Tag Archive for PatientSupport

Young Woman with Breast Cancer Finds Dream Team

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A young woman in her prime, with a full life and meaningful career, does not expect a cancer diagnosis. But that is what happened to 34-year-old Erin, who received the news when she was in Paris with her mother and sister, on a long-awaited trip to celebrate Mother’s Day. Read more

Questions to Ask When Your Child Finishes Cancer Treatment

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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

Cancer Diagnosis Leads to Nursing Career

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By Maggie Loucks, NP-C

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, during my last semester of graduate school, I remember thinking that this had to mean something. I needed to turn an unfortunate situation into something positive, so I decided to pursue oncology nursing where I felt I could make a difference.  Read more

Managing the Holidays When You Have Cancer

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By Julie Salinger, LICSW

The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful, especially for cancer patients and their family caregivers. In addition to the extra time spent on shopping, cooking, and socializing, family interactions may bring complex dynamics, old grievances, and varying expectations to the forefront. The pressure to be “festive” can make even the healthiest person weary.

Here are some tips for patients and their families for an enjoyable holiday season. Read more

Easing the Way for Cancer Patients with Other Hardships

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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

College and Cancer: Tips from a Student Survivor

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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

How to Tell Your Children You Have Cancer

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by Richard Saltus

For many parents, their first concern after a cancer diagnosis is the impact it will have on their children. There’s a lot of medical information to digest and decisions to be made, including how and when to tell your children.

There are good reasons talk to your children as soon as possible after your diagnosis. No matter their age, children will realize something is wrong; they may discover the truth accidentally from someone else, and it’s better if you can present the information in an honest and hopeful manner.

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Breast Cancer, a Convertible, and a Zest for Life

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By Meg McCormick

When I learned I had a stage 4 breast cancer, I decided not let it rob me of the opportunities to enjoy my life. I still have a physically active, socially engaged lifestyle, and if you have metastatic breast cancer, so can you. Read more

What is the Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice?

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Although the terms are often used interchangeably, palliative care and hospice care differ in several important ways for cancer patients – most notably, the stage of treatment at which they are given. Read more

Cancer Patient Redefines Strength

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By Stacey Carroll

Watch Stacey Carroll describe how she got her strength back.

In my mental dictionary, strength had to do with will power and physical ability, and I believed I was strong according to my definition. I’ve been in the US Army for 20 years, served as a Commander twice, had been to Iraq and seen the brutality of war, kick-boxed in competitions, and worked as an ICU nurse.

Diagnosed with breast cancer during my tour in Iraq, I received my care at Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology. I never envisioned the type of strength I would need.  My definition had to be altered. Read more