by kate riener boyd

Most Recent Posts

How to Play the Numbers

There’s an alarming post making the rounds on Facebook. Rather: an ALARMIST post, but what’s the diff. A piece was published on Mother Jones with the scary title: “DID DRINKING GIVE ME CANCER? The Science on the link is clear…” Medical journalism is a minefield, sometimes […]

How to Be a Patient

It was still summery when a casual friend invited me to coffee for the first time; I knew it would be cancer-related. She had recently completed treatment for early-stage cancer—double mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction—so I feared her doctors were unexpectedly recommending chemo. “My doctor […]

How to Endure Pinktober

Ah, October. Some think of it as the time when the leaves start to fall, pumpkins appear on porches and in coffee drinks, sweaters are donned to get cozy in the crisp autumn air. I can smell the pumpkin, but all I see is pink. […]

How to Feel Like a Survivor

A couple years ago at the market I ran into Elizabeth, a casual friend who was gearing up for the Avon39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. I encouraged her and told her how impressed I was; most likely I also thanked her, as I am […]

How to Live in the Cancer Place

The other night a dear friend wondered if all this cancer writing isn’t keeping me “in that place.” I didn’t entirely understand what she meant, but I bristled at the inference. I muttered something about how writing helps me process before we were interrupted and […]

How to Be a Super Duper Spouse With Cancer

I’ve been getting questions from women recently diagnosed with cancer. How do you not become a martyr and make every disagreement with your spouse come back to the fact that you have cancer? It’s common to aim for the winning shot in any marital spat, […]

How to Be Diagnosed with Cancer

It’s a tacky educational brochure you hope no one ever thrusts in your hands: So You’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer, Now What? I certainly didn’t know what to do with myself. My first diagnosis when I was 28 came after a game of phone tag. […]

How to Ask for Help

She was wrapped in an aqua gown, trapped in a holding area alone waiting to be called back for the mammogram. It was a diagnostic test, a follow-up to a regular screening she had days before. It’s not unusual to have diagnostic tests for her, […]

How to Find Out Who Your Friends Are

There’s an old adage that when going through tough times you find out who your friends are. I always inferred it to mean that challenges reveal who in our lives deserves to be called a Friend, as if we are Santa Claus drawing up a […]

How to Be a Superhero Warrior Angel

My dear friend Jenna accompanied me to my second chemo infusion, armed with a boat tote overflowing with crunchy snacks, cool drinks, a gourmet lunch, magazines, puzzle books, slipper socks, a scarf, and a brand new rubber figurine of Wonder Woman. We delighted over her […]