Survivorship Awareness AND Action Ribbon: What Color?!

As the end of September quickly approaches, I find myself wondering if there were a survivorship awareness AND action ribbon, what color would it be?! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the greatest threat to our health and wellbeing is our lack of knowledge regarding our risk for potential late [side] effects … Continue reading Survivorship Awareness AND Action Ribbon: What Color?!

Grief and Loss

"Loss is a jagged pill, and grief, a constant companion in varying degrees." Stephanie D. Zimmerman My last post was ~2 weeks ago in response to the death of my cousin, Sherry. This past Sunday, I learned that my uncle Red married 50+ years to my aunt Jeanie, who passed away 2 years ago, had … Continue reading Grief and Loss

Late Effects: Anxiety, Depression, & PTSD

Today, I am attempting my first EVER Facebook LIVE with a closed group Surviving Survivorship that I recently created in an effort to raise awareness regarding late effects of cancer treatment months, years, even decades out from the end of treatment. If you are an adult survivor of cancer diagnosed from birth up to 39 … Continue reading Late Effects: Anxiety, Depression, & PTSD

Remnant of my Heart

There is a phenomenon that comes with amputation called phantom pain. The pain is rooted in the body's nervous system, the body's memory of the amputated limb or heart as in my case. My body 'thinks' that my heart is still there even though it isn't. This phantom pain is not so much pain as … Continue reading Remnant of my Heart

Surviving Survivorship: Cancer Treatment-Related Late Effects

A dear friend and fellow survivor who died several years ago of heart failure caused by mantle radiation and doxorubicin had a blog entitled 'Surviving Survivorship.' She made me promise to use that term, phrase, idea, reality in a way that would benefit other adult survivors of childhood and AYA cancers. It's taken me this … Continue reading Surviving Survivorship: Cancer Treatment-Related Late Effects

Being Heard

This post is going to be about how important being heard has been to me across the years since my diagnosis in 1978 as late effects have surfaced, and in many instances, persist. but first For some reason, I decided to look for an image to pair with the post before I wrote a single … Continue reading Being Heard

REALity Check

I recently watched Suleika Jaouad's TEDtalk and so much of what she said resonated with me not so much as a childhood cancer survivor but as heart failure [and] transplant survivor. She addressed the myths that are played out in social media using adjectives like "untrue", even "dangerous" as they "erase" the very REAL challenges … Continue reading REALity Check

Game Day Rituals

Game Days as defined by this survivor are days filled with routine follow up surveillance appointments [and] diagnostics (mammograms, MRIs, ECHO)tests. Game days can evoke a great deal of anxiety as you well know and I dare say that we all have 'game day rituals' we go through to minimize our anxiety and the impact … Continue reading Game Day Rituals

heartSTRONG

Yesterday, I had a routine transplant check up which included an office visit with my nurse practitioner and my local transplant cardiologist as well as labs and an echocardiogram (ECHO) which is an ultrasound of the heart to evaluate structural integrity and heart function. Now that I am 11 years out from my transplant, these … Continue reading heartSTRONG

National Cancer Survivors Day

It was noon before I realized that today is National Cancer Survivors Day and I thought I might want to take my fingers to the keyboard to hammer out some thoughts, reflections, hopes for the future. I have officially lived 40 years beyond what my parents were told to expect; they were told 6 months … Continue reading National Cancer Survivors Day