The Lung Cancer Blame Game - How People Blame the Patients and Patients Blame Themselves

Lung cancer patients regularly bemoan the question that plagues us. The, “did you smoke?” question. There is simply no getting around it. It’s the number one thing people ask when you share your lung cancer diagnosis. (See here for more…

Gail Schlachter, My Mother-in-law, Remembered

A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law Gail Schlachter passed away. Our family, already burdened with my illness, has been reeling from this unexpected loss. The other day Jacob, who was particularly close with his Grandma Gail, caved under the…

This & That -- A Letter to My Mom Book, Team Lisa Update & Clinical Trial Innovation Contest

Here are a few odds and ends that don’t quite amount to their own blog posts, but I still want to share, so I’ve smushed them all together here: (1) A Letter to My Mom — This is the coolest…

Fractured Medical Care: A Rant Constructive Criticism from a Patient Who Cares

I am incredibly lucky to have good health insurance and live in an area that offers first-rate medical care. These are both privileges many do not share and I don’t take either for granted. But, it’s in my nature to…

It’s Gettin’ Real in the Canned Goods Aisle

People seemed to really respond to my last blog post. Which isn’t that huge of a surprise, since I basically just ripped off that famous quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,”…

Update #8 -- "You Don't Look Like You Have Cancer"

But, I do. ______________________________ I was so tempted to end my post there. Because sometimes it’s that simple. Cancer doesn’t always look like a person in a head scarf. Cancer often looks just like you. Cancer looks like me. I…

Mourning the Loss of Paul Kalanithi

When I was first diagnosed, it was quite a fire drill. My biopsy was supposed to be an easy outpatient procedure, an hour, maybe two, tops. Instead, I didn’t set foot outside of the hospital for a week. I woke…

Of Constipated Parrots and Brain MRIs

Last week I had an appointment with my oncologist. She reviewed my lab tests and we discussed my current side effects and symptoms. At each visit, she’s evaluating a variety of things, including my brain function and whether it warrants…

The Darkest Secret? -- Musings on the Death of David Carr

What could be more shameful, more blameworthy, more deserving of secrecy than leaving your infant twins alone in a car for over an hour while you go score some drugs? Well, perhaps, lung cancer. David Carr died a few days…

Update #7 - DON’T LOOK DOWN

Having advanced cancer feels a lot like walking a tightrope. Creeping so carefully, trying to balance on the slimmest of margins, never any real chance to let down your guard. Every so often a gust blows, but there’s no predicting…