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

Breast Cancer

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.

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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.”

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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.

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Avoid Pregnancy as You Were Told

by Rachael Walker November 17, 2022

I was 36 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Premenopausal. What some might describe as “childbearing age,” though I did not have children, nor did I have any intention of having them.

My cancer was hormone-positive, meaning that the tumor fed on the hormones produced by my reproductive organs, estrogen, and progesterone. This meant that, even more so than with most young cancer patients with a uterus, fertility was a part of the early conversations with my oncologist.

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Heartbeats of Chemo

by Sarah David November 3, 2022

As I pulled into the parking lot in March 2020, I noticed how empty the clinic was. Only a few cars freckle the spaces, most in the employee section off to the right. At the door, I am greeted by a woman wearing a surgical mask and holding a thermometer.

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Cancer Isn’t a Battle of Winning or Losing

by Christy Fennewald October 26, 2022

I was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer at the age of 36 in February 2021. From February of 2021 to July of 2022, I endured a total mastectomy, DIEP flap reconstruction, 4 rounds of the “red devil” chemo, an axillary node dissection resulting in the loss of 20 lymph nodes, 33 rounds of radiation to my left breast, a total hysterectomy, daily doses of anastrozole, multiple recurrence scares, and countless scans.

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Chemo Kitty

by Naomi Volain September 29, 2022

Meet Ginger, my chemo kitty. She’s the pet I adopted after swearing I’d never get another pet, after my last cat Xena died a few years ago. Uh-uh. That litter box needing constant cleaning. The pet sitting logistics. That pungent cat food aroma. None of this appealed to me as I was going forward in life and time. But circumstances were different with cancer in the time of COVID.

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Lessons Learned with Lisa: Self Care

by Lisa Orr September 12, 2022

You are not alone if . . .

No one prepared you for how difficult survivorship would be
Cancer crosses your mind every single day, even years out of treatment
There are things, places, smells, and phrases that immediately trigger your anxiety
You are still figuring out how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine

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The Interlude of Cancer

by Eleonora Teplinsky, MD August 29, 2022

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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This is My Journey So Far

by Tiffany Grabowski August 15, 2022

It’s been a long past two and a half years for me. The pandemic hit me hard. I lost my grandfather and grandmother due to COVID, lost my job, and had two minor surgeries on my uterus for fibroids one year apart. Just when I thought it was about to be a good year in 2022, February 23, 2022 is when it all started.

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