There is never an easy way to find out you have cancer. No matter how you prepare yourself in the days or weeks or months that lead up to your diagnosis, the words cut to the core of everything you have ever known and leave a raw-edged wound you believe, with all of your new-found fear and uncertainty, will never heal. It was on a day exactly like this, when the words from my doctor’s mouth morphed into the walls around me, and my ability to hear and listen and understand was paralyzed by my fear. I was terrified of...

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I am an animal lover. I always have been. When I was a little girl, my mother would let us have cats but not dogs. I remember frequently hugging a stuffed poodle and praying that God would turn it into a real dog. As soon as I was on my own, I got a dog or two or three! I’ve had at least one my entire adult life. Usually, I have had two or more. They complete me. I suspect many of you know exactly what I mean. I currently have two dogs: Cotton, an American Eskimo dog (Eskie), and...

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Growing up, I often heard Valentine's Day called a "Hallmark holiday"…followed by a bit of a smirk and a wink.  I had trouble reconciling this cynical attitude with the weeks-long leadup of advertisements encouraging one to "make your partner feel appreciated," find the perfect dozen roses, and to be sure to hand-deliver the most sensual box of chocolates on the planet to your beloved.  As time has passed, I have come to believe that Valentine's Day really is—at least for Andrew and I—an annual moment along a very long journey together to pause and appreciate the durability of our love...

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¿Cómo definir a un "paciente poderoso" ("powerful patient")? Para mí, un buen ejemplo ha sido siempre Pat Killingsworth, que ha vivido con mieloma múltiple desde el 2007.  Autor, blogger y activista, coincidí con Pat en varias ocasiones —junto con mi colega Carol Preston. Lo había entrevistado varias veces, unas entrevistas de paciente a paciente. Hace dos años, durante una entrevista, Pat se vino abajo cuando le pregunté cómo veía el futuro. Para cualquiera de nosotros, puede ser muy incierto. Afortunadamente, Pat vivió un tiempo más. Pero hace tres días nuestro amigo falleció. Todos nosotros en Patient Power y también la comunidad de mieloma...

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Dedicated and caring patient advocate Pat Killingsworth passed away Thursday morning, February 11th, on his 60th birthday, from a brain aneurism. His quick decline was, and still is, a complete mystery. He knew things were not going well, but he was determined to make it to his birthday. And he did. It says a lot about the kind of person Pat was. Pat was a rare breed of myeloma patient who dedicated much of his time every day to making sure that others with the disease were cared for. He did this for the years following his diagnosis and blogged...

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Pat Killingworth How do you define a “powerful patient”? For me one embodiment has always been Pat Killingsworth, living with multiple myeloma since 2007. An author, a blogger, an advocate, I have met Pat several times, and—along with my colleague Carol Preston—we have interviewed him patient-to-patient, often. A couple of years ago during an interview, Pat broke down when I asked him about how he viewed the future. For any of us, it can be so uncertain. But happily, Pat did have a future after that. I am sorry to tell you that came to an end today as we...

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I know we’re talking about lung cancer with 2016 World Cancer Day arriving. I know that no one is comfortable talking about lung cancer. It’s the elephant in the room, about “moving the needle” and, of course, “white is the new pink”—all efforts to talk about lung cancer. In recent weeks, there has been a lot more to talk about. The most exciting talk is about the “moon shot” effort and the influx of governmental support and eventually a whole lot of research funding to find cancer treatments and cures. My story, Jillian’s story, sadly, is not unusual or exceptional: being...

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El presidente Obama quiere ganarle definitivamente la batalla al cáncer. Todos lo queremos. En el Día Mundial del Cáncer, ¿Será este EL AÑO en que se hagan más descubrimientos innovadores que salven vidas y mejoren la calidad de vida de los pacientes? El avance científico que supone la inmunooncología ofrece un rayo de esperanza. Como persona que convivo con dos cánceres, leucemia linfática crónica (LLC) y mielofibrosis, para mi cada día es el Día del Cáncer. Cada día que me encuentro bien soy feliz. Cada día me pregunto cuál es el camino que podría llevar a una cura. Afortunadamente para...

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President Obama wants to finally beat cancer. We all do. As we celebrate World Cancer Day can this be THE YEAR where more breakthroughs happen, saving lives and improving quality of life? Sine new science, immune-oncology, has a glimmer of promise. Living with two cancers, CLL and myelofibrosis, every day is Cancer Day for me. Every day I am happy when I feel well. Every day I wonder what the path could be to a cure. Fortunately for me, I have access to great doctors, elaborate testing, and insurance that will pay most of the costs. When we think about...

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President Obama wants to finally beat cancer. We all do. As we celebrate World Cancer Day, can this be THE YEAR where more breakthroughs happen, saving lives and improving quality of life? Since new science, immune-oncology has a glimmer of promise. Living with two cancers, CLL and myelofibrosis, every day is Cancer Day for me. Every day, I am happy when I feel well. Every day, I wonder what the path could be to a cure. Fortunately for me, I have access to great doctors, elaborate testing, and insurance that will pay most of the costs. When we think about...

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