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Welcome! This is the place where you will find lots of helpful and interesting information about I Had Cancer events, member spotlights, and featured connections. You will also find guest blogs, editorials about current news and much more.

We hope that what you find here will bring you closer to finding Health, Hope, and Happiness.

October 22, 2014 | by DrZembroski
Dr. Zembroski is a Doctor Who Became a Patient and a Fellow Cancer Victor®, who hates the word "remission." Read more to find out why.

A diagnosis of cancer can be traumatic, to say the least. For most, going through cancer care can be physically devastating, from cancer itself, and the side effects of toxic and disabling chemotherapy, to invasive and often disfiguring surgery. Let's not forget radiation therapy, hormone modifiers, immunotherapy and, sometimes, stem-cell and bone-marrow transplants that can lead to graph-vs-host disease (someone else's white blood cells attacking your body).

Along with the physical effects of cancer care, there is the emotional anguish of dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, and language of cancer. Terms that we often hear are "survivor", "survival rate", "metastasis", "cancer staging...
October 16, 2014 | by Tiffany_Staropoli
Tiffany doesn't want to fight with cancer anymore. Read more to find out what she does instead.

What I am about to tell you may not be very popular. And truth be told, I've been hesitant to write about it for fear of offending or insulting others. But there's that word again...FEAR. I no longer want fear to dictate my life or my decisions or my desires to share my personal belief system with the world. Especially a belief system that seems to be working some seriously great things in my life.

So here it goes...

Are you ready?

I have given up the fight with cancer.I refuse to engage in the struggle any longer. The battle is futile and the war on cancer is a waste of my time, my energy and my talents.

Allow me to explain...

Our society has embraced one way and one way only to discuss...
October 10, 2014 | by advimed
Before you start chemotherapy, make sure you are prepared for what is about to happen. Read more for some tips that can help you prepare.

If you were recently diagnosed with cancer, and you are prescribed chemotherapy, anticipating surgery or awaiting radiation therapy, you should have an educational visit before treatment starts. If you’re not scheduled for such a visit, request one. The visit, usually led by a nurse, is crucial so that you can understand, prepare for and manage your upcoming treatment. It should be the first step of a successful journey toward recovery.

As a billing manager for a busy oncology practice, I have participated in hundreds of such educational visits. These tips should help guide you in this process:

1. Bring one trusted, level-headed person...
October 3, 2014 | by uzy27
It's good to be aware and it's good to get mammograms. But for Uzma, that wasn't enough. It was her gut feeling and a self exam that helped her locate the 7cm mass in her armpit.

The month of October has begun – the surge of pink is overflowing. Sure, everything looks cuter with a little pink in it. But there is nothing remotely cute about breast cancer. Absolutely nothing.

Aren't we all already aware that breast cancer exists? Every 14 minutes someone gets diagnosed with this illness. How can anyone not be aware?

I, for one, am aware of this disease. I have always been aware. So, so aware.

I was aware that breast cancer is fatal, when I said goodbye to my aunt. I was aware of what it can do to a family, when I saw the trauma that her kids underwent.

I was aware of how breast cancer stops lives...
September 25, 2014 | by Mama_Emma
After cancer treatment ends, a lot of people expect life to go back to "normal." But when Emily's son finished treatment, she found herself more stressed and anxious than ever before. Read more to find out how she coped.

My son's last day of chemo was a Sunday. I watched as the very last drop of poison dripped into my baby's IV line, and then we were officially discharged from our very last hospital stay. He got out of bed, put on his batman cape and walked out of the Cancer ward. Some of the nurses clapped and kids cheered, others just looked and smile. My little bald 2 year old stopped and turned to wave like he was the King of England. The nurses cried and there were hugs all around. I had a goofy smile on my face...but it wasn't real.

I was more scared than ever.

...
September 23, 2014 | by jh7204
John was a life-long pessimist...until he was diagnosed with ALL and discovered the Power of Positive Thinking. He believes it's never too late to change your mindset. Read more.

I have been a pessimist my entire life. Growing up, I always assumed the worst was going to happen. I resonated with Smalls in the Sandlot, afraid to go outside to play, and instead choosing to work on my Erector Set. Erector Sets can’t make you projectile vomit like a bag of Big Chief chewing tobacco. (They also don’t get you anywhere near Wendy Peffercorn).

As sad as this is to say, I can remember growing up thinking about what would happen if I were to become gravely ill (I never claimed to be normal). So, when I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on July 2, 2004 (at 16 years old), I can’t say I was surprised. I guess assuming...
September 16, 2014 | by sedonawoman
Cancer is a double whammy, as you have to immediately cope with the disease, plus cope with a sudden loss of control and self-direction. But it IS possible to take control back. Read more.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, wrapping my brain around the initial diagnosis resulted in a feeling of being totally shell-shocked. It wasn't on my 'radar screen,’ so hearing this news after a routine screening was like getting hit in the head with a huge boulder. I was left to feel this overwhelming and tremendous sense of loss. It was a loss of control – not only of my body, but of my life. I felt like I had little to no time in the decision-making process, as everyone around me wanted to start to fight this cancer.

All of these reactions lead to feelings of hopelessness and much sadness. This anxiety was then coupled with the...
September 15, 2014 | by TeamIHadCancer
cancer is expensive medical bills Do you have outstanding medical bills? You may be paying more than you have to. We've partnered with Nerdwallet to try and help reduce your bills. Read more.

Most people know that cancer is physically and emotionally difficult, but not everyone realizes just how big of a financial strain a cancer diagnosis can be. Patients and their loved ones are forced to make big financial decisions in a very small amount of time - investing more than they would in a house, car, wedding, etc. And to make it worse, 80% of medical bills contain errors - it's no wonder that cancer patients are more than twice as likely to bankrupt.

Luckily, there are organizations out there that can help reduce billing errors. We've partnered with ...
September 10, 2014 | by tracymax
Diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer seven years ago, Tracy understands the unique swirl of hopes and fears, insecurities and triumphs of a single person with cancer. Read more to find out how she coped.

A cancer diagnosis can make you feel alone. Being single can make you feel alone. So when you have cancer and you are single...well, it goes without saying that can make you feel really, really alone. Not only do you have to make major decisions about treatment, employment, insurance and financial issues, but you also have to worry about who will take care of you when you're feeling your worst.

But if you are single with cancer, remember that just because you don't have a "built-in" support system since you aren't in a relationship, doesn't mean that you are alone. Support can come in many forms, and it...
September 4, 2014 | by uzy27
Many people refer to cancer as a "battle", implying that it is something that can be won or lost. But according to Uzma, cancer can never win. Read more.

I read an obituary of a friend's sister who wrote the most commonly used sentence to describe death caused by cancer, "she finally lost her battle to cancer."

I have a problem with that sentence. A big problem. It implies that cancer has won. If that were true, her cancer, as an entity, would be alive, thriving and sustaining, but it is not.

So if this were to be appraised as a win or lose situation, at the most it is a draw—a situation where both parties played each other well, matched each other equally and there was no result. A "game" where both parties ran out of play time, both spent and exhausted. For someone to win, the victor has to be able...