Bob Riter

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo

Posted March 24th, 2015

Visitors to the Cancer Resource Center are sometimes startled to hear uproarious laughter coming from behind doors. When the visitor raises a questioning eyebrow, we respond, “Oh, that’s one of our support groups. They laugh a lot.” People expect our groups to be somber. Cancer is difficult, and there are meetings filled with concern and […]


Bob Riter

How to Help a Cancer Patient’s Caregiver

Posted March 5th, 2015

I often write columns that suggest ways that caregivers can help the person with cancer. Today, I want to suggest ways that the rest of us can help the caregiver. I’m defining caregiver as the person most involved in supporting the patient. It’s typically a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friend. This is the person […]


Bob Riter

Caregiving Friends May Need a Break

Posted February 20th, 2015

I received a call last week that went something like this: “My friend has cancer and she wants me to visit on a regular basis. When I do visit, all she does is complain about how awful her life is. I dread these visits and go only because I feel guilty if I don’t. I […]


Bob Riter

Be Kind

Posted January 26th, 2015

Many readers have found Bob’s suggestions helpful, but a few have said that they wanted something even simpler to guide them. His advice? Be kind.


Bob Riter

Cancer and the Holidays

Posted December 17th, 2014

The first few months of living with cancer are weird. This sensation is even more intense during the holiday season.


Bob Riter

Should People with Alzheimer’s be Treated for Cancer?

Posted November 21st, 2014

A woman recently told me that she had a friend with Alzheimer’s disease who was being treated for cancer. She asked me if that was the right thing to do.


Bob Riter

The Most Aggressive Treatment is Not Always Best

Posted November 10th, 2014

There’s a bit of cowboy in many of us when we’re diagnosed with cancer. Often our first response is to want the cancer removed right away with the most aggressive surgery possible.


Bob Riter

Cancer on Your Own Terms

Posted October 29th, 2014

Bob Riter discusses why there is no single best path through cancer.


Bob Riter

When the Boss has Cancer

Posted October 6th, 2014

I recently received a phone call that went like this: “My boss is struggling with cancer, but he clearly doesn’t want to talk about it or even acknowledge how ill he is. I’m concerned about him, but I’m also concerned about everyone else who works here.


Head and Neck Cancers are Especially Difficult

Posted September 25th, 2014

If I’m in a support group, I always shut down conversations that begins with, “My cancer is worse than your cancer.” Those conversations are always pointless because every cancer is life-altering and potentially life-threatening. But one type of cancer does present exceptional challenges during treatment and recovery. These cancers are head and neck cancers, and […]