Why Cancer Patients Should Write a Life Review Letter

Posted January 23rd, 2017

The title of a New York Times piece written by a palliative physician, Dr. VJ Periyakoil—“Writing a ‘Last Letter’ When You’re Healthy”—caught my eye. Dr. Periyakoil tells the story of one of his patients, a Marine combat veteran, who, when he learned he was dying, expressed his regrets and his love for his wife and pride in […]

Bob Riter

When Your Partner is in Denial About Cancer

Posted January 18th, 2017

I recently spoke with a woman who was stressed because her husband has cancer and he seemed to be in denial over the seriousness of his situation. What was especially upsetting to her was that he didn’t want to address any end of life issues like drafting a will. I’ve been mulling this over ever […]

What a Cancer Warrior Looks Like

Posted January 16th, 2017

My friend, Michelle, is a cancer fighter. Although she doesn’t have cancer – nor do her husband or any close family members at present – she is, nevertheless, a fierce passionate dazzling cancer-kicking warrior. Michelle approached us, back when I was on staff at St. Charles Cancer Center, with an idea: What about a weekly walking class for cancer […]

Bob Riter

A Field Guide to Family Members of Cancer Patients

Posted January 6th, 2017

There are a variety of styles that spouses and other close family members adopt to help a family member with cancer. Here are several negative styles that I’ve observed through the years as well as the style that is most likely to be helpful. Combatants are always looking to pick a fight, often with doctors […]

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