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.

November 25, 2015 | by Dragonflyangel
During cancer, you get books and pamphlets that have information on treatments, doctor appointments, etc. But then there is the life to go back to when you are done. What now?

Those nagging words – "You have cancer" – can really feel like a sucker punch to the gut. They are unwelcome, unnecessary, and just flat out mean. I heard those words when I was 32 years old when I was told I had breast cancer. I remember I cried about three tears...okay, maybe four tears, put my boxing gloves on, and never looked back. I cried only one other time and that was when I was told I was going to lose my hair. I knew that was a given, but come on! Cancer had taken everything from me – my breasts, my peace of mind, and my calm. It was going to take my hair too? That was my last straw. However, I kept the boxing gloves on and moved...
November 21, 2015 | by chef-ryan-callahan
One of the best parts about the holiday season is the food, but many cancer patients can't enjoy it the way they used to. With Thanksgiving and all other holidays around the corner, Chef Ryan Callahan, who served as primary caregiver for his mother, shares some cooking tips for anyone who is cooking for someone going through chemo.

The holiday season can be difficult for someone who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis for many reasons - change in taste buds, lack of appetite, metallic taste, nausea, mouth sores, etc. This can cause the joy of eating holiday meals to disappear. So with Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to put together a few tips to help any caregivers who are cooking for someone going through chemotherapy. These tips will help you combat and overcome those nasty chemotherapy side-effects.

November 16, 2015 | by AnaOno
There are a lot of misconceptions around mastectomies and the recovery process. In this blog post, one survivor tries to set the record straight. Read more.

From the moment my doctor told me I had cancer, life rushed by with blood draws, scans, decisions and appointments. I was 28 years old and one week away from my wedding, which was quickly postponed.

In the midst of all this, my friends, unsure of what to say, graciously offered the silver lining, "At least you'll get a free boob job". But I wasn't convinced or comforted by the sentiment. The prospect of trading in for perky, enhanced breasts had never crossed my mind. Besides, I wasn't flipping through magazines shopping for my new rack. I was making lists of pros and cons and looking at statistics – I was focused on the "get the cancer out of me"...
November 12, 2015 | by ErinSimmons
There are points in life that force us to grow up fast. For Erin, getting cancer as a child, and going through the hardships that followed, served as a testament to her strength as she continues to triumph over what comes her way. Read more about her experience below.

At the age of 10 years old, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It was the worst experience of my life. Was this life handing me a batch of lemons? It started with me getting really sick, throwing up, and getting headaches. My mother thought it was a fever, so she took me to the doctor to make sure. I remember when the doctor walked back in the room and told her I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia- all she could do was cry. My first chemo treatment was okay in terms of pain, but it scared me because I did not understand what was happening or why...
November 5, 2015 | by Gordana
Gordana was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30's. This is the story of how working out and eating right throughout treatment got her through her battle.

My cancer story starts when I was 32 years old. Life was pretty typical. I was married, I had three amazing little girls, a job, a house, and a minivan. And I had recently started doing these crazy garage workouts called CrossFit. I had lost the weight I had been hanging onto and felt better and healthier than I ever had.

I also had this lump in my breast that would periodically come and go. My doctors all told me not to worry. They said, "Youʼre young!" and told me to continue getting ultrasounds and to not stress over it. However, that lump wouldn't go away. In fact, I could feel it more often and at times, I could even see it. It was...
November 4, 2015 | by DrSerenaHChen
Many cancer patients have questions that they want to ask their doctor but end up walking out without any answers. In this post, Dr. Serena H Chen, Director of Reproductive Medicine at IRMS at Saint Barnabas lists the top questions she wishes her patients would ask her.

After more than twenty years of taking care of patients as a reproductive endocrinologist...
November 3, 2015 | by ADensen
It's Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but many supporters feel that the stigma attached to lung cancer stands in the way of getting the support that's really needed. In this blog post, Arielle opens up about her mother's experience with lung cancer and how her family has dealt with these stigmas.

In 2010, my mom, a life-long nonsmoker, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It was a disease I knew almost nothing about – a common theme among many lung cancer patients and their families. I will never forget the shock of looking up the survival statistics for stage IV patients for the first time and seeing "4%". My family was devastated but determined to fight back.

In the five years since my mom's diagnosis, so much has changed in the field of lung cancer. Congress passed the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, which...
October 30, 2015 | by stevepake
For a long time after a cancer diagnosis, it can feel like life will never move on. In this blog post, Steve shares the moment that he realized that he has finally emotionally moved past his diagnosis.

The month of October is a very happy time for me and my wife. On the 11th, we officially marked the point of spending over half of our lives together, after 19 wonderful years. My God, we finally made it, another summer is over, the leaves are falling, and another year is passing by. On the 16th we celebrated our wedding anniversary, and on the 27th I turned 38 years old. Turning 38 is strangely a big deal to me not because of the number, but because of how I feel about it. During my first few years after cancer, I was convinced I was never going to make it to 40. Now, that milestone feels like it's right around the corner for the...
October 29, 2015 | by allymann
Re-entering the workforce after cancer isn't simple. You have just been through a life-altering experience and come out on the other side. You might be asking yourself, "what now"? If so, keep reading.

Finding a new job can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. But when you add recently beating cancer to the equation, it can feel even more foreign.

You may have had to step away from your job temporarily or leave altogether during treatment. Many people after cancer wish to return to a life that feels as normal as possible.

As I watched two close relatives try to maintain their careers, as well as find new ones all while balancing an illness, I picked up tips that can help...
October 27, 2015 | by CancerMama
When dealing with cancer, it can be hard for many mothers and fathers to find a way to put themselves first, when they are so used to caring for their families above else.

In this post, one cancer mama opens up about how she's been struggling with getting the support that she needs because she is hesitant to show what she's really going through. She's so used to being the strong one for her family, which has caused her to hesitate in telling her family that she's not doing well, and it's caused her family to not be able to see the truth. Although it's difficult, it's important to be willing to let people see you as you are during cancer. To all of the mothers and fathers out there, you have to put yourself first. Read more for one Cancer Mamas letter to all of the others out there.