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

Posts by Julia de'Caneva

Death Doula & Thyroid Cancer Survivor

The Language of Cancer: “Stay Strong” and Other Meaningless Platitudes

by Julia de'Caneva December 14, 2023

Navigating the language of cancer is one side effect of diagnosis that no doctor or checklist mentions. A cancer diagnosis becomes an exploration of identity, one that seems to evolve constantly. Survivor versus patient. Warrior versus, well, we’re still looking for an alternate care-forward word. That’s the crux of it.


My Work as a Death Doula

by Julia de'Caneva August 23, 2022

“Well, the results aren’t what we were hoping…” my doctor said, closing the door behind her. “But the good news is this usually responds really well to treatment, and you won’t have to do chemo.”

We talked for a while longer, and then she offered up, “I mean, I’ve seen people with thyroid cancer all over their body live another 20 years.”

I think it was meant to be soothing, but I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t quite relevant to me. Not to mention, it contradicted her speculation just moments ago that my chance of recurrence after surgery would be very low.