Afterlives: My Mother’s Breast Cancer and, My Own →

April 6, 2016
Kate Bolick’s essay for the New Yorker in which she writes about her mother’s breast cancer in light of her own

I Found My Tribe at the Cove in Greystones →

March 16, 2016
Ruth Fitzmaurice’s essay in The Irish Times about love and life with her husband who has motor neuron disease.

Seventy Years in Four Minutes by Anthony Cerneillo →

March 4, 2016
“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.”
― John O’Donohue,

The Island of Lost Words. →

February 4, 2016
We write books to help young children acquire the words they need for the world they have recently entered. Perhaps we should also write books that help the old and infirm to live without the words that they no longer remember, and the meanings they no longer understand. “The child’s book is the book of becoming. The book for the elderly is the book of going. It had better be the most beautiful book ever made”. Jenny Disky in Berfrois, January 29, 2016

New Guidelines Suggest Depression Screenings Amid Stress of Pregnancy →

January 27, 2016
There’s new evidence that postpartum depression is more common than previously believed, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, which calls for women to be screened during pregnancy and again after giving birth. William Brangham discusses the recommendations with Dr. Hal Lawrence III of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Travelers in the Dark →

January 27, 2016
Eleanor Lew writes in the NYT about her experience at a Lighthouse for the Blind low-vision emersion program in the North Bay

Dance Returns the Joy of Movement to People with Parkinson’s →

January 27, 2016
Many struggle with tremors and balance much of the time, but when the music starts, these people dance. It gives them joy — body and soul. Scientists say dance might have lasting brain benefits, too.

A Diagnosis. Jenny Diski. London Review of Books →

January 27, 2016
In July 2014, when the English writer Jenny Diski was told she had inoperable lung cancer and, at best, another three years to live, she responded to the news characteristically — that is, in wry poor taste. “So,” she said, turning to her husband, the poet and academic Ian Patterson, “we’d better get cooking the meth.” The Poet — as Diski always refers to Patterson, with tender-ironic reserve, in her personal essays — was just about able to keep up his end of the morbid repartee that is the currency of their marriage: “This time we quit while the going’s good.” The oncologist and the nurse, apparently not watchers of “Breaking Bad,” looked on blankly.

The Science of ‘Mind Over Body’ →

January 26, 2016
The mind has the ability to directly affect our health, from pain and depression to heart disease. Science writer Jo Marchant describes how things like mindfulness, virtual reality and the placebo effect are being harnessed in medical treatments.

Just Because →

January 23, 2016
Allie Brosh’s blog, Hyperbole and a Half, is brilliant. This is one of my favorite posts. Enjoy.

My Marriage Didn’t End When I Became a Widow →

January 23, 2016
Lucy Kalanithi writing about shepherding her husband into death quotes C.S. Lewis, “[B]ereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases…” and “[W]hat we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase, too.”

Postpartum →

January 23, 2016
Discovering that her mother had suffered devastating postpartum depression allowed Stephanie Grant to rediscover her mother, and see her now as so much more: more complex, more brave, more tragic.


January 22, 2016
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Living and Dying with Metastatic Breast Cancer →

January 19, 2016
Sheri Fillipo, a nurse for 25 years, writes of living with terminal breast cancer and her decision to spend her last days at home with family, under the care of hospice, and away from the technology that surrounded her for 2 1/2 decades.

A Place Beyond Words: The Literature of Alzheimer’s →

January 19, 2016
Stefan Merrill Block writes lovingly about his grandmother, and examines the literature of Alzheimer’s. Turning to fiction for answers is an instinct that many caretakers share. While Alzheimer’s has been the subject of many excellent works of journalism and memoir, it is a disease that uniquely thwarts our ability to comprehend it through traditional modes of investigation. Block identified a critical dilemma: How do you locate the personhood in someone who is, for neurobiological reasons, no longer the person you knew? Is there a way to be true to medical fact and still find something that is transcendently human?

Caring for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver →

July 27, 2015
There is no question that being the full-time caregiver of a family member with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia requires constant adjustments. In Dr. Judith L. London’s new book, “Support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes,” she has compiled 54 stories that examine the extraordinary demands on family and caretakers. These challenges include convincing patients or other relatives that something is really amiss and that lapses are not just a result of the gradual decline in memory that can accompany aging, as well as keeping people with dementia from slipping unnoticed out of the house and getting lost.

Cancer Comic Book: Terminally Illin’.

July 27, 2015
Terminally Illin’ is a collection of comics written during a 23-year-old girl’s five-year battle with a rare bone cancer over 5 years of struggle, pain, sacrifice, friendship, love, and triumph. While enduring harsh chemo treatments, Kaylin teamed up with her friend, Jon, and they worked on the stories. The laughter helped to ease the pain. They want to share this laughter and imagination with others that might find it helpful or entertaining. To find out more, click here.

Relatively Indolent but Relentless: A Cancer Treatment Journal

July 27, 2015
From October 3 to November 28, 2012, noted artist Matt Freedman underwent radiation and chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, for treatment of adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer that had spread from his tongue to his neck to his lungs by the time it was discovered. This is the funny, moving, courageous, and witty journal he kept during that time, in comics and words, of his 35-day course of treatment. For more information, click here.

When Weed Is The Cure: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana

July 27, 2015
While researching his new book, “Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana”, Palliative Care Specialist Dr. David Casarett examined the limited medical studies related to the drug’s use, traveled to places where it is being used legally, and tested it on himself. He also spoke to patients who had used the drug to treat a variety of ailments, including seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, chemotherapy symptom relief, and neuropathic pain. To listen to the Fresh Air interview with Dr. David Casarett, Click here.

Study Questions Aggressive Cancer Treatments for Terminal Patients

July 27, 2015
A new study suggests that chemotherapy given to terminal cancer patients who aren’t expected to live beyond six months may do more harm than good. Michael Krasney and guests, Holly Prigerson, Lowell Schnipper, and Steven Pantital discuss the pros and cons of chemotherapy for terminal patients, especially when weighed against the effects on quality of life. To listen, click here.

Keeping Your Hair During Chemo

March 15, 2015
A growing number of breast cancer patients are wearing cold caps as a way to preserve their hair during chemotherapy. To read, click here.

The ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life–all the way to the very end.

March 15, 2015
Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”. Click here for more.

Remembering Lisa Adams

March 15, 2015
Reflections on a friendship with Lisa Adams. Thank you Katherine Rosman for your lovely tribute. To read click here

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