Tag Archive for LifeWithCancer

Faces of Childhood Cancer: Steven Clifford

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Steven Clifford is an 18-year-old osteosarcoma survivor. A Boston native, he starts college at the University of California, San Diego this month. This is his story.

Life is made up of many difficult decisions. However, imagine my surprise when I had to make a tough and potentially life changing decision at the young age of 11. Up until then, I just was an average child who couldn’t wait to get out of school to play any sport imaginable with his friends. Read more

How to Build a Support Network

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By Lola Baltzell

People often ask me: How do you manage to live with metastatic breast cancer? One of the most important strategies for me has been building a support network.

My diagnosis of breast cancer that had already spread to my bones came out of the blue. I had a normal mammogram 13 months earlier, and no known risk factors. So when I heard the news in August 2008, my first impulse was to reach out for support. Read more

10 Ways to Help a Friend With Cancer

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When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, your first reaction may be, “How can I help?” However, answering that question may be difficult. Some friends may be public about their health, and about what they need, while others may be more private.

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Summer brings greater need for blood, platelet donations

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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

Opening of cancer center in Rwanda is “privilege beyond words”

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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.

Dr. Larry Shulman, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Chelsea Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Jeff Gordon, and Dr. Paul Farmer

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How a healing environment helps

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As recently as a decade ago, a visit to the hospital sometimes meant entering meant entering a cold, synthetic setting. But the tide is changing. 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

A cancer survivor at age 9

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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

Traveling with cancer

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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: When cancer treatment seems to mean doing nothing

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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

How to help your kids cope with your cancer

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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