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

Posts by Liz Hiles

Survivor, Bladder Cancer

Words Are Individualized

by Liz Hiles October 18, 2023

These words and phrases often refer to people with cancer diagnoses and their experiences. Unfortunately, no consensus exists on the best language to describe people facing cancer. 

The language that individuals describe is as different as the individuals diagnosed. While we accept the differences in patients’ physical, emotional, and support needs, there is little to no empathy, compassion, awareness, or care about how someone wants to be described. 


I’m Still an AYA

by Liz Hiles March 28, 2023

I aged out of AYA before I was even diagnosed, but I’m still an AYA.

My bladder cancer diagnosis was handed to me on August 12, 2016. I was 40 and only 100 days from turning 41. 

I was floored. Utterly and completely shocked. I was blindsided and thoroughly pissed off. 


OMG! You Don’t Have a What?!

by Liz Hiles December 6, 2022

The most authentic responses often come from the mouths of babes, even if said babes are teenagers.

About a year after I completed treatment, I was asked to help during a wrestling tournament at my high school. In my pre-cancer life, I was basically a team mom for every sport. I had a soft spot for my wrestlers, partially because most of their families never attended the meets and weren’t supportive of their student-athletes.


Dear Cancer, I Would Not Wish You on Anyone

by Liz Hiles June 15, 2022

Dear Bladder Cancer,

I have so many mixed feelings about you. I didn’t even know bladder cancer was a thing until the moment I was diagnosed with it. I am angry that you are so common, but no one is talking about you.


Losing Through Cancer

by Liz Hiles May 25, 2022

I remember the first-time cancer claimed the life of someone in my life. I was eight years old and in second grade.

My Great-Aunt Dorothy lived in New Jersey with her Italian-immigrant husband, my Great-Uncle Steve. She was my favorite family member because every time they came into town to visit, it was like a week-long party filled with Italian food and huge family gatherings.


Living My Best Ostomate Life

by Liz Hiles September 16, 2021

These days when someone gives the advice to “live your best life,” many might associate the phrase with celebrity journalist and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, who began using it regularly on her show and in O Magazine beginning in 1998.