One of the easiest and most effective ways to help cancer patients is to give blood. There is a constant need for donations, but especially so in the summer when people are on vacation and unable to donate. One pint of blood can save up to two lives, and one platelet donation can save up to three. Read more
Tag Archive for LifeWithCancer
The dirt roads in northern Rwanda now lead to a cancer center where patients can receive care for a disease that was, until now, considered a death sentence there. The Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence, which was dedicated on July 18, has allowed Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center to extend a helping hand in this tiny, densely populated country in Africa.
A growing body of research indicates that creating what’s commonly called a “healing environment” – with features such as calming music, garden areas, artwork, and access to natural light – can lead to better patient outcomes. Read more
In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship.
To look at 9-year-old baseball player and Lego champion Charlie Rider, you’d never guess he’d had cancer for nearly half his life. Read more
For most people, a cancer diagnosis brings the daily routine of life to a grinding halt, at least temporarily. But after the initial shock wears off, many patients strive to resume their everyday activities, including vacation or travel plans.
Being treated for cancer doesn’t necessarily mean cancelling your summer vacation. Many people travel during and after cancer treatment. But it can require a little planning. Read more
Watch and wait. That’s often one of the new terms added to your vocabulary when you’re diagnosed with cancer. Or maybe it’s wait and watch. Or active monitoring. Whatever it’s called, sometimes it’s the term used when there’s nothing to do to treat your particular cancer but wait.
That’s a hard thing to do, most doctors will tell you. The natural reaction to a cancer diagnosis is a desire to do something, anything. Melt it. Burn it. Radiate it. Drug it. Remove it. Attack it. Just get the cancer out of you. Read more
For people with cancer, deciding how, and what, to tell others about the diagnosis can be a challenge. How do you tell your loved ones, or your employer, that you have cancer?
For parents, there’s another degree of difficulty: What do you say to your children? How much will they understand, and what’s the best approach?
Susan Englander, LICSW, a social worker at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who specializes in working with young adult patients — many of whom have children — offers these tips to parents with cancer on how to talk to their kids and help them through the process. Read more
Rebecca Byrne had waited years for a doctor to tell her, “You’re pregnant.” She never imagined that just a few months after she first heard those words, she would hear four more: “You have breast cancer.”
Byrne still tears up when telling the story, but smiles when her 20-month-old daughter, Emelia, leaps into her lap. Emelia is the happy outcome of a painful period of Byrne’s life, when the joys of pending and early motherhood were shadowed by chemotherapy treatments, hair loss, radiation, and uncertainty. Read more
Bryan Reilly has a full-time job and a passion for exercise. He skis, climbs mountains, works out regularly, and runs a mile in under 8 minutes.
Any 56-year-old could be proud of being so fit. But for Reilly, it’s a special triumph: Less than two years ago he was diagnosed with an often-lethal and aggressive brain tumor.
As a Dana-Farber employee planning events for the opening of Dana-Farber’s Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, I knew the building was designed with guidance from patients and families.
But I had no idea how important this was until shortly after the building opened – and, newly diagnosed with acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, I walked through the doors as a patient myself.