I tell stories, encourage, and demystify.
Cancer is difficult enough without hurtful comments from insensitive friends, but a little grace on your part, and a little understanding on theirs, can help smooth over these communication bumps. Your friends may become better allies to you once they start to understand why these comments hurt.
A cancer diagnosis does not need to sideline your travel plans. It is possible to travel during chemotherapy treatment and have a wonderful time away.
A nonverbal learning disability often affects a child's spatial reasoning, motor skills, and social skills, but because children with this challenge often have advanced verbal skills, it can be easy to miss. Kids with this type of learning disability often seem precocious and highly capable until they start having difficulty with nonverbal skills as they get older.
One of the challenges of living with cancer is the waiting. You’re waiting for news about a biopsy or scan, waiting for treatment to start, waiting for treatment to end, waiting for pain medications to kick in, waiting in waiting rooms and then in exam rooms in paper robes. It’s a lot of sitting quietly.
A life-threatening diagnosis can make you painfully aware of your own mortality, but there are a host of other physical and psychological effects of breast cancer that can make this a particularly difficult diagnosis. With all the changes that treatment for breast cancer brings — which can include shutting down sex hormones and removing sex organs — so many facets of a person’s life are changed, which can lead to difficulty accepting what is happening.
Discovering that your child has special needs, such as a learning disability, can be quite a shock. But once you catch your breath and absorb the information about your child's needs, it's time to get serious about becoming their advocate, and helping them learn to work with and overcome their challenges.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) describes Hodgkin lymphoma as one of the most successfully treated forms of cancer. Previously known as Hodgkin’s disease, it’s cancer of the lymphatic system (part of your body’s immune and waste management system) and also affects your blood and bone marrow.
Job hunting after cancer can be a bit daunting. To put boost your confidence as you look, here is some job search advice to help you put your best foot forward as you build your new post-cancer life.
Finding the best exercises for kids means finding activities that get them moving without feeling like a chore. Exercise should be fun and something they look forward to so they grow up thinking of fitness as enjoyable. Sure, you could line them up and make them do calisthenics every morning, but would you have enjoyed that? There are plenty of ways to move around that are fun, and play is an important part of a child's development -- it's good for grownups as well!
If you're having a mental health emergency, it's important to get help right away. Though the thought of going to the emergency room (ER) might be daunting, it's often the best way to keep you safe during the crisis. Visiting the ER can connect you with resources that will help you manage and overcome these issues.
A trip to the emergency room can be extremely expensive, even for people with robust health insurance plans. However, in many cases, a little planning ahead can help you reduce or avoid the emergency room cost.
Hormones are a natural and vital part of your body, but when they’re out of whack, it can spell trouble. There’s a connection between hormone imbalance and cancer risks. The more warning signs you know, the better you can monitor your health.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek out medical care. This type of chronic pain has many different causes, and treatment can range from pain medication to physical therapy or even surgery. On your own time, adding some low back pain exercises into your workout routine can build strength and help relieve pain.
Support groups give you firsthand tips on dealing with the physical and emotional impact of cancer and its treatment, as well as help you feel less lonely. They are immensely valuable—and sometimes not a great option.
There’s nothing like exercise to process stress and anxiety, and being able to invest your sweat equity into cancer research allows you manage the frustration productively. Participating in fundraising walks or runs makes you feel empowered because you’re doing something that’s making a difference. There are a variety of events that benefit different cancer charities. You can choose from bicycle tours, 5K walks, marathons, obstacle runs and many other events. You can participate in these events and have people donate to your cause months before or volunteer to assist the organization on the day.
If you're feeling a little nervous about your first therapy session, you're not alone. Movies and myths have influenced our ideas about therapy, and that can make it a little scary. The understanding that therapy will lead to some changes in your life can be even scarier. But going to therapy can be great for your mental health. Whether you're considering therapy or about to head to your first session, it's normal to have questions about the process. Here are answers to ease your worries and tips to guide you.
Erin Shannon was only 19 years old when she became a melanoma survivor. If not for a routine skin examination, she might not have even known she was in danger. But even when one is being proactive about their health, it's hard to be prepared for this kind of news.
Cancer caregivers know that stepping up to care for a loved one going through treatment is a daunting task. It’s time consuming, emotionally challenging and your other responsibilities don’t go away while you’re in caregiving mode. While the role is challenging, it’s also an honor to be there for someone through this painful time.
When you have kids in the hospital, your life revolves around getting them healthy and making them comfortable. The American Childhood Cancer Organization is a learning resource to help your kids in the hospital feel more secure and at ease as they undergo treatment for cancer.
Experiencing the death of a loved one, friend or mentor is difficult at any age, but teenage grief is especially frustrating. Teens work so hard to appear cool, it can be difficult to get a handle on how well they’re processing their grief. It’s even more difficult if you’re suffering, too. There are times you need to set aside your own depression to focus on your teen. There’s no easy way to move through this, but there are some guidelines that help.
The popularity of social media, and the extent to which people use these services to communicate, introduces a new question: what happens to social media accounts after death? It’s a situation that changes as your use of these services evolves, and each of the social media platforms has a slightly different way of managing this situation.
One of the core elements of well-being is spirituality, and cancer can sometimes disrupt that. When you’re facing a serious illness or potentially life-threatening condition, it’s natural to take stock of your values, spiritual or otherwise. If you find yourself re-evaluating your beliefs, know it’s more common than you think.
The holidays can be a stressful time for people with Alzheimer's, as well as their caregivers. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make this busy time of year easier on everyone. Here are seven tips to help you keep your loved one with Alzheimer's comfortable and supported this holiday season.
Living with cancer during the holidays adds a new layer of complexity to the celebrations, traditions and even the stress of the season. Fatigue may drain your energy, and medical expenses may limit funds, leaving little cash for indulging in this expensive time of year. Many people experience conflicting emotions around the holidays, and cancer can intensify that effect. Yet there are ways to lighten the load and enjoy a less stressful season.
You may worry about chemo not working when your cancer treatment isn’t responsive. But your doctors can make adjustments during your treatment if your first option doesn’t work.
Losing a loved one to cancer can be traumatic, but everyone will experience it differently based on personality, faith and relationship with the person who died. In the grieving process, you may wonder why your faith is letting you down or start questioning your spirituality. This is a normal, if still troubling, occurrence that will take time and thought to deal with.
You’re an expectant mom, and you have it all planned out: the birth plan, breastfeeding, the joy of new motherhood. You know that breast milk is the ideal food for babies, and you’ve never considered giving yours anything else. But things don’t always work out the way we plan, and for some women, it turns out that breastfeeding just isn’t possible.
Cancer takes away a lot of things, including a sense of control in your life. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is one of the ways you can get some feeling of ownership over your body when you feel defeated.
Chronic cancer refers to cancer that doesn’t go away or have a cure, but can be managed over the course of one’s life, according to the American Cancer Society. Certain types of cancer including cancers of the blood, like LGL Leukemia and other leukemias and lymphomas, and certain forms of ovarian and bladder cancers, are considered chronic and are treated as lifelong conditions. Chronic cancer also includes metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). Living with cancer that doesn’t have an end point can be challenging in many ways. Learning how to manage the disease over time is essential to maintaining your health as well as living an enjoyable life.
Only about 30 percent of those who need a bone marrow transplant have a match in their family, usually a brother or sister, according to the ASCO. The remaining 70 percent must find a match from lists of people who have volunteered to become donors. Finding a matched donor can be even more difficult for people of certain racial minority backgrounds or backgrounds that include multiple races. Be The Match is an organization that partners with a number of medical centers and research centers, like UVA Cancer Center, and other organizations to maintain a database of potential donors and help facilitate bone marrow transplants where needed. If you’re selected, they then start scheduling the procedures for both you and the cancer patient.
Kids need the outdoors. There's something in them that just wants to be out in nature, running around and getting dirty. But they also need to learn that the wilderness can be dangerous, and it isn't a place to let down your guard. Even a short adventure can turn risky if you don't take the proper precautions.
We know that we need vacations from work to give our brains the occasional break and allow them to return refreshed. After all, we make better decisions when we’re not exhausted and overworked, and we’re healthier when we periodically take time to rest and recharge.
Detecting ovarian cysts and cancer is a vital part of your health as a woman. That includes becoming established as a gynecological patient and staying up to date with your routine checkups and tests. One of the benefits of being an established patient is that your baseline is part of routine examinations. Your OB-GYN gets to know your body and can evaluate your symptoms based on how they deviate from your normal.
Unpleasant side effects are often a part of your cancer treatment. While the treatment targets the cancer, it can affect the rest of your body as well, including your skin. You may develop a rash that looks a bit like acne on your face, scalp and shoulders. This kind of reaction is called chemo rash.
A cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. There are ways to buffer against the social effects of cancer and still live it up with your friends. According to the Mayo Clinic, social connections can be immensely helpful in maintaining quality of life as you deal with cancer treatment. The key is making sure you and your crew know the best way to handle your health situation.
Cancer and anxiety often go hand in hand, and these anxious feelings you get are a completely normal response. They often extend beyond the illness to encompass worries about your life, finances, family and career. If your loved one has cancer, you may experience this anxiety, unaware of your best course of action.
Yoga seems to be more popular than ever. If you haven't tried it by now, it's likely you at least know someone who goes to yoga groups or stretches along with an instructor on TV. Because of its prevalence, most people know that yoga is a practice that strengthens and balances the whole body while relieving stress and increasing flexibility, but medical researchers are now looking at the benefits of yoga for heart health as part of the overall well-being this workout can provide.
There is no cure for lymphedema, but there are a few treatments that can help keep the condition in check. A physical therapist specializing in lymphedema will determine the best way to treat it.
Researchers are learning a lot about gratitude lately. We know gratitude can increase happiness in your life, and that it has actual health benefits. My favorite way to focus on gratitude is with a gratitude journal, which is simply a means of routinely noting the people, events, and things in my life for which I am thankful. Now that Thanksgiving is over, a journal is also an effective way to practice mindful gratefulness all year long.
Living with hearing impairment is frustrating for everyone involved, especially because constant miscommunication can lead to hurt feelings, isolation, and even dangerous mistakes. Unfortunately, it's hard to know how to talk to your parents -- or other close friends or loved ones -- about this issue.
Many people think the first days and months after giving birth should be the happiest and most magical time of a woman's life, but not all women experience it that way. Postpartum depression, also called postnatal depression, is a form of depression that occurs after childbirth and affects as many as 15 percent of mothers, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Whether you're involved in athletic endeavors or simply feeling the effects of aging, knee pain is prevalent because the knee is made up of so many parts. Knee trouble may lead you down many treatment paths based on what's causing your pain, and such conditions as arthritis, cartilage issues, meniscus tears, affected tendons, and torn ligaments are common.
HER2-positive tumors are associated with up to 20 percent of breast cancer cases, and research has indicated that they can also be associated with bladder, pancreatic, stomach, and several other cancer types. So, what exactly is HER2? The Annals of Oncology explains that the abbreviation refers to a protein called "human epidermal growth factor receptor-2," which controls cell growth. Sometimes, a person with cancer has too much of this protein or too many copies of the HER2 gene, which controls the production of the protein. This causes cancer cell growth to accelerate. When cancer cells show excess HER2 protein, the cancer is thus categorized as HER2-positive, and because of that accelerated cell growth, HER2 cancers tend to be more aggressive.
It's the side effects of chemotherapy that make the treatment so intense. If you're about to undergo chemo, you know they're coming, but you can't be sure which will be most prevalent because each person experiences the treatment differently. There will be uncomfortable, difficult times, but take solace in the fact that these effects are all well documented. Most importantly, there are methods for easing each of them.
History was made with the June 2015 SCOTUS marriage equality ruling affirming that the Constitution grants same-sex couples equal protection and equal rights under the law, ensuring them all the privileges and responsibilities of civil marriage. This decision has far-reaching and substantial implications for these couples' lives and the lives of their children, particularly regarding health and well-being.
The Inside Passage comprises a tapestry of islands that line Southeast Alaska's coast, forming a protective barrier between the vast Pacific Ocean and the much calmer waters between the islands and the mainland. These cold waters along the Alaskan coast are rich in nutrients, supporting a large and diverse collection of Alaskan wildlife. Cruise through the Inside Passage on one of your next Alaska vacations, and you'll get to glimpse some of this breathtaking Alaska wildlife while you relax on your cruise ship. Be ready with some wildlife photography tips, too.
We humans, while all individually different, have a lot in common — including being alarmed by the fact that there are no clear, scientifically proven causes for a lot of medical conditions. Case in point: Ovarian cancer risk factors are well researched, despite the fact that we don't know what causes ovarian cancer. Because of this, we can pay attention to risk factors and weigh our options based on them. By knowing what makes you more likely to develop ovarian cancer, you'll be more aware and proactive. You don't need to constantly worry about the chances of getting a certain disease down the road, but if you're educated, you'll be in a better place mentally no matter what happens.
When a lump is found in your breast, you may immediately ask: "Is it cancer?" Don't panic: Most breast lumps are not cancer, and some may even go away on their own. However, it is important to have all lumps examined by a physician.