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Tag Archives: Cancer

Building on Strengths to Face Challenges: Understanding Indigenous Cancer Survivorship

ChadHammond1by Chad Hammond, Roanne Thomas, Wendy Gifford

 

“I call this quilt my ‘Eagle at Rest.’ This is me, new and improved after going through cancer. I have the creativity now.  I feel really connected to who I am again.”

 

Karen’s words and her quilt convey her feelings of strength and her experience of transformation after breast cancer.  The ‘Eagle at Rest’ was the final quilt she discussed during a sharing session associated with our study.  As Karen discussed her collection of quilts, she described the challenges she faced from diagnosis onward.  All of her quilts contained elements of spirituality.  Strengths such as spirituality, along with various challenges, represent key themes of our interdisciplinary team’s qualitative exploration of cancer experiences among First Nations and Métis peoples in Canada.

 

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10 Things not to say to a Cancer Survivor

I first met Drew at Stupid Cancer’s 2014 OMG Summit in Vegas and then again at various conferences over the following four years. I was struck by his intense curiosity and willingness to learn everything he possibly could about the AYA cancer community, in which he included not only survivors, but caregivers too. Over the years we have often chatted about the ever-evolving language surrounding the experience of cancer, and the joys and challenges of communicating within it. As a pithy way of sharing those conversations with a wider readership, I have asked Drew to create a Top 10 List: What Not to Say To Someone Living With Cancer. Have at it, Drew!

 – Pat Taylor, CKN Editor

 

 

drewbologniniby Drew Bolognini, Caregiver/Advocate/Videographer/Editor

 

To begin with, let’s get one thing straight: I’’ve been as guilty as the next guy of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I still make mistakes. We all do, but I believe we mean well, really. I hope this list will make us all smarter.  Well, the rest of you readers anyway. I’m not sure anything can be done about me.

 

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Part 3 Hospice Series: The Final Ride “Home”

karenhinesserenityroomby Karen Hines, Caregiver

Read Part 1, Part 2

 

Thursday late morning Cassie said “see ya later” to the staff while the ambulance crew wheeled her to the elevator.  Cassie smiled, the nurses returned the smiles amongst tears, we even snapped a quick group picture.  Cass had written on one of the hospital’s white boards earlier that week, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.  Mark 5:36.” She pointed to it as she rolled past.  I tried to smile, but like a zombie, I slowly followed the gurney. Chris and the kids stayed back with our social worker Kathleen.  She spent some time discussing the emotional side of hospice and the idea of “dumping circles”.   She wanted to make it very clear to us that Cass was at the center of the circle, the rest of the Hines 5 were in the next circle, followed by Ashley’s almost fiancé, Jeff, along with the rest of our immediate family and close friends.  The final circle was “everyone else”.  Only support goes “in” and fear, whining, complaining etc. is dumped “out”.  This simple concept was how we were to control what was about to happen at our house for what would be the next 40 days.  Kathleen made it very clear that it is our job to protect each other.

 

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Part 1 Hospice Series: The Unspeakable Word

karenhinesfamilyby Karen Hines, Caregiver

Read Part 2, Part 3

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon, our social worker was stopping by to see how we were all holding up, or so I thought.  You see, our daughter Cassie had just had surgery to remove a large tumor on her spine, which was causing severe leg pain.  Cassie had been a kidney cancer patient for the last four years so we were all pretty used to the scan, surgery, recovery life of a chronic cancer patient.  Her last set of scans revealed several tumors on her spine so Cassie had decided to remove the largest of the tumors, causing leg pain, and join a trial to hopefully shrink the rest. The problem was, before she could join a trial, the pain and numbness in her arms was getting worse.  The remaining tumors were growing fast.

 

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Using What You Already Know To Make The World a Better Place

danduffyby Dan Duffy

 

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago when she told me about her impending retirement.

“What are you going to do with your free time?” I asked.

“I’m going to volunteer at the local hospital,” she said.

“That’s great! What do you want to do?” I asked.

“I’m not sure, but I figure they’ll give me something,” she said.

 

I wished her well in her new endeavor, but I knew that her volunteer position would not last two months. Six weeks later, she was back on her couch.

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