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.

April 10, 2014 | by DenaStern
Dena Stern Standbuy When Dena was diagnosed with cancer at age 29, she had very little savings. When she added up the costs of treatment, medicine and transportation costs, she was overwhelmed by the price-tag of cancer. Read more to find out how she avoided going into debt.

Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of bankruptcy among young adults? Or that the average breast cancer diagnosis will end up costing $128,000? When I was 29 and diagnosed with breast cancer I had very little savings. I definitely didn’t have that.

Before each chemo appointment I need a blood test - $85 is my out-of-pocket contribution for these blood tests. I pay this amount every 3 weeks (and sometimes even more). After a few months, I suddenly realized that I had spent thousands of dollars on my co-pays and deductibles,...
March 27, 2014 | by leahslags
end of life Leah is a Stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor, as well as a cancer coach. In this guest blog post, she shares her tips for tapping into your inner power and learning to fight through self-doubt, no matter what you're going through.

Do you love #throwbackthursday as much as I do? You may never want to see some of those old photos again, but you admire a select few of them and think about how you were so good-looking! Slender, radiant skin, and with a look of —dare I say it— happiness. Yet somehow you probably didn’t feel that way at the time. You couldn’t see your own hotness and all around splendor because you were distracted by what you didn't have. How many of us spent the majority of our twenties (and even sometimes now, no matter how old you are ) in comparison at all times? Wanting to be more fit or have bigger boobs,...
March 21, 2014 | by Annmarieg
end of life Have you suffered through the pain of surgical drains? In this guest blog post, Ann Marie shares the raw, honest truth about what she experienced after she had her drains removed - from chest pains to numbness and everything in between.

As many of you know, drains SUCK. They are gross, they smell, they tug, they hurt. (ain’t no "body" got time for that!) Although having them pulled was freeing, I had this notion that the pain would stop when they came out. NOPE!

I am more than two months out now. On New Year's Eve, my girlfriend who is a certified nurse (yep, I did a background check) came over with many sterile utensils and pulled my drains. My son, Julian, sat there and watched – it didn't seem to faze him at all. Meanwhile my other son had nightmares after of drains falling from the sky and...
March 14, 2014 | by jenglass
less board rooms more board games Are you wondering whether or not to continue working during cancer? In this guest post, Jennifer Glass shares her decision to step away from her career to focus on health and family after being diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.

Most of my adult life I've been a hard-charging, professional single gal in the city. I've had demanding and rewarding jobs in Boston, Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco, some of the world’s great cities. But now I live somewhere much different:DomestiCity.

As a result of my lung cancer diagnosis, I stepped out of the workforce last year. When it became clear that I might only feel well a few hours a day, it was an easy decision to choose to spend those hours with my family, and not in meetings or traffic.

I thought a lot about what...
March 10, 2014 | by AnnaR
logo for annie and Isabel As a nurse, Anna knew that designing stylish hospital gowns could have a huge impact on anyone having to spend time in the hospital, but she had no idea that she would be one of the people benefitting from the gowns.

My sister, Selena, and I (Anna) are both nurses. I work in an Emergency Department and Selena works in an adult ICU. We have over 15 years of nursing experience between the two of us and THE biggest complaint of our patients are the old, often torn, generic hospital gowns that leave patients feeling vulnerable. We realized we had an opportunity to design a much better hospital gown that was stylish, dignified, comfortable, and most importantly, covered the "backside". Thus began our company, Annie...
February 22, 2014 | by BeatingCancerInHeels
end of life In this guest blog post, Marlena Ortiz, the founder of Beating Cancer In Heels, shares the top 3 changes that she's experienced among survivors. Read more to find out how to take these challenges head on.

Now that the treatments have stopped, the support lessens. This means it's time to start your second chance at life but you can't because you feel stuck. Now the question is, how can you manage your new mindset after cancer?

Through my research as well as personal and professional experiences, I have discovered the top three changes survivors face. These changes can be overwhelming at times if you don't learn how to manage them. Don't you worry, that's why I am here. I have coached many through these changes and now I would like to coach you. Enjoy!

February 12, 2014 | by Guest Blogger
meditation In this guest blog post, the founder of — an online resource for the modern yogi — shares her top 5 tips to help you start meditating. Read more to find out why and how you should start meditating today.

The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless: it increases energy levels, decreases stress levels, helps you sleep better, makes you more productive, reduces blood pressure, gets rid of headaches, improves your reflexes, will turn you into a Rock Star in the bedroom and make you fabulously wealthy!

Okay, so maybe I made the last two up. But seriously, medical experts cannot stop listing the many reasons why you should sit quietly for at least a few minutes every...
February 2, 2014 | by HVSJ12
end of life Three and a half short months after her daughter was born, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and told she only had 15 months to live. Today, she is eight years cancer-free and has turned her survival into an annual celebration. Read more.

Having a sense of humor can help you through the toughest times. Thankfully, humor is something that I was blessed with and an attribute my husband, Cameron, and I relied on when I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in November 2005. In order to increase my chances of survival, I underwent a risky surgery, called extrapleural pneumonectomy, which required the removal of my left lung, half of my diaphragm, and the lining of my heart.

The fact that I was a new mother made this situation even more complicated. My first and only child, Lily, would be...
January 24, 2014 | by DancingintheRain
end of life A year after Gina was diagnosed with cancer, her friend encouraged her to run a 5K. Even though it sounded extremely daunting, Gina made it her mission to run those 3.1 miles. Read more to find out how she found the strength to not only run that first 5K, but a 10K, 10 mile run, and even a half marathon.

I was 42, a high school Spanish teacher and the varsity girls' basketball coach. Life was good. My teams were enjoying the most successful seasons in school history. I just bought my first house. My hectic schedule, however, made taking time for myself and for exercise a rarity. That all changed with the words, "It's a cancer." It was invasive ductal breast cancer, and it changed my world forever - but not in the way I would have thought.

One year after I heard these words, a friend asked me to run a 5K...
January 17, 2014 | by CMMoore
end of life Until Christine had her own experience with cancer, she didn't understand all of the challenges that arise even after cancer treatment ends. Read more to find out how she dealt with the surprise of the post-treatment emotional rollercoaster.

I was an oncology nurse for many years prior to my own cancer diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I had taken care of patients who had battled many forms of cancer, even people who had endured grueling bone marrow transplants. Upon discharge, I would send my patients off with a smile on my face and a celebratory hug. Never did I understand what patients went through post-completion of treatment...until I became one of them.

Crossing the finish line...

When I marched into the chemo room for my eighth and final...