The MATCH Study: Mindfulness Meditation

mindfulness meditation and cancer

Cancer Knowledge Network (CKN) has partnered with Dr. Linda Carlson and her research team at the University of Calgary and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in a ground-breaking new study measuring the effects of Mindfulness Meditation and Tai Chi/Qigong on the quality of life for cancer survivors.

The MATCH Study is being offered both in Calgary and Toronto over the next 3 years and is now recruiting cancer survivors!

To learn more, go here and here!

Survivor Guilt

survivor guilt

A great piece about survivor guilt was recently written by an acquaintance of mine, Rachel, for the Cancer Knowledge Network.  I saw her speak at a conference in St. Louis and then was fortunate to meet her in person a few years later at CancerCon.  She is a somewhat shy and soft spoken person, with a heart of gold.  Being a young adult cancer survivor who has gone through cancer since she was a teenager, Rachel has seen friends come and go in her life.  Many of us can connect deeply with the complicated feelings of loss when a young adult cancer friend dies.  We start to question why we remain while our friend has gone.  Rachel, in her wisdom, has a powerful outlook on survivor guilt.

“I keep persevering and surviving because that is what they would want.”

Read the full article here.

Advice From Cancer Moms

advice from cancer moms

Caregiving for a child with cancer is loaded with challenges.  It can be easy to feel alone and frustrated as you manage your child’s treatment and recovery schedule while keeping them in school and part of a “normal” life.  School, in particular, can present a difficult environment for the childhood cancer survivor.

Recently, Cancer Knowledge Network featured the voices of several Cancer Moms as they journeyed with the cancer survivor kids.  The parents quickly discovered all they had in common while helping support one another.

Check out the great article, here!

Today I Am – Caregiving For Me

In the land of illness, cancer survivorship, and being a caregiver, some days are better than others.  How we care for ourselves is important.  My most recent article with the Cancer Knowledge Network focuses on all of the feelings that can come with survivorship and caregiving … and how through it all, the one constant is *you.*  You can make all the difference for you, whether you enjoy your current set of emotions or not.

There isn’t always a silver lining and there isn’t always a happy ending, but through it all, there is me.

You can read the whole article here!  Self-care isn’t always easy but it is always necessary.



Have you heard of the #YARally campaign?  It is a 6 month project between Cancer Knowledge Network and Stephanie Madsen.  Each month, Stephanie will write a post on CKN featuring a different topic to help young adult cancer patients and their cancer teams.  So far, Stephanie has written about Body Image but each month a different topic will be discussed.

“Together, it is CKN and Stephanie’s goal to bridge the gap between young adult cancer patients and oncology physicians. Our mission is to make the voices of young adults with cancer heard so that improvements can be made and standardized within the greater healthcare community. In this social media campaign, Stephanie will be sharing personal accounts of her journey fighting this disease and the experiences she faces as a young adult living with cancer. She is passionate about inspiring others to live life intentionally, to be proactive about their healthcare, and to speak to physicians about what it’s like having cancer as a young adult.

Each month, Stephanie will write an article pertaining to a specific topic. These topics may include but are not limited to fertility, dating and relationships, body image, and finances. In addition, several Twitter chats will be held in order to establish ongoing conversation within the cancer community. Through this campaign, Stephanie and CKN hope to unite young adults affected by this disease. Our aim is to establish a consistent relationship between patient and physician, so that treatment options can be approached with a team effort.”

Follow the hashtag #yarally on social media and join in on the conversation!

Our Stories Make Caregivers Of Us All

young adult caregiving

I recently wrote an article with the Cancer Knowledge Network about running Lacuna Loft and about telling our stories.  Feeling safe enough to share our experiences and slowing down enough to hold someone else’s story in our hearts takes practice.  These stories are delicate and special.

We have an impact on each other and the price of sharing our stories makes caregivers of us all.

You can read the whole article here!  The post even includes a short intro video by me!

Caregiving For A Parent As A Young Adult

caregiving for a parent

Being a young adult and caregiving for a parent is a tough role.  You’re young, ready to conquer the world, ready to take risks and kick butt…but living simultaneously in this world of young adult-hood and in the world of being a caregiver is a challenging task.  With differing paces and expectations these worlds clash in so many ways.

My first glimpse at the world of cancer began with my mother’s diagnosis of a brain tumor in March 2009.  I was one of her primary caregivers until his passing in December 2010.  I recently began writing about my experiences as a young adult caregiver with Cancer Knowledge Network.  Processing my experience as my mother’s caregiver has taken a lot of time, tears, and patience.  Our relationships with our parents are intricate and they gradually transform as we become adults.  Cancer both accelerates and challenges this.

caregiving post 1

Read the whole article here.

Are you a young adult caregiving for a parent?  Tell us about your experiences!