The more you realize that your cancer is that stupid, the more you can believe that you can begin to have more authority over it. It is a two-trick pony that cannot do anything other than grow and transfer itself to other areas of your body. You can re-frame your thinking of cancer by looking at it as a mindless blob rather than a deadly force.
My newfound wisdom as a cancer survivor has shed the light on a little secret: we don't have to do all that work. I'm sure my family would have been just as happy to stay home, be less busy, and receive fewer presents. I am also certain that all they really wanted was for me to be there -- alive -- with them.
Movember has made a very important contribution to men's health. But in addition to Movember, November is also Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Month. But most of us probably didn't know that; you can't grow two moustaches at once. Movember, along with a few other of the more fortunate charitable campaigns, is a behemoth. In its success, which is to be commended, Movember leaves a wake of other, less fortunate charities, patients, doctors and researchers. As this trend will inevitably continue to grow, I'm not entirely sure we should be comfortable with that.
I'm not knocking Movember. It is an excellent campaign, both for fundraising and awareness. I don't even have a problem with the timing. I have absolutely nothing against Movember. I'm using it for comparison purposes because Movember and Remembrance both happen during the same month and are both about awareness. And last week, Movember enjoyed a lot more media coverage than veterans.
A brain tumour is a scary thing. You can't see it growing, you can't feel it growing. It hides behind your eyes and watches you live your life... waiting until someone notices something a little "off" about you. My mother-in-law had a malignant brain tumour. Everyone's experience with one is different. This is hers.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 37 when my children were two, three and six. Some of us knew how to support a mother or grandmother through this disease -- but a friend? Now, I often get calls and emails from friends who are at a loss when another friend has been diagnosed. What can they do to help? Here is a list of things that friends did for me -- or things that I heard of people doing for friends with breast cancer.
Breast cancer mortality is 60 per cent higher for African American women ages 45-64 than for white women, even though African American women are less likely than white women to be diagnosed with the disease. So here we present to you the experiences of four African American women, all of whom are suffering from triple negative breast cancer. These are real photographs. These are real struggles.
At age 20, while lying on a hospital bed in my own hometown, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Perhaps because the rituals of being a cancer patient are so far removed from public life, we sometimes presume its causes are likewise located in an interior, intimate place. And some of the roots of cancer are indeed found there. But cancer has a public dimension, too.
It's easier, more effective, and cheaper to let healthy bodies fight off disease and infections than to weaken those defence mechanisms and then compensate for them medically. If we want a stable health system, we must put more resources into reducing pollution and environmental degradation and creating a way of life that keeps bodies and minds happy and in good health.
I received a call in early January 2006 telling me that I had prostate cancer and suggesting a treatment -- surgery. As a 49-year-old healthy and, yes, hockey playing Canadian, cancer was the last thing on my mind Well they say things happen for a reason but I was having trouble figuring out just what that meant.
This week I had the imperfect pleasure of reading the final work of an author who admired Orwell and who died at age 62 under comparable circumstance. The imperfection of the pleasure with which I greeted the arrival to my mailbox of a new Christopher Hitchens book was a matter of subtraction, a momentary joy diminished by the awareness I'd never experience it again.
In a perfect world, Calgary entrepreneur Saundra Shapiro would have to close her business, Compassionate Beauty, because her customers wouldn't need her services anymore. But as long as cancer ravages women's bodies, Shapiro's highly specialized salon/spa and store will rack up success after bittersweet success. Compassionate Beauty offers women battling cancer and undergoing debilitating chemotherapy treatments things ordinary salon/spas don't.
Losing a parent to cancer is devastating. My brother and I are passionate cyclists and shortly after our mother died, we took a ride to get some air and returned with a refreshed perspective. The Ride for Karen is a yearly cycling event that is held as a tribute to the life and legacy of our mom Karen Tobias, who died of breast cancer at age 53, and to raise money for charities that help children living with cancer, and those who care for them.
Looking back at this old life of mine, I realize how many of these fears, both big and small, were unfounded. But life as it is now, is seen through a cancer survivor's lens. Although I will be first to admit that there is the odd time when I have to stare fear in the eye, and fight to back it down, I fear much less today. Cancer has taught me a few things, and I don't scare easy.