Donna Lee Lista

Being a Parent to Cancer

Posted June 10th, 2019

It’s interesting being a 13+ year lung cancer survivor. There are times during the day when I don’t think about having had cancer, but it’s the same as not thinking about how you’re a parent every second of the day. It is such an integral part of who you are that you never forget it; […]


Rodney Warner

I Don’t Mean to Frighten You, But…

Posted June 6th, 2019

Editor’s note: Rodney originally wrote this piece in 2014 – it remains a favorite. Not favorite as in oh that’s uplifting or funny. But in a that’s reality – a look into the mind of a survivor and one most other survivors can relate to all too well. Thanks to Rodney for being vulnerable – it reminds […]


When Is Progress a Bad Thing?

Posted June 4th, 2019

Disease Progression.  Two little words, never used before, have insidiously snuck into my doctor’s vernacular. My chemotherapy ended twenty months ago and the deep response was something to celebrate. We had gotten terrific results and I felt liberated, each day a new lease on life. But now I seem to recall a bit of caution […]


Writing a Life

Posted November 21st, 2018

Here’s a conundrum: it took me two seconds to decide in my heart that writing for a cancer blog was the BEST IDEA EVER. But it took me a little longer (okay, seven months to be exact but stop judging me, we just met) to put pen to paper. Why? Part of the answer lies […]


Cancer Survivorship and Relationships: All Hands on Deck

Posted June 7th, 2018

Cancer survivorship can present many challenges to interpersonal and intimate relationships. In a short period, people with cancer often find out a lot about the people in their lives who support them.  Is John a task master who will coordinate all my insurance and financial stuff? Can I cry on Suzy’s shoulder? Does Henry fall […]


How to Feel Like a Survivor

Posted June 6th, 2018

A couple years ago at the market I ran into Elizabeth, a casual friend who was gearing up for the Avon39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. I encouraged her and told her how impressed I was; most likely I also thanked her, as I am always grateful for fundraising efforts. I can’t recall if I […]


An Alphabet List: Cancer Caregiver Tips

Posted June 4th, 2018

Being a cancer caregiver was one of the most challenging and sweetest roles I’ve ever played. The challenging part was in the beginning. Gary, a data processing manager, had been unemployed for two years when the company he worked for was sold, and then the terminal diagnosis was dropped on us from a high-flying bomber […]


School Re-entry After Cranial Radiation Therapy

Posted April 20th, 2018

This webinar focuses on considerations for parents coping with their children re-entering school after cranial radiation therapy.   Iris Paltin, PhD is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She works with the neuro-oncology and pediatric Proton Therapy programs.  


What’s the Big Deal About Hair, Anyway?

Posted February 23rd, 2018

We are beautiful without it! Of all the things I was suddenly faced with once I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, losing my hair wasn’t at the top of my worry list. Although I professed not to care about this side effect of chemotherapy, it was an agonizing experience. I thought I had a fail-proof […]


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 […]