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Spring Forward

April 2017 Vol 3 No 2
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer,
Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co-Developer of Work Stride—Managing Cancer at Work
Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions

Welcome to the April 2017 issue of CONQUER. As we embark on spring, we also know that cancer takes no season off. No holiday. So as you are enjoying warmer weather, trees with buds, and the grass getting green, take your copy of CONQUER outside with you, get a comfy chair, and start reading. Let’s review some of the highlights in this issue.

As always, we have several outstanding patient stories from courageous patients who are happy to share their stories. Read the story of an inspiring individual with an incurable blood cancer who has managed to find positive spots along this daunting journey, with the help of what he loves best, painting amazing paintings (Finding Positive Spots in My Multiple Myeloma Journey). You will also learn about how one patient is applying his love for model building to help him get through challenging cancer treatment situations (My Passion for Model Building Keeps Me Going While Dealing with Cancer). The third story describes a patient with cancer who is surrounded by friends and family who are religious, but she is not (although she was raised by a religious family), and how she conducts herself as a nonbeliever. How brave of her to share her story with us! Indeed, read her story Coping with Cancer As a Nonbeliever and judge for yourself.

And speaking of all these talented patients who find help through their artistic talent, be sure to read the description of the painting in the Art Therapy section (The Light at the End of the Journey) by a loving couple, who use art to help them deal with a cancer diagnosis for one of them, which turned their world upside down.

“Self-Compassion”—what could this article be about? It is about the importance of all patients with cancer taking a pause periodically and giving yourselves a hug. Patients have a tendency to beat themselves up once diagnosed—all of the “what ifs” enter their heads. But this isn’t a time for trying to decipher the cause of your cancer, or why you even got diagnosed. It’s time to take this disease on, while also being kind to yourself, physically and emotionally. Read the article Self-Compassion: What It Is and How It Can Help, and learn how to do this, and why it’s important.

“Sex and Intimacy”—I bet this article’s title alone got your attention! However, although such a subject is frequently on the mind of patients with cancer (or their partner’s), it’s a topic that is not discussed too often by their oncologists. Nurse navigators are more than willing, ready, and able to help you overcome barriers to resuming intimacy. So read the article Sex and Intimacy for Breast Cancer Survivors: During Treatment and Beyond, and start making your own list of questions to ask your doctors.

Nutrition should remain front and center for all patients with cancer. If you aren’t eating right, then you aren’t doing all that you can to get and stay well, especially while receiving cancer treatments that can dramatically alter your gastrointestinal tract, and your personal interest in certain foods. So read the article 10 Tips on How to Combat Malnutrition During Cancer Treatment and Beyond to learn about malnutrition, and how to focus on a healthy diet that is key to your cancer treatment being successful.

In our Financial Support section, learn about biosimilars. Never heard of this term before? Plan on hearing a lot more about it in the future. Read the article Managing the Cost of Cancer Treatment: The Value of Biosimilars to find out why.

And once more, we provide an overview of one type of cancer, follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

So have you found that comfy chair outside? Got a bottle of water or tea to sip on? Sunglasses, hat, and perhaps a lightweight quilt? Prop those feet up and start reading!

We invite you to submit your own story by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or online at

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