By Julia Pettengill
Our daughter Sophie was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2½, and received two years of care at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. While I felt tremendous joy and relief when she completed treatment, I also found the experience traumatic. Read more
This Thanksgiving, as we continue to look for better ways to care for our patients today, and in the future, we also look back and give thanks to the foresight of our founder, Sidney Farber, MD.
By Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH
When cancer strikes someone who is already facing other hardships – for example, he or she is poor, alone, or has a language barrier – the experience is very different than it might be for someone who has more resources and support.
The Cancer Care Equity Program at Dana-Farber, which is funded by the Kraft Family Foundation, helps vulnerable patients in the community obtain the cancer care they might not receive otherwise. Read more
By Catherine MacLean
“Why is this coming up now?”
“It’s been 10 years. I should be over this already.”
“Why is this happening to me? All of the other survivors I know seem fine.”
These thoughts preoccupied me during the transition from high school to college. It had been 10 years since my successful bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia and my health was excellent. Read more
by Martha Laperle
When my son Ryan ran the Boston Marathon this year, I watched him with a special level of pride. Not only had he completed his first-ever marathon in four hours, but he was running, in large part, because of me.
Just over a year earlier, at the age of 57, I had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a diagnosis that turned my life upside down and led to weeks of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC). Ryan was running to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and had received nearly $11,000 in pledges.
Barely a minute after Ryan crossed the finish line, the area shook with explosions. Read more
by Richard Saltus
Living with cancer is a physical and emotional challenge, but people may also find it hampers their thought processes and memory. Often the deficits are temporary, but sometimes they persist or appear months or years later as delayed effects.
Cognitive difficulties, says Clare Humphreys, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “are caused not just by the direct effect of cancer, but also the effects of treatment, as well as factors like pain, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and depression.”
Dana-Farber celebrates cancer survivorship in June with Living Proof, an annual series of events that includes workshops and programs as well as a keynote reception on June 20.
The end of treatment is an important milestone for any cancer patient, but it can also be a time of anxiety. In fact, some new cancer survivors say leaving the routine of regular visits with their health care team can be downright scary. That’s why Dana-Farber and other leading cancer centers offer programs to help survivors transition from active treatment to living well beyond cancer. Read more
by Nancy Campbell, MS
“How soon can I start exercising after I start cancer treatment?” It’s a question I hear often from patients who visit me for a fitness consult or class at Dana-Farber.
My answer? “As soon as possible.”
While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise offers key benefits for cancer patients – even those undergoing difficult treatments. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to give yourself an extra boost during and after cancer treatment. Read more
Asking an editor to pick his or her favorite story is like asking a kid to pick out just one piece of candy. It’s a tough task. Luckily, we’re not bound by the one-piece rule. So here are a few stories that you might have missed, or might want to view again.
by Sara Dickison Taylor
You wouldn’t be able to tell just by meeting them, but high-school student Molly Callahan and Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center nurse Lindsay Roache, RN, have a few things in common: They’ve survived cancer, and they’re committed to helping others. Read more