Essays

First-person narratives about what it’s like living with illness, from people who know.

My Father The Werewolf

When I was a kid, my Dad taught me all about werewolves. Little did I know he was preparing me to understand his depression.

Warding Off Alzheimer's With Tumeric And Brain Games

When my mother was 59, she started experiencing the first symptoms of dementia. Now nearing 50 myself, I'll try anything to stave off the same fate.

A Personal Dictionary of Breast Surgery

When Erin Ollila went into hospital to have a lump in her breast removed, the words she focused on weren't necessarily the same ones her doctors were using.

How I Cured My Fear of Doctors

My great-grandfather's death inspired a fear of doctors that became a recurring family curse... one that I was determined to break.

"At Least It's Not Cancer"

Cancer does not have an exclusive contract with suffering. Why, then, do we use these five words as a way to dismiss the loneliness and pain of others?

Doctors, Stop Gaslighting Women in Pain

For almost 4,000 years, doctors have been treating women in pain less seriously than men. That needs to stop. Now.

How A Comic Book Disease Helped Me Come To Terms With Lupus

When it comes to getting people to treat sickness seriously, a fictional disease can sometimes be more powerful than a real one.

From Colorado With Love

After chemo, Rebecca Thomas thought she had met the perfect man. But cancer had profoundly changed what she needed from love.

My Life As A Migraineur

A life filled with chronic migraines is a trial by fire. You come out the other end with strength you didn't even know you had.