Bob Riter

Connecting Cancer Scientists and Cancer Patients

Posted May 1st, 2017

Most cancer research begins in laboratories where scientists seek to understand why normal cells mutate into cancer cells and then travel, wreaking havoc, elsewhere in the body. These basic scientists are generally more familiar with test tubes than with cancer patients. Nationally, there’s growing interest in building partnerships between scientists and patients. For example, review […]


Celebrating a Life Well-Lived: Random Thoughts

Posted April 11th, 2017

Family and friends gathered in Idaho this weekend to celebrate a life well lived: Mom-in-law Ivalene, who died of complications due to pancreatic cancer. Since the Celebration of Life service, a few random thoughts have been swirling in my brain: Random thought #1 — about people There were the usual suspects at mom-in-law’s service — you know, […]


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 […]


Carolyn Vachani

It’s Not All Rainbows and Glitter

Posted March 29th, 2017

If you have never heard the words “you have cancer”, then what I am about to explain may defy logic, but bear with me. Let’s imagine you are heading to the cancer center for your last day of treatment – chemotherapy, radiation, whatever it may be. What are you feeling? What thoughts are running through […]


Integrative Medicine: It’s Just Good Practice

Posted March 23rd, 2017

Integrating conventional, allopathic medicine with evidence-based eastern medicines supports whole person health. We invite you to listen as Dr Georgia Tetlow, Integrative Physician, shares how she uses therapies such as physical exercise, acupuncture and meditation to support her patients and their particular symptoms during every phase of treatment and beyond on a physical, emotional and […]


Bob Riter

Cancer Patients, Make Your Wishes Clear

Posted March 22nd, 2017

In the cancer world, patients often differ on what they want to hear from their doctors. Here are some examples: Some patients want to know — in detail — the various pros and cons of every treatment option, while other patients just want to know what the doctor thinks is best. Some patients want to […]


Cancer and Financial Toxicity: 6 Tactics

Posted March 20th, 2017

My friend, upon turning 40, had a mammogram. Suspicious areas showed up in both breasts, which precipitated an ultrasound, two biopsies and additional mammography. All to the tune of $4,000. Although no cancer was detected, my friend needs to return every six months for images. “High risk,” they said. “We need to watch this closely,” they said. Here’s the […]


22 Ways to Support Your Newly-Diagnosed Friend

Posted March 6th, 2017

Over the past few years, a number of people have asked about best ways to support a newly-diagnosed-with-cancer friend, neighbor, or family member. Or how to support a close friend who just learned a loved one had cancer. Keeping in mind that every cancer patient will be at a different place in terms of diagnosis, long-term prognosis, and state […]


Stupid Cancer

Posted February 6th, 2017

On a snowy day last week, mom-in-law Ivalene checked into the emergency room – quite yellow. In the process of correcting her outrageous skin color, pancreatic cancer was discovered. From her hospital bed, mom-in-law has been reminiscing. One of the stories she loves to tell is how she met her husband, Jack, when he was home on leave from the Marines and how […]


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 […]