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

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

You’re On Your Own, Kid

by Quinn Fitzgerald March 7, 2024

Taylor Swift really got it right when she said, “You’re on your own, kid, you always have been.”

Nobody prepares you for what it feels like to be a cancer survivor.


“It’s Not You, It’s Your Cancer”

by Chelsey Gomez February 28, 2024

Did you know that some people will stop being your friend simply because you got sick? I didn’t know this was a “thing” until I myself was diagnosed with cancer. If you are reading this as someone outside the cancer community, you’re probably shocked or think I’m mistaken. I’m not.


Understood Listening

by Theresa Rees September 11, 2023

The word “understand” seems like a simple word to comprehend, but it is not as simple as it seems. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had a slew of medical professionals try to deduce my symptoms and the side effects I experienced without looking at me as an individual. They read and looked at their words but did not listen to my words. They chose to lessen my words.


Oh F***, You’re the One

by Madi Fishtrom September 8, 2023

In 2017, I was an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of my (many) jobs was in the IT Office on campus at the Helpdesk. This cute guy would walk up to my desk and chat with me, and I thought he was a graduate student until he asked if I was in a large lecture class. I was and so was he! We found out we were both majoring in Technology Information Management and began studying together.


The Hardest Part

by Janessa Ventura-Alvarenga August 9, 2023

I would often get the question: “What was the hardest part about having cancer?” And I never really knew how to answer that. Not because I didn’t have an answer in mind, but because I didn’t think it was the answer people were expecting of me.


Dear Cancer, I Knew That Something Was Lurking

by Theresa Rees July 12, 2023

Dear Cancer,

I’m not really sure how to address you. You’re kind of like that mean girl who bullies just because she can or the mysterious stranger in the corner of the room—the kind that people are interested in but don’t want anything to do with.


There is No End to the Guilt

by Jennifer Anand May 30, 2023

The guilt eats away at you. I’m coming up on 10 years post-transplant. I ask less now, “Why am I alive?” but feel more the guilt of my life. The guilt of having a job and friendships and being able to live even a somewhat normal life. The weight of the guilt is crushing. 

I was at the Thanksgiving service where J shared the excitement that the cancer was in remission. She and her husband both kindly patted my shoulder on their way to speak at the front. But what was I to say? Congratulations?


Cancer Sucks

by Kayla Robertson May 12, 2023

I was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks before my 31st birthday, almost one year ago now. I had vaguely heard about this type of cancer before in media here and there but certainly never expected it to happen to me. I felt more disassociation than anything when I received my diagnosis. I couldn’t believe it.


The Weight of Surviving

by Jennifer Anand May 8, 2023

I’m shaking. Scrunched in the middle seat of a plane. Somewhere over Canada, I think. Happily watching From Scratch as I drink my Iceland glacier water and eat my German hot dog pastry. I love these new Netflix shows. Women of color falling in love with European men. A dream of mine, really. And so cheerful to watch—till his knee hurts, and I’m wondering what surgery he will need.


You Will Have to Learn

by Myka Robin May 4, 2023

After completing my treatment in April of 2021, I had a mixture of emotions. I was happy that the treatments were over, but I was terrified at the same time. You see, being a cancer patient, treatments and checkups became a security blanket. I knew that the treatment was keeping the cancer away and I knew the checkups would catch anything if it did happen to show its ugly face again.