Cancer in Context

Remembering Debra Sherman

April 23, 2014

It is with great sorrow that we learned that our much beloved and admired colleague, Debra Sherman, died yesterday morning in Chicago after battling lung cancer for more than a year. Deb’s signature mix of humor and moxie made her a fierce reporter and wonderful friend to so many of her colleagues around the world. She covered healthcare for more than a decade, breaking news on the medical device industry and writing considered pieces on such subjects as the rising financial toll posed by a cancer diagnosis.

Hiring a cancer survivor

February 7, 2014

Today’s employment report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the job market remained tough in January. If it’s difficult for healthy individuals to get a job, what is it like for cancer survivors?

Cancer wrecks your body, even some friendships

January 22, 2014

Much as cancer can cause skin to lose its suppleness, hair its sheen, and the body its vigor, it can also wreck some friendships.

Unnecessary palpitations over palliative care

January 17, 2014

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said it best when it declared in its December 13, 2013, issue that “palliative care suffers from an identity problem.”

Pain and addiction

January 10, 2014

Pain arrived for another too-long visit recently, so I called on my palliative care doctor to get relief. Pain has been an exhausting, debilitating aspect of my cancer, affecting me primarily in my ribcage, on the right side. This is the site where my stage 4 lung cancer first was diagnosed. If it weren’t for the pain I felt in my ribs I never would have known I had cancer, and it’s still my only symptom.  

Pumping Iron During Chemo

December 20, 2013

Exercise is good for cancer patients, doctors these days say. That’s an about-face from just a decade ago when they urged patients to conserve their flagging energy. My oncologists tell me to exercise as much as I can, as long as it’s not causing pain. Otherwise there are no limitations, no matter the patient’s age, type or stage of cancer.

Researching the obvious: It stinks to have cancer

December 11, 2013

Being poor stinks. Having cancer really stinks. You probably can’t do worse than being poor and having cancer.  

Giving back: data for cancer research

December 4, 2013

Scott Reid lost his wife to lung cancer 19 days after they were married. It has been 15 months since she passed away. She was 46 years old.  

I’ve got $100 to donate to a cancer charity. What to do?

November 26, 2013

The other day, I received a $100 honorarium from a cancer research organization for participating in an interview conducted by a group called Patients Like Me.

Do you need to love your doctor? Cancer made me realize that I do

November 20, 2013

I’ve seen the same dentist, the same gynecologist and the same internist for years, even decades. They are competent, and nice enough. But I recently dropped my oncologist because, in part, I didn’t love him. And I need to. After all, my oncologist has my vulnerable life in his hands.