Not Like the Others
We have made this drive before. However, the rocking of the car as it hits various cracks and potholes now leaves us worried about tire alignment rather than whether my mouth is aligned with an emesis bag.
I can stave off the beasts of negativity that paw at the edges of my mind until we reach the Cancer Center.Read More...
You Are Not Alone, and I Love You, Too
From the moment I received my diagnosis, my world as I knew it was no more. “Like Persephone, I had suddenly descended into a completely different landscape,” I wrote in my book, PURGATORY TO PARADISE: How Cancer Helped Me Design an Authentic Life. “Like the Underworld, this landscape was carved with rivers of chemo that burned the cancer cells growing inside of me.”Read More...
The Battle I Choose Not to Lose
With no history of breast cancer in my family, it was something I wouldn’t think would happen to me. It was out of the ordinary to feel the sharp pain. I shrugged it off at first until I felt something in my breast. I was confident it was an abscess because I’d had one before.Read More...
To My Mother, A Plea
Editor’s Note: This article was written in May of 2022
As I write this, I am reveling in bits of good news during increasingly dystopian times. Two years out of active cancer treatment and nearly 32, my annual MRI came back clear this week. Before each scan, I spend days in purgatorial scanxiety, keenly aware of the possibility for bad outcomes.Read More...
One Day More
Strand by strand
Never expected you to go
I’d see more and more of you falling away
Red and shining you laid on my pillow
Red and shining you became tumbleweeds across the floor
Fuchsia, yellow, turquoise and purple; sad birds on tired wires spin above me in a desperate ballet
Their soft feathery texture, here to warmly greet me in contrast to the cold hard table where I lay
A presence meant to calm and soothe, forget the void of living without the sound of children’s laughterRead More...
Eyes of an Advocate
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…Read More...
Dear Cancer, For the Love of Food
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.Read More...
Loving My Sick Body
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.Read More...
You Could Say Cancer Changed My Career
Has cancer changed my career? Um, yes.
Another layer to this question is when did it change my career?
Let me take you back in time to my dreams and aspirations as a young kid from Westlake, OH. All of my childhood years, there was nothing else I wanted to do except play football. There were, of course, other sports that I played along the way, but being a 6’2”, 275 pound kid in high school, it was pretty obvious what sport I was going to play.Read More...