Perkatory

Why I Stayed Away From Survivors

by Melanie Kent September 22, 2022

“My demographic,” I told my sister. “Can we say, ‘my demographic?’”

It was code, so that when we navigated the COVID-tightened New York sidewalks—chatting almost directly into others’ ears—it didn’t have to be “cancer” that they heard, “cancer” that I shared, like a little poisonous puff of fumes on the air.

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How Cancer Taught Me What Really Matters

by Jordan Adams September 20, 2022

Hello, my dear reader. My name is Jordan, and I am a cancer survivor. I am here to share with whoever feels like listening a little bit about my story, and more importantly, what it has taught me. I am sure my story will sound familiar to many other cancer patients who may stumble across this. I hope you enjoy it.

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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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I Am Not a Bridge

by Betty Roggenkamp, MSHC August 26, 2022

“You need to do something about this.”

My sister said to me in the midst of her cervical cancer chaos. This is when I learned that whole buildings on hospital campuses were devoted to caring for people with a cancer diagnosis. Frankly, I was a cancer muggle. My transition from cancer muggle to cancer caregiver was an abrupt unplanned crash course. Let me acknowledge that everything with cancer is abrupt and unplanned.

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My Work as a Death Doula

by Julia de'Caneva August 23, 2022

“Well, the results aren’t what we were hoping…” my doctor said, closing the door behind her. “But the good news is this usually responds really well to treatment, and you won’t have to do chemo.”

We talked for a while longer, and then she offered up, “I mean, I’ve seen people with thyroid cancer all over their body live another 20 years.”

I think it was meant to be soothing, but I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t quite relevant to me. Not to mention, it contradicted her speculation just moments ago that my chance of recurrence after surgery would be very low.

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Dear Younger Self, You’ll Come out on Top

by Sam Dean May 17, 2022

Dear Young[er] Sam,
I want you to remember that you’re a heartfelt and passionate woman. When things get hard, taking a deep breath really does help. Sometimes you just need five minutes away from the situation to get a handle on it. Also, remember to grieve.

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Things I’d Want You to Know

by Jenny Leon May 5, 2022

Dear Younger Self,

Things I’d want to know: you will have a son then a daughter. Both will have your luscious, loose brown curls and wide eyes wrapped in blankets of long, black lashes. Sometimes you will look at them and think “I would, literally, withstand anything for you.” And you will.

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Serenity in the Big Ditch

by Nader Jamal February 23, 2022

Adversity creates a yearning for serenity. With struggle a calm moment is desired, and the appreciation for when it occurs is significant. I first found whitewater learning to kayak in Glacier National Park with First Descents. Anxiety was a real concern I had with anything done around that time.

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Prescription of Nature

by Jesse Collins February 22, 2022

I’m tired. Like to-the-bone weary, at a point where I switch into autopilot mode and float, not present in the moment, or really in the past or future, just tired. So, let’s talk about how I got here. It’s a mix of a glorious adventure in nature and sterile walls and fluorescent lights all in the matter of a week.

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The Overlook

by Brooke Barnes February 17, 2022

Everything is so green. That’s what I remember thinking on the ride back to my apartment after my hospital stay. Being someone who enjoys spending time outside, two weeks of being stuck inside four white hospital room walls with a window overlooking a city street was pretty much torture, especially after a leukemia diagnosis.

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