5 easy steps for creating cancer community

Alicia Rosales, survivorship program navigator at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, also serves on the board of River Discovery, an Idaho non-profit that offers white water adventures for people dealing with cancer.“Do you want to come on a 3-day camping/rafting adventure?” she asked. “As part of the volunteer staff?” Yeahhhh. ...more

Sarah’s poem - I am still me

My young cancer-widowed friend, Sarah, shared a couple of her poems recently. I was amazed. Beautiful stuff. She writes honestly and vulnerably—wondering if she’ll ever find who she is again—and yet her work is hope-filled. ...more

3 great reasons for gratitude

When cancer showed up (on top of financial setbacks), I’m sorry to say I did my share of whining. For the most part it wasn’t out loud, but there was a definite lack of gratitude in my heart for much of anything.There are some concepts, though, that we all sort of know. And one of those concepts is that whining achieves no good. At all. Eventually, gratitude became a critical member of our cancer team. ...more

I'm Terrified of Cancer

 Cancer is a boa constrictor which squeezes you from the inside and encapsulates the rest of your family into a smothering chokehold. Cancer is a terrorist which doesn’t discriminate. There are citizens in the United States (I’m passive aggressively referring to the Trump supporters) who have become so terrified of “Islamic terrorism,” they are suggesting we rewrite the entire doctrine on which our country was based....more

12 ways to get back into life with cancer

This past weekend was the annual Tour des Chutes — a multi-distance cycling event and walk/run in my hometown to local families dealing with cancer. Founded by cycling enthusiast and brain cancer survivor, Gary Bonacker, the event has surpassed the million-dollar mark in fundraising. Which is pretty amazing for a small-town, grassroots venture....more

What grief is not

This from an unknown author:Grief never ends. But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.When I read the first part — about grief never ending — I thought, That’s not true. Because it feels as if my grief over losing Hubby to cancer has ended. ...more

How loving someone is like moving into a house

When I married Hubby, we didn’t know each other very well. We met one weekend, wrote for nearly a year—continents apart—and then on our first date, he proposed.After that first date, I re-boarded a plane, and we planned a wedding and a future life together long distance. Which meant all our dating and getting to know one another took place after our wedding. ...more

What a great cancer support team looks like

A spontaneous group hug from The Littles—can you count all four heads?—took place at the train station in New Jersey after hanging out with the youngest of my support team members. (The Teens, of course, are way too cool to do group hugs. Not that either of them were even out of bed when this photo was taken, this being summer vacation.) ...more

5 Things They Never Tell You About Life After Cancer

They'll tell you how to cope during treatment, but life after cancer has its own battles. Because treatment ends, but cancer never truly leaves you. At 17, I fought an advanced form of cancer at a world-renowned hospital. I was given every form of support and educational resource possible, from counselors to peer mentors. What they didn't tell me is that after cancer, new battles will arise. I'm sure a few of these won't resonate with some survivors, but these are the things I wish someone had warned me about. ...more

How to dare greatly with cancer

Granddaughter Lilly, a black belt in Mixed Martial Arts, recently competed in a Tiger Schulmann MMA tournament and captured two third place finishes. On the way home, she FaceTimed and of course she was disappointed, because she has some rather nice first-place hardware in her room at home. ...more