Cancer Grad

Check me and my friend Aniela out over at our new blog and organization, Cancer Grad!


I moved!
If you are here to check in on my cancer progress-first off, thank you! My friend and fellow Cancer Grad (Aniela) and I have teamed up to provide you with fresh content, including the tips, tricks, cheat sheets and stories relevant to making a cancer diagnosis a little less painful. Check us out and sign up for our monthly newsletter on our new site!

Check us out online at www.cancergrad.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CancerGrad/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/370645289943353/
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaOWDkzW8U6oFFMuxnu-SXQ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cancergrad/

The Courageous Leap

Ernest Hemingway once wrote "courage is grace under pressure". I've been thinking a lot about the meaning of those words lately.

When I was first diagnosed, my friend put me in touch with his high school friend named Aniela, who was going through treatment for breast cancer. Aniela reached out to me to check in on how I was coping with chemo and from there a friendship formed. There is no manual on how to navigate through a cancer diagnosis, so I found it very helpful to speak to someone who was going through a very similar experience. Aniela is strong, honest, funny and so courageous. I quickly learned from her that I didn't have to hide away in my misery. I wanted to be as open about my diagnosis as I felt comfortable to help other people who were struggling with a similar experience. I could take a high pressure situation and go for my triple lindy.

Have you ever seen the movie "Back to School"? It contains a hilarious moment where Rodney Dangerfield attempts the "triple lindy", an intricate dive that begins with him diving off of the high platform and then flipping onto 3 separate spring boards before perfectly entering the pool to a crowd that erupts into roaring cheers. Throughout moments during this year, I have felt like I have been standing on top of a diving platform, and wasn't sure if there was a pool beneath me. Life snuck up from behind and shoved me right off of that platform. One lesson I've learned is that when life pushes you off of a platform, you can make a decision- you can either decide to panic and land an epic bellyflop, or you can aim to land the triple lindy with grace. Always go for courage. Always go for the triple lindy.
 

What's In My Chemo Bag?

A friend of mine reached out to me last week because her uncle was diagnosed with cancer and was scheduled to go to his first chemo session. My friend wanted to know what she could either buy or do for him to make him as comfortable as possible. I shared with her what I learned to pack in my chemo bag to make a miserable experience as comfy as possible. Hope this helps someone going through chemo to make a miserable situation a little more comfortable.

 

  1. Kindle: Great for keeping me occupied during long infusion days, or for when I'm waiting around for my appointments.
  2. iPad: Especially great for games and white noise apps for when I want to try and nap, especially after being dosed with Benadryl. My favorite white noise app is Noisli
  3. Chargers: for the Kindle and iPad.
  4. Good ol' fashioned book: for when the Kindle runs out of battery life.
  5. Sleep mask: Black out for infusion naps.
  6. Hard candy: (these were a gift from a friend- delicious handmade candies from Paris).
  7. Lemonheads: I use hard candy for when the nurses flush my IV. When they flush the IV, the patient will often get a strange taste in their mouth that resembles rubbing alcohol. It tastes kind of gross, so sucking on candy helps disguise the taste.
  8. Earphones: blocks out noise and listen to my white noise apps, music, etc
  9. Blanket: Sometimes the air conditioning is too strong, or an infusion makes me cold.
  10. Neck pillow: For the days I'm in a chemo chair and not a bed.
  11. Zip up Hoodie: Comfortable, easy to take on and off while hooked up to IVs and the hood is key for a cold, bald head.