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

AYA Cancer

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.


To Be Alive

by James Mitchell January 19, 2023

Much has happened since 2019, some good and some bad. In many ways, we live in a different world. Who in 2019 could have imagined that we would live through a dystopian novel in the years to follow? But, in my own life, the most notable event came during the summer of that year—the day I received a call that confirmed that I had, in a phrase taken from Susan Sontag, “entered the realm of the sick.”


Grief During the Holidays

by Christina McKelvy January 18, 2023

It is okay not to feel Joy when you hear “Joy to World.”

At this moment, as I walk through the stores and hear “Joy to the World,” I have a visceral reaction: I shudder. I want to walk out of the store and roll my eyes. I am not a grinch. I love Christmas; it is one of, if not my favorite holiday.


How Cancer Undid Years of Body Hatred

by Kimberley Bird-Parnell January 15, 2023

Cancer and I danced a pretty strong tango. In Mid-November 2021 I got to join the club no one wants to join; I was diagnosed with Primary Stage Triple Negative Breast Cancer, grade 3c, at the ripe young age of 33. I’d been having issues with a painful lump in my right breast for a few months.

I’d always been big chested from a young age and while others may see that as a blessing, for me it had always garnered unwanted attention—from everyone.


Cancer Cannot Stop You

by Lauren Coye January 12, 2023

I have never been a runner. I was athletic, if I were to be generous about it, but never a runner.

It wasn’t until after my cancer diagnosis that I decided to hit the pavement. As a 24-year-old nonsmoker, I never expected to receive a lung cancer diagnosis, nor did I expect all the things that were to follow in the next couple of months.


The Moment . . .

by Liz Kennish January 9, 2023

Have you seen a soul enter this world? 
Have you felt a room fill with the energy of new life? 
You can feel it. 
The moment this tiny being joins you on this side, the room changes. 
There is an electricity, a palpable jolt that all who are privileged to be present get to feel. 
It is magic. 


Stage Four Sucks

by Jennifer Anand January 6, 2023

Some days it feels like it’s been ten years, other days it feels like it has been just hours. January 10, 2012. The day I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Nodular sclerosis Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The “good cancer.” The “best one to choose.” The “highest success rate” cancer. Well, some days it freaking doesn’t feel like it. Like last night, when I barely had the strength to climb the stairs into my house and collapsed onto the couch for hours.