The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.


The stories and experiences are written by people after cancer treatments. These stories are written for those learning how to get back to work, college or just trying to be themselves again. Just getting past treatments isn’t enough, it is surviving and thriving that is key to being you again.

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Eyes of an Advocate

by Tara Smith February 15, 2023

We all know that 2020 was quite the year for all of us. The global pandemic shut everything down. Life as we knew it completely changed.

Imagine you’re a young adult, working, just trying to survive, hustling, and grinding away….and then finding out you have cancer.

I was 31. I was working a retail position and getting ready to move into my first apartment, had a date set and everything… 

Let me take you back…


Dear Cancer, For the Love of Food

by Carrie Tam February 14, 2023

Dear Cancer, 

You have taken away my love for food but only temporarily! I am a self-proclaimed super-taster and foodie, and what you have taken from me, especially on the days after chemo, is indescribable and insufferable. Instead of thinking about the joy that food brings, I wake up agonizing over what I can eat without throwing up or feeling nauseous.


Loving My Sick Body

by Stefania Erazo February 12, 2023

My disease was of the blood, and although it could not be seen, it left traces on my skin.

After the bone marrow transplant, my skin turned to paper. It is very sensitive to everything. It reacts with outbreaks of all kinds—it constantly peels, is depigmented, and has many scars.


How Cancer Changed my College Plans

by Brianna Marie February 3, 2023

I hit the jackpot of winning the medical diagnosis lottery right out of the gate. I was born with a condition that has involved many surgeries over the last 20 years.

I graduated high school in 2020. As a person with many medical conditions, this was an accomplishment. I was ready for college. I was accepted to multiple colleges and chose one close to home. I was ready.


The Switch: Going from Recreational to Medicinal

by Kimber Harris February 2, 2023

High! – I’m Kimber Harris. I am a Stage IIIA Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Ductal Carcinoma in-situ survivor. I was diagnosed in December of 2019. I support adult recreational and medicinal cannabis use. I am a regular contributor to Elephants and Tea magazine and serve on the Patient Advisory Committee. I am an advocate for people and plant medicine.


Social Work is my Super Power

by Aileen Burke January 31, 2023

“So we looked at the results of the biopsy,” the nervous Physician’s Assistant kept shifting his weight back and forth and back and forth. He snapped his left glove a few times. “…and the results did indicate cancer…We don’t know how far along it is really, so we need some more tests…”

I laughed. Loudly. Right in his face. I was receiving the most devastating news of my entire life up until that point and I laughed.


Sexual (Dis)Function

by Jacqlyn Beatz January 27, 2023

It was 2012, and I was seated in business class expecting a mundane three hour flight to meet a client. My seat mate I will refer to as “Sally.” Sally was digging through her purse in a bit of a tizzy. Finally, she found her magic pills. Sally turned to me and said, “I can’t believe no one ever tells us what happens during menopause, I want to warn you of the terrible things it can do to you.”


The Life and Death of My Career

by Stephanie Millett January 26, 2023

When I was 22, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. When I had first started attending college I really wanted to write, which is funny because in my 30s, it is now what I do. I kind of fell into hairdressing back then, but what I found in that decade-long career was the person I had always wanted to be. I was confident, I dressed how I wanted to dress, and I loved being behind the chair. 


Replacing Myself

by Meagan Shedd January 23, 2023

“Everyone is replaceable, Dr. Shedd.”

She stares steadily at me in defiance from the back corner seat, arms folded across her chest. Her backpack in front of her remains zipped, contents tucked inside, while her classmates continue to file into the classroom. Her seat is between two immense windows in the back, and I glance beyond her to see the snow is picking up, flakes landing on the shoulders of the students trudging across campus to their various classes.


Letting Me Be Me

by Vikki Ramdass January 22, 2023

This is a new and interesting topic for me, as I am usually ashamed to discuss my body issues with people. Being only 4 feet, eleven inches short, I was always heckled in school. I have heard so many comments about my height that I am used to it now.