Why Aren’t They Doing More?

I sometimes get asked various versions of this question: “My father has advanced cancer, but they don’t seem to be treating him very aggressively. Why aren’t they doing surgery to remove the metastases in his liver and in his brain?” This is always a difficult question because the news is sometimes hard to absorb. When

In Honor Of Joy

Whenever I’m talking with someone living with advanced cancer, I encourage them to understand the reality of their situation but also to move forward with their lives. It’s a difficult balance. I’m devoting this column to Joy Inman who has maintained that balance better than anyone I know. Joy is now a resident at the

Beginning To Talk About Hospice

I often talk with individuals who are receiving treatment for advanced cancer, but who are also wondering, at some level, if it’s time for hospice. Many tell me that they’ve made the mental shift to focus on the quality of life rather than the quantity of life, but then add that they haven’t contacted hospice

Cancer As A Chronic Disease

Until recently, people have undergone cancer treatment with the goal of ridding the body of cancer. Sometimes the treatment worked and the cancer went away, either temporarily (a remission) or permanently (a cure). If the treatment did not work, the cancer generally got worse and the person died. Success or failure. Today, a new category

Living Well with Advanced Cancer

Many of the people I talk with on a regular basis have advanced cancers. They don’t expect to be cured, but they do enjoy a surprisingly good quality of life. And when they gather together, they are more likely to share laughter than to share tears. How is this possible? While everyone handles advanced cancer