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 […]


Despite Cancer: Thoughts on Outward Focus in this New Year

Posted January 5th, 2017

Hubby and I were anticipating hiking a new trail with friends. Four-in-One Cone in the Sisters (Oregon) Wilderness with views of seven distinct massive rock-solid peaks. As we began our climb, we found ourselves in the clouds. Dense. Gray. No mountain views in sight. Worse, I couldn’t seem to get warm; I was focused too much on the damp coldness. A week later, Hubby and I hiked the […]


Bob Riter

Value Your Own Story

Posted November 29th, 2016

I recently spoke with a group in Binghamton, NY about coping with and communicating about cancer. One attendee suggested that I add the importance of valuing our individual cancer stories. What a terrific idea. Each person who’s been through cancer (either as a patient or a caretaker) has a unique story. For many of us, […]


Karen Arnold-Korzeniowski, BSN, RN

Cancer Free(dom)

Posted September 23rd, 2016

Over the past couple of months, I have been treated for basal cell carcinoma on my face. While having a MOHS procedure on the first lesion, the surgeon noted a spot on my chin that he said he wanted to biopsy when I had my second surgery done. I couldn’t remember a time not having […]


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Posted September 1st, 2016

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know in the United States alone, over 15,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer EVERY YEAR. Of those, one quarter will not survive their disease. (For more Childhood Cancer facts see www.alexslemonade.org/childhood-cancer-facts) Yes, childhood cancer is fairly rare. But for 15,000 families in […]


Karen Arnold-Korzeniowski, BSN, RN

Cancer Scars

Posted August 31st, 2016

Many events in our lives can leave us scarred. Some events leave indelible, physical scars like a scar on your leg from the time you fell off your bike as a kid. You might have an emotional scar from harsh words said to you by a friend or loved one. A psychological scar can leave […]


Why Telling Our Stories Can Be Healing

Posted August 24th, 2016

I met this amazing young woman, Sarah Thebarge, at a writers’ conference in Portland this past week when I took her coaching class, “The Healing Power of your Story.” Coaching classes are eight hours in length, spread over three days;   they include writing exercises and the time allows for some excellent in-depth instruction. This […]


Is There Anything I Can Do For You?

Posted August 9th, 2016

Spoken one way, it ends conversation and doubles the distance between me and, my friend, my tennis mentor, who now in his early eighties is dealing with a medical crisis. Spoken that way, it is nothing more than a social convention. He knows I really can’t help him, and he knows I don’t have the […]