How Spontaneous Are You?

Posted May 10th, 2017

On a fine spring day this week, I had a hankering (what a great word, hankering … does anyone use that word anymore?) to trek back to the place where I scattered my husband’s ashes after he died of cancer, after he lived much much longer than the original prognosis: Ten preposterous brimming courageous years with late […]


Cancer Diagnosis: 15 Excellent Answers to “What next?”

Posted April 20th, 2017

Back when Hubby and I first heard those unbalancing epic words: “You have cancer,” I remember thinking, Where do we go from here? Keep in mind that every cancer patient and diagnosis is distinctive, and therefore some of the items listed here won’t apply, or at minimum, need a disclaimer. Better nutrition and increased physical activity, for […]


Bob Riter

Cancer Makes Everyone Stupider – and Smarter

Posted March 30th, 2017

A professor recently told me that he instantly became 50% stupider when his doctor told him that he had cancer. He said that his own research in his field of study is careful and thoughtful. When he learned that he had cancer, the “careful part” of his brain shut down. Rather than thinking logically about […]


Rodney Warner

Unemployment Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Posted June 1st, 2016

There are any number of factors that can impact whether a cancer diagnosis will be fatal. Which cancer is involved, its stage, your age, other medical conditions you may have and overall health are just some of the many variables. A recent study shows a new issue to think about: if you recently lost a […]


Bob Riter

Spouses Should Support, Not Direct, Cancer Care

Posted April 28th, 2016

I frequently hear cancer patients say that a spouse or partner is adding stress to their lives by constantly expressing their own opinions as to what is best for the patient. Here are some examples: “You have to go to New York City for all of your cancer treatments. You can’t get good care anywhere […]


Bob Riter

Take the right person with you to medical appointments

Posted January 29th, 2016

In a recent article, I encouraged people with cancer to take someone with them when they went to important medical appointments. When you hear the words, “You have cancer,” you tend to have trouble remembering anything else. Today, I want to suggest who to take with you on those appointments. Take someone who listens more […]


Bob Riter

Writing About Cancer

Posted September 23rd, 2014

When I began writing this newspaper column about cancer, I wondered how long it could last. After all, how many story ideas about cancer could there be? Seven years later, the ideas keep coming and I’m still writing. I’ve decided that writing about cancer is writing about life. Cancer is a lens that makes life […]


Bob Riter

A Cancer Pity Party

Posted May 15th, 2014

A woman with cancer recently told me that she was planning a pity party. She explained that, “Cancer just sucks and I want to get together with my friends to acknowledge that it sucks.” Sounds reasonable. Those of us with cancer tend to put on brave faces. But there are times that we grieve for […]


What to Say When Cancer Returns

Posted June 12th, 2013

When cancer returns, the focus usually shifts from curing the cancer to controlling the cancer. It’s an entirely different situation from the initial diagnosis, and both patient and health professionals know it.


Advice For Those Newly Diagnosed

Posted August 8th, 2012

The first few days following a cancer diagnosis are like riding on top of a speeding train. You’re hanging on for dear life and can’t quite see what’s ahead.