“The name of the game is calories.” Dr. Vigneri, my radiation oncologist, informed me. “Forget what you’ve learned about healthy eating. I don’t care how you get those calories. Bulk up. I guarantee you will lose weight and you don’t have much to lose. Milkshakes with every meal. All the Haagen Daaz you can eat!” [...]
When I mention to people I had oral cancer, very often I am greeted with a dumbfounded expression and the comment, ‘Huh? That’s a thing?’ My eyebrows rise, my head tilts, I flash an all-knowing grin and nod. It's so remarkable that one can get cancer in the mouth, people genuinely want to know more [...]
On the auspicious and final day of radiation treatment, I left the treacherous terrain behind me and settled onto the road back to the rest of my life. Leaning on my husband's strength, we walked at a slow pace to the car. He opened the door for me as he always did since the day [...]
In the hospital, during many long hours alone and in pain, the mind wanders. Since tissue from my hairy thigh replaced the forearm tissue which was moved to my tongue. Would thigh hair now grow on my inner wrist? Would arm hair now grow on my tongue? This was my worst nightmare! Would I have [...]
As anyone who has undergone a major surgery knows, all things familiar and safe immediately fall away. As the backward countdown begins, you find yourself crossing the threshold into a cold, dark space with room for only one. The clear path forward is to seek out signs pointing in the direction of hope. Once hope [...]
Play a part in raising awareness about oral cancer and saving lives. Download and distribute the Six-Step Screening educational poster.
"How do I get started as a speaker?" Once again, I was asked this question. Here is my answer to all who are interested. MARKETING: Start by designing a one-page profile which includes program title, description, objectives and a bio. Here are six one-page profiles, each tailored to a different audience. Export as a PDF [...]
A meaningful and memorable 3-minute speech
Hope means different things to cancer survivors.
So many people have said to me, “You look fantastic!” Why focus on how I look? You probably have little idea about my quality of life compromises that you cannot see on the outside. For me, I had bilateral vocal chord polyps and nodules, basal cell carcinoma in my radiated field, ringing in my ears, [...]