Stupid Cancer’s Pushing Past Cancer: Stronger Together

Interested in a one-day survivorship conference, offered online and *this* weekend?  Stupid Cancer, UC Davis Health, and UCLA Health have you covered!  They’ve partnered on a free, one-day virtual event for the AYA cancer community.  Join in on Saturday, December 5, 2020 for important information and plenty of opportunities to chat and connect with your peers.

After a long and difficult year, it’s more important than ever to gather our adolescent and young adult cancer community together.

Learn more and register here!

Turning Your Cancer Story Into Comedy

Many AYAs love a well-placed cancer joke, and it’s not uncommon for us to share a dark sense of humor. This one-hour workshop, in collaboration with Stupid Cancer, will help you turn your young adult cancer story into comedy. Whether you want to climb on stage or beef up your meme game, we’ll talk about the best approach to get laughs out of a difficult subject matter and how to shape your own humor narrative.

Where: Online video webinar. When you register, the system will send you the zoom link to attend.

Who: Young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

When: Tuesday, July 14.  1-2 pm PT / 3-4 pm CT / 4-5 pm ET.

You can register for the webinar here!

Lacuna Loft Will Be At CancerCon!

cancercon logo

Are you looking for a chance to connect in person with other young adult cancer survivors and meet Lacuna Loft in person at the same time?  Well, you’re in luck!  You can join us in Denver, CO this year for CancerCon!

Lacuna Loft will be running a 2-hour version of our Unspoken Ink: Young Adult Cancer Creative Writing Group that you can attend during one of the session slots at the event.  Plus, you’ll get the chance to meet hundreds of other young survivors who totally get what you’ve been through.

Learn more and register here!

Confessions Of A Cancer Patient

survivor guilt

I’m awake, for maybe the fifth or sixth time tonight. Like other nights, it’s a cold sweat that wakes me. I rise up and stare sleepily at the light that shines through my blinds. My body aches, there is no comfortable position to sleep in. I rise slowly so I don’t wake him, and I hear a soft snore that tells me he’s deep in a dream. The weight of my own body almost feels like too much and balance takes real effort. It’s a long walk to our restroom only about 6 feet away. I dampen a cloth and moisten my face and my chest. Sore still both from accessing the port and a deeper pain that I can’t shake.

I haven’t slept a full night in I don’t know how long. In the mirror, I see the reflection of a woman I still don’t recognize. Short fuzzy hair, darkened nails and a round face, moon face they call it; they, the others, like me. I don’t like this woman. I feel a pit in my stomach, a feeling that’s familiar. A cross between angry and sad, my eyes water. It’s time to make my way back.

The more I sleep, the less I have to think. As I lay back down, I hope the next interval comes further out. Maybe I’ll sleep until I have to get up with the kids, but it’s unlikely. I stare up at the ceiling wishing I could cry. I know if I allow myself to start, it could be hard to stop.

The silence is deafening, I lay waiting and the hours pass.

This happens almost nightly, sleep escapes me and I just lay here. I watch him sleep and sometimes catch a giggle. I stare and watch his face as it changes from serious, to a smile and then fades away as quickly as it came. I lay there and wonder what he dreams of so vividly, and I hope it’s of our son (or daughter) in heaven. My heart aches more now, so I imagine something different. A dream where he is a popular Star Wars character, now I giggle.

To be honest, it could be much worse. I’m already expecting good news from a future scan. In fact, yesterday might have been my last chemotherapy session. I feel a sense of deep guilt at that realization, so many fight for so long and here I am, possibly done. I don’t know if I’m ready for what’s next, this “New Normal” the cancer community talks about. What I do know, is it’s in Gods hands now. So, I leave it up to him.

Flashback #13: Being At CancerCon


To celebrate our 2-year anniversary of being a nonprofit, Lacuna Loft is bringing back our top 31 articles from our archives!  The countdown to our top post is continuing today with Flashback #13: Being At CancerCon, written by Mallory. These 31 articles are the best of the best and we’re very happy to share them with you again!  The countdown continues tomorrow!

….When I arrived to my first activity, the run/walk scheduled for Friday morning, I was nervous, toting my registration bag of swag, and feeling silly to be at a semi-professional event (since I was representing not only myself but Lacuna Loft) in multi-colored knee length tights and a running shirt.  I stayed off to the side and just watched for a few minutes as groups of people, who seemed to have known each other for years, congregated and visited in the downstairs lobby of the hotel.  Then, someone walked up and just started talking to me.  He was friendly, but not so overly friendly that I immediately worried about what cult I was joining, and very welcoming.  During the run/walk I was supposed to be having a walking meeting with someone so I kept an eye on her while I kept talking to my new friend.  Once the group started making its way out the door, my walking-meeting partner yelled out for me, and I quickly joined her.  From there started an epic couple of days.  The first timer welcome and orientation involved a rock-paper-scissors tournament where, once you lost a round of the game you turned into a cheering section for the person you had just lost to.  Eventually, the whole room was divided into two, yelling and cheering masses, each supporting their own rock-paper-scissors champion.  Over the course of the week, I kept running into people and saying, “oh yea, hey!  I played you in rock-paper-scissors!”…


Read the rest of the article here!

Finding Courage, Facing Cancer

facing cancer

My story with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma begins “officially” on the morning of October 25th 2014, when I began to feel the familiar stabbing pain in my chest. The pain that would drain me of all my energy and knock every breath out of me. One of my many symptoms, unbeknownst to me. Each pulsating shot more debilitating than the last, left me weakened. This morning, when I attempted to lift my head of my pillow and failed, was my turning point. It was after 7am and I could already hear shuffling just outside my bedroom door. I reached out my arm for my phone, tucked beneath my pillow, I’ve read in articles it could kill you, should the phone overheat and start a fire. But then, I’d come to find out, I had much more to fear.

In my phone, I find my husbands number on the recent calls list and hit send. He’s a Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Army and has been working a 24 hour shift, poor guy, he must be exhausted. I hardly hear a breath and I’m already speaking and he’s listening, “I can’t take this anymore, can you meet us at the hospital?” He’s concerned and tired, I can hear it in his voice, “Wait for me sweetheart, I’ll pick you up and take you.” I don’t wait. I text him as I’m leaving,  I’ve mustered up all my strength to get out of bed and round up the kids, 5 and 9, a feat in-and-of itself. To this day, I have no recollection of the drive there.

My memory picks up in the ER, I’ve already been seen and I’ve had both an EKG and X-Rays done. My husband and two kids sit beside me, the kids are sitting quietly on the floor, keeping themselves busy on their daddy’s phone. Just then, a pulmonary specialist walks in, I recognize him almost instantly. I saw him for the first time 6 months ago, here, at this very hospital. At the time he told me I had inflammation in the lining of my lungs and had mentioned an anomaly in my X-Rays, his voice echoes in my memory. “Speak to your primary physician” he had said. Today, he seemed disappointed. “I told you to see your doctor.” I had, I did. I cried to her in panic, begged her to do something, she insisted it was my anxiety. “I’ll double your dose.” Angry, I demanded she take X-Rays of her own, or request the hospitals. She was reluctant but agreed, that same day I had more images taken, I didn’t hear from her again. Even after I phoned her and left messages. Nothing.

“There is a mass, roughly 9 by 11cm attached to your right lung” he formed a circle with his hands, fingertips touching, “about this size, like a grapefruit.” A mass? Like, a tumor? “We’ll conduct a “Fine Needle Biopsy” to determine what exactly it is.” He continued.

My next memory is going under and waking up. Now, a couple hours have passed and another physician enters the small room. An oncologist, who was to become, my oncologist. “The FNB was too small a sample but we’re fairly certain it is indeed ‘Hodgkin’s Lymphoma’ we just aren’t certain of the type.”

This can’t be happening.

From the corner of the room I see my husband look up from his phone, his eyes glazed over, he’s trying hard not to cry. “Hodgkin’s Lymphoma? Cancer?” He says inquisitively.

“Yes.” She responds, it is here that my journey begins.

CancerCon 2016 In Photos

CancerCon 2016

CancerCon was an absolute blast.  I wasn’t sure what to expect…I’ll admit that I had my reservations.  While I have a strong LOVE (seriously…some of the best folks around) for the people I work with on the Steering Committee and many others I’ve met at the conference, the angry branding of Stupid Cancer is not one that I enjoy.  I knew that I would be busy and tired and maybe not have a ton of time to myself.  We all have different tastes, right?  With a year in between one CancerCon conference and the next, it is easy for me to forget the real strength that comes from the event.  It isn’t the branding of the organization that holds it (though I do enjoy the rock star like glam that they adhere to the entire weekend), or the local celebrities that come…

The power of CancerCon is found in each and every survivor and caregiver that shows up, speaks their truth through tears and laughter, and shows love to everyone around them.  It’s the late night banter, the fatigue induced laughter, the new definition of “normal” that appears in a place when everyone there has been through something as profound as cancer.  This is what will bring me back to CancerCon next year.

I’ll speak more in the next few weeks about various pieces of the wonderful event that is CancerCon, until then enjoy some photos and remember, you are never alone.  If you missed CancerCon or were there but aching for some more connection with your young-adult-cancer-having-peers, check out some of the great programs here at Lacuna Loft.  You still have time to sign up for the next Writing Group or the soon to come Drawing Workshop.  These programs happen from the comfort of your own home while still connecting you directly to 10 other young adult survivors or caregivers through video chat.

















Have A Stupid Cancer Weekend


This weekend I’m in Denver for CancerCon!  If you’re here too, check out the Lacuna Loft booth!  Our design and tech guy, Brett, will be there all weekend!  I’ll be there too…but also running around helping out the conference 🙂

For this upcoming month of May, we’ll be bringing back some of our older posts that have been your favorites, along with sharing some great new content!  Plus, now that you’ve had a few weeks to absorb the changes made to our site, what do you think?  Pretty great, right?!

By the way….have you filled out our easy-peasy ‘Happy Birthday Lacuna Loft’ survey ?  Your feedback is very much appreciated!  🙂  It will only take a few minutes of your time!

Here are some Stupid Cancer weekend links from around the interwebs…

[list type=”like”]
[list_item]major mental health advocates on youtube[/list_item]
[list_item]things about women[/list_item]
[list_item]finding your starchitect dream home[/list_item]
[list_item]how to store fresh cilantro[/list_item]
[list_item]pesto asparagus and sun-dried tomato pasta[/list_item]
[list_item]how to make an infinity scarf[/list_item]
[list_item]follow our weekend in Denver on instagram[/list_item]

Have a Stupid Cancer weekend Lacuna Lofties!

P.S.  Sign up for our Drawing Workshop now!

Lacuna Loft Is At CancerCon This Weekend!


This weekend, Lacuna Loft will be in Denver for CancerCon!  Brett, our tech and design guy, will be at the booth all weekend so stop by and say hello!  I’ll be running around as well, helping out with the conference, so if you see me, stop and say hello!

Want to hear something super exciting?  Our booth will have GIVEAWAYS!  If you stop by and hand over your email address, you’ll be entered to win our giveaways!

Giveaway #1.  A signed copy of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s.  This has been our book club book for the past few weeks and it is really really good!

Giveaway #2.  A Scrapbook Journaling kit.  This kit includes a crisp, new lined journal, a journaling pen, a packet of single word stickers, a THINK BIG stamp and stamp pad, and two different sets of chipboard stickers for added embellishment.

Giveaway #3.  A Game kit.  A crossword puzzle book, a Sudoku puzzle book, an origami book, and a package of origami paper.  Great for keeping you busy before, during, and after those pesky chemo treatments.

Giveaway #4.  We’ll have a great surprise for you from our friends over at Treatmint Box.

Super fun, right?!  We’ll also have candy…because, why not?  🙂

Who will we see in Denver at CancerCon?

Our Founder On The Stupid Cancer Show!

the stupid cancer show

Did you know that there is an awesome radio show just for young adult cancer survivors and caregivers?  It’s a weekly radio show/podcast/dose of awesomeness put on by Stupid Cancer called the Stupid Cancer Show.

I had a great time talking with Matthew Zachary, Founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, last week.  He is a dynamic personality who immediately makes you feel at ease and excited to be present.  I met him at the Critical Mass conference last year and then again at CancerCon a few months ago.  We talked about my past as a Rocket Scientist, going from being a caregiver to being a cancer survivor, Matthew’s current series in the US News & World Report, fertility and emotional support, and so much more.  Connecting with other young adult cancer survivors is a powerful thing…whether you’re in person, online, or on a radio show.

More about the show in general…

“Produced by Stupid Cancer, the Stupid Cancer Radio Show is a multi-award-winning talk radio podcast that has given voice to the young adult cancer movement and elevated the cause into the global spotlight.”

You can hear the whole episode here or here!  The entire episode (and the whole series of episodes) is super informative and entertaining.