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

Breast Cancer

Reconstruction: A Never-Ending Story

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN November 30, 2023

My mastectomy scars started out as the midnight blue of my surgeon’s pen, deftly scrawling the path of his scalpel on the white canvas of my chest. After he came, drew, and left, I found myself in front of the mirror over the sink of the pre-op bathroom, staring at the roadmap he’d sketched. I was met with an array of curved and straight lines; dictating symmetry, outlining what would be kept and not kept, and measuring how long, how wide, and how far down.


Words Matter

by Sally Sherman October 25, 2023

Words matter.

The problem is that most people don’t really know what to say.

When I got diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at age 35, I quickly learned that when people are at a loss for words, they revert to the old clichés.


Saying the Word Cancer for the First Time

by Ashley Coplin September 20, 2023

I remember the first time I said the word “cancer” out loud, admitting to myself that I indeed had the diagnosis. Saying this type of word for the first time was much like saying a cuss word for the first time—a forbidden fruit of sorts and brace yourself for impact kind of moment. Once you form the words and the sound of the word echoes in your ear, the initial fear of the word slowly subsides and you begin to slowly process your diagnosis.


Words Have Power

by Elizabeth Papautsky

Research shows that the statement “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is untrue. Words not only influence how we feel but how we experience the world around us—our reality. They can lift us up or bring us down and even cause harm (e.g. bullying).

Thus, they can be a source of great power, but also, of incredible disempowerment.


Just for Today

by Tawny Rachelle September 18, 2023

Can I tell myself just for today
that I love myself
That if ever I was to love myself
It would be today in this moment


Reality of Breast Cancer

by Nicole Piela September 13, 2023

Cancer comes with a mixed bag of emotions. I started out with denial, so part of that was the absence of language. I didn’t say that I had “breast cancer” and I barely reference it by name. I will say “my diagnosis” or “this situation” or “what I’m going through.” I don’t acknowledge its presence in my life because I don’t want it to define me or become too much a part of my life. Although it is. 


My AYA Experience

by Cindy Bernard August 23, 2023

Time. The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future is regarded as a whole. The issue with time is that it never stops. It keeps going. On December 21, 2021, I received life-changing news. At 1:32 PM, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and time moved even faster. I was on the brink of being a certified teacher at 29, but instead, I had to fight for my life.


Pierced by the Light

by Sarah Ammerman August 17, 2023

As somewhat of a cancer pro, I feel like I should be able to articulate the loneliness and isolation of the cancer experience pretty easily. I mean, I’ve done this dance more than once, for Pete’s sake!



by Julia Laursen August 16, 2023

Cancer is full of silence, even before diagnosis. The healthy cells that should be loud and destroy cancer cells go silent, allowing cancer to slowly and quietly ravage the bodies. Silently becoming deadly.


Loneliness and Isolation

by Leah Schrader August 14, 2023

The worst part of the Cancer journey is not all the side effects of treatment and pain from procedures and surgeries, it’s the isolation that is sometimes necessary and the loneliness that comes from no one truly understanding how it feels.