The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Posts by Aileen Burke

Survivor, Melanoma

Social Work is my Super Power

by Aileen Burke January 31, 2023

“So we looked at the results of the biopsy,” the nervous Physician’s Assistant kept shifting his weight back and forth and back and forth. He snapped his left glove a few times. “…and the results did indicate cancer…We don’t know how far along it is really, so we need some more tests…”

I laughed. Loudly. Right in his face. I was receiving the most devastating news of my entire life up until that point and I laughed.


Permanently Stargazing, Constantly Changing

by Aileen Burke January 5, 2023

Any cancer patient knows the sound, and they know it well; even subconsciously. While it might not have a name to the common public, the crinkle of sanitary plastic seal peeling back to reveal a thin, metal needle is something familiar to us. That becomes a sound that’s just simply a part of your life, like the oven timer or your iPhone alarm clock. Some of those sterile, shining needles start IV drips for chemotherapies or anesthesia. Others spur the process of emotional healing.


Finding Faith in Foundation

by Aileen Burke March 28, 2022

I was at a birthday party in Rochester, New York when a woman I had just connected with started asking Muggle Questions. Normally, Muggle Questions run the same gamut after I so much as reveal the finer details of my health history: how did you find the mole? (It was smack mid-line in the center of my chin).


My New Year, My New Season

by Aileen Burke December 14, 2021

The holiday season is in full effect, and I can’t say I thought too much about the levity of the holidays these past few years. It didn’t feel right to.