Healthcare Professionals

Caring for My Dad as a Nurse Practitioner

by Jennifer McKenna, NP August 29, 2022

I have taken care of so many people throughout the years and cared about each of them in some way. Many made their way into my heart, some in unexpected ways. It all changed me. It used to make me sad and drain me and leave me without energy for myself and my family.

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The Interlude of Cancer

by Eleonora Teplinsky, MD

Breast cancer is unexpected.

Breast cancer is life-changing.

You cannot prepare yourself for what a cancer diagnosis will feel like and what cancer treatment will be like. You may have stood by the side of a family member or a friend as they navigated their own breast cancer journey. You may have participated in fundraising efforts and walked in a sea of women awash with pink to support breast cancer awareness and research efforts.

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I Am Not a Bridge

by Betty Roggenkamp, MSHC August 26, 2022

“You need to do something about this.”

My sister said to me in the midst of her cervical cancer chaos. This is when I learned that whole buildings on hospital campuses were devoted to caring for people with a cancer diagnosis. Frankly, I was a cancer muggle. My transition from cancer muggle to cancer caregiver was an abrupt unplanned crash course. Let me acknowledge that everything with cancer is abrupt and unplanned.

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My Work as a Death Doula

by Julia de'Caneva August 23, 2022

“Well, the results aren’t what we were hoping…” my doctor said, closing the door behind her. “But the good news is this usually responds really well to treatment, and you won’t have to do chemo.”

We talked for a while longer, and then she offered up, “I mean, I’ve seen people with thyroid cancer all over their body live another 20 years.”

I think it was meant to be soothing, but I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t quite relevant to me. Not to mention, it contradicted her speculation just moments ago that my chance of recurrence after surgery would be very low.

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My Path into the Cancer Field

by Alique Topalian PhD, MPH August 19, 2022

I was seven years old the first time I told my mom I wanted to grow up to be a “talking doctor.” If that does not scream childhood cancer survivor, I am not sure what does. I grew up knowing that I wanted to help others like myself, who faced cancer head-on and made it out on the other side. My family helped to found the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry because so many Armenians had registered to see if they were a match during my first diagnosis with AML.

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Embracing the Bittersweet

by Audrey Shimmel August 16, 2022

Life consists of moments: moments of joy, pain, wonder, and suffering. Life consists of moments: moments of growth and change, followed by periods of stability and stagnation. As a culture, we set our course trajectory at a young age through careful planning of momentous milestones. We dream about turning 16 and getting our first car, we dream about high school graduations, college life, finding love, starting a career, and a family. And I was no different; I had set my course at a young age and was focused on my path.

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De-stressing in Nature

by Lisa Nelson February 8, 2022

Nature has always been an important part of my life. Growing up in Jamaica, West Indies, I have always felt a deep connection with nature. I enjoyed walking barefoot in open fields of grass, “banana walks”, and fruit orchards.

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Tiger Trials

by Chelsea Morris October 22, 2021

Our knowledge about what breast cancer is, how it works, and treatments for it have come a long way from the first documented cases in 3000BC. At that time there was essentially no understanding about cancer, particularly metastatic types, and the mortality rate for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) sat solidly at 100% for many years.

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On Feeling Un-F***ed with Mindfulness

by David Victorson September 24, 2021

I just got back from co-leading a mindfulness in nature retreat in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with a group of eight incredible young adult women from across the country who didn’t know each other before they arrived, but are all card-carrying members of the same exclusive club to which none of them wants to belong.

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My Story as a Medical Professional

by Stefanie Thomas August 30, 2021

Since being invited and enthusiastically agreeing to write this piece and speak, my pretty much constant thought has been- “Oh crap, what did I agree to?”. I’ve started and deleted more drafts than I can count, talked through what I wanted to share with friends (and aloud to myself), and had serious regrets about not taking my therapist’s assigned journaling homework more seriously.

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