17 Things I Took For Granted Before Cancer

Posted September 18th, 2017

A blog reader recently sent email about his wife who died too quickly after a cancer diagnosis: “I was unprepared and now alone. My awesome wife and friend … was now missing from my life,” he wrote. His email reminded me that when cancer strikes and we lose someone of infinite value—spouse, child, extended family member, […]


Bob Riter

What To Say – And Not Say – To A Person With Cancer

Posted September 14th, 2017

Most people find it awkward when first talking with a friend or acquaintance who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Even though nearly everyone is well-intentioned, many say things that hurt or mystify more than they comfort. Based on my own experiences and my conversations with others with cancer, here are some suggestions: What to […]


What does ‘living well’ mean?

Posted September 6th, 2017

At a recent one-day writers’ conference, I had a 15-minute meeting with a literary agent. She asked me to tell her about my book proposal, and then provided excellent feedback from someone inside the publishing industry. “I like a phrase you used: ‘How to live well through adversity.’ What do you mean by living well?” she […]


Bob Riter

Crossing the Bridge from Early to Advanced Cancer

Posted August 30th, 2017

When you’re first diagnosed with cancer, you cross a bridge that separates the “healthy” from those with cancer. You’re entering a scary place, but the focus is on curing the cancer and getting back to the land of the healthy. There’s another bridge that’s less visible to the general public. This bridge separates people with […]


4 Insights Into Reticent Men and Cancer

Posted August 24th, 2017

A friend of mine started dating a man six months after he was diagnosed with cancer. At the start of their relationship, he was open about his health issues. And then cancer showed up stronger, and he walled himself off. “He won’t let me give him any hands-on care,” my friend said. “And he doesn’t want […]


Bob Riter

The Post-Treatment Blahs

Posted August 22nd, 2017

For many people the months following cancer treatment are more difficult than the treatment itself.  During treatment, your “job” is to be in treatment. You’re busy with appointments and you see the same doctors and nurses almost every week. At the same time, friends bring you meals, family members take on extra duties, and you’re […]


Bob Riter

Practical Advice for Getting Second Opinions

Posted August 11th, 2017

 A woman recently diagnosed with cancer stopped by our office to say that she’s heard that it’s important to obtain second opinions from major cancer centers and to assemble a team of experts to provide her treatment. She asked, “How the hell do I do that?” Cancer guidebooks are full of grandiose suggestions like “assemble […]


Discovering New Purpose After Cancer

Posted August 9th, 2017

The concept of repurposing catches my imagination. It’s the idea of adapting something for a purpose other than its original intent — a purpose that can be just as valuable, and effective, and stunning. Take this barn, for example. Once a habitat for animals and hay, and maybe even varmints. And now a cozy home. Years ago, […]


Bob Riter

Cancer Survivors Can Help the Newly Diagnosed

Posted August 3rd, 2017

When friends I haven’t heard from for many years suddenly call me, I wait for them to say, “Bob, I just got diagnosed with cancer.” This is not unique to me. People who have had cancer are often asked for advice by those who are newly diagnosed. Similar conversations take place in cancer support groups. […]


Karen Arnold-Korzeniowski, BSN, RN

Are you breaking up with me?

Posted August 1st, 2017

While receiving cancer treatment as an outpatient, you are often spending much of your time at appointments, getting tests and scans and receiving  treatment. You will be spending your days with physicians (medical specialists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, etc), physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, assistants, techs, social workers, counselors, and the list can go on and […]