cancer grad

PLC20: An Open Letter to Tim Howard and Cremo

PLC20: An Open Letter to Tim Howard and Cremo

"November is commonly known as No Shave November, a month for men to grow their beards freely. What's less well-known, but infinitely more important, is the why. It was originally designed as a month to spread awareness about men's cancers and health. The creators? A family who lost a father and a husband to colon cancer. 

Unfortunately, on social media, it's become an excuse for men to skip shaving their beards and to instead post vain pictures for a month. We must do better, and in fact I have a few ideas on how to get the ball rolling. But this letter isn't about me. It's about you. 

You are part of the problem."

Breast Cancer as Fairy Tale

Breast Cancer as Fairy Tale

As October rolls along, with its endless pink ribbons and pep rallies for breast cancer awareness, Andersen’s old tale comes to mind as an apt metaphor for what it is like to live with breast cancer. If you go to one of the pep rallies, also known as “Race for the Cure” events put on by Komen, you may be left with the impression that breast cancer is an illness akin to a bad case of the flu. Go to the doctor, do a bit of treatment, maintain a super-duper attitude and voila! you are a “Survivor.” Good as new, bye-bye cancer.

Mom By Design

Mom By Design

In the diagnosis daze of figuring out my game plan – and looking ahead to what would be over a long year of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation – which included a litany of tests before I had to start treatment, I heard her nonchalantly ask, "By the way…do you want children? You should decide that NOW.” What, in the next ten minutes???

If I DID want children, I would have to see a fertility expert ASAP to either freeze my eggs or embryos before chemotherapy would temporarily shut down my ovaries. All I could think was, “When the hell am I going to fit in THAT appointment??”

Carpe Scrotiem

Carpe Scrotiem

Our friend and fellow Cancer Grad Justin, from A Ballsy Sense of Tumor, discusses the trials and tribulations of his diagnosis of Stage 2 nonseminoma testicular cancer over on his blog. Recently, he wrote a great piece about tactics in overcoming the awkwardness of discussing testicular cancer with other men, its symptoms and the importance of self exams. 

Marking the Milestones

Marking the Milestones

"Even though I know the long-term survival rates for my particular type of breast cancer are good and my post-surgical pathology showed a “complete response” to the chemotherapy, cancer patients are generally not considered to be in complete remission until at least 5 years have passed since the end of treatment without recurrence. So, my journey with breast cancer is not coming to an end, as much as I would like to say that it is."