early eighties is dealing with a medical crisis. Spoken that way, it is nothing more than a social convention. He knows I really can’t help him, and he knows I don’t have the […]
Your Path Has Been Redirected By Cancer: Now What?
Posted May 2nd, 2016
What circumstances have redirected your path? Cancer or other serious illness? Job loss? Or job change and subsequent relocation? Financial reversals? Death of a loved one? Widowhood?
Spouses Should Support, Not Direct, Cancer Care
Posted April 28th, 2016
I frequently hear cancer patients say that a spouse or partner is adding stress to their lives by constantly expressing their own opinions as to what is best for the patient. Here are some examples: “You have to go to New York City for all of your cancer treatments. You can’t get good care anywhere […]
Living with a Rare Cancer
Posted March 31st, 2016
The most common cancers in adults are prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal. Combined, these cancers account for nearly half of all cancer diagnoses. Other relatively common cancers include melanoma, kidney, leukemia and bladder. If you were diagnosed with breast cancer this past year, you might be comforted (and/or disturbed) to learn that some 235,000 other […]
Take the right person with you to medical appointments
Posted January 29th, 2016
In a recent article, I encouraged people with cancer to take someone with them when they went to important medical appointments. When you hear the words, “You have cancer,” you tend to have trouble remembering anything else. Today, I want to suggest who to take with you on those appointments. Take someone who listens more […]