Lessons in optimism from very ill children inspire pediatric oncologist Jim Olson in his hunt for better treatments for brain tumors. If a boy too sick to get out of bed can still find a way to have a snowball fight with his older brother, then Olson figures he can find ways to improve brain surgery.
People whose happiness was based on a sense of higher purpose and service to others had gene markers indicating low levels of inflammation, which has been linked to the development of cancer and heart disease.
The use of aspirin significantly reduces the risk for cancer, but no one knows why. Now researchers have found that aspirin and similar drugs sow the accumulation a type of DNA change that lead to uncontrolled cell growth.
It’s our job, as doctors and nurses, to be deliberate in asking our patients how they will explain their cancer to others, to make sure they understand. Keeping such a diagnosis hushed, from those who love and care for us, is an unfair burden we shouldn’t allow cancer to dictate, too.
When I learned I had cancer at the age of 22, my life and my resolution-making were interrupted. There was no time or space to stress over something as small as a three-day juice cleanse or a daily exercise program. Surviving my next cycle of chemotherapy became my singular concern.
When I blow out my birthday candles next month, I’ll celebrate being alive. But my 25th birthday will also mark a countdown to the date when I will no longer be eligible to stay on my parents’ insurance.