The doctor has prepared me for more weight loss and losing my hair. Dating isn’t the main focus here, but it’s fresh in my mind, because I just got out of a relationship. So I’m just sitting here, thinking, ‘Wow, not only am I single, but I’m about to be four pounds and bald.’
–Comedienne Tig Notaro went onstage last month in Los Angeles and opened her set by saying “Thank you, I have cancer, thank you.” The audience was shocked. In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Notaro talks about how she had a life-threatening infection, lost her mother to a freak accident days after leaving the hospital, and then was diagnosed with breast cancer. To cope, she did what she does best: got up onstage and laughed about it. It really struck me from this interview, jokes aside, that Tig Notaro is an extremely strong person. Very much hoping for she gets well soon — and stops being on the receiving end of life’s shit stick. [New York Times Magazine] [Image: NYT Magazine]
Studies have shown that animals can help sick patients heal. But what do you do when a patient is in quarantine, unable to receive visits from the animals they love? Teenage cancer patient Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem was prohibited from seeing her pet cat Merry, so Seattle Children’s Hospital visiting artist John Blalock decided to help satisfy her kitty cravings. Blalock had helped create awesome artworks and installations for patients around the hospital, and for Maga, he made an immersive cat show. Blalock first collected cat photos from hospital workers, and then took to the Internet to get additional pictures of cute kitties. More than 3,000 images poured in, and Blalock made a cat-filled presentation for Maga, complete with purring sounds. On July 25, Maga reveled in more than 1,800 cat images, specially selected by Blalock.
“It was a big surprise, how big a response I got,” says Barzallo Sockemtickem. “But I think it was the simpleness of it all. People love cats; animals make us happy.” [NPR]
Talia Joy Castellano has makeup chops far beyond her years. The 12-year-old has over 100,000 YouTube subscribers for a reason: she’s exceptionally good at doing her face, and her clever, vivacious onscreen personality makes her step-by-step tutorials a pleasure to watch. If not for her baldness, one would never guess that Talia carries an immense and unfathomable weight that nobody, let alone a child, should have to experience. Keep reading »
A pregnant 16-year-old with leukemia was at the center of a debate over abortion in the Dominican Republic, as doctors feared repercussions of administering chemotherapy that may kill her fetus. Fortunately, hospital officials told CNN the anonymous teen began receiving chemotherapy last Tuesday after conversations between her parents, the hospital, and presumably government officials. There were initial concerns that doctors at Semma Hospital in Santo Domingo would withhold the treatment because she is 10 weeks pregnant and the DR has a strict ban on abortion, claiming life begins at the moment of conception. Keep reading »
Happy birthday, Cancers! To celebrate all those beautiful, sensitive, generous Cancers out there, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways the rest of us can bring some Cancerian magic into our lives. Check it out after the jump! Keep reading »
Six-year-old Drew Cox’s father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and the young boy wanted to do something to help his sick dad. So he decided to run a lemonade stand, selling cups for 25 cents a pop. Word spread about Drew and his dad, and friends from around the community showed up to support. One person even donated $5,000 to the cause. At the end of the day, Drew made more than $10,000 for his father. Just try not shedding a little eye water at this touching story. [KLTV]
All young leukemia sufferer Kye wanted was to get to play his favorite comic book character Batman. So the town of Arlington, Texas, got together and put together an adventure for Kye. Kye and his team of do-gooders encountered rascally criminals like The Joker and The Riddler, detonated “bombs” and recovered stolen money. The day ended with a ceremony at City Hall where Kye was given a key to the city.
I was on the way to the hospital when he called to arrange our first date. Sobbing, I pressed “Ignore” and tried to steady my breathing. I wondered if I would live to take him up on his offer for coffee — I’d blurted out “I only drink tea,” and now, I wished I had said something better, something nicer. I hoped I would have the chance to apologize.
A few days earlier, a guy in my film production workshop at college had rushed up to me after class and asked to speak to me alone. Having said maybe five sentences to him in my entire life, I couldn’t imagine what he wanted to talk about, but I waited anyway. He offered coffee, I countered with tea, he smiled sheepishly and said he didn’t drink coffee either, and I gave him my number. He departed just as fast as he had appeared, leaving me surprised and giddy. Keep reading »