Essays

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

A blind woman with occult macular generation standing before Denali.

Regaining Sight Of Her Happiness After Blindness

Losing her vision from occult macular degeneration could easily have placed Ashley J. Smith in a downward spiral. Instead, she chose joy.
A blonde woman with short hair having tea in an all-pink room.
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How I Became A Pink Person

I never really liked the color pink. But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and pink became the color that connected me to fellow survivors.

Breast Cancer and the Mom-God Fantasy

When I elected to have my breasts removed because of the BRCA I mutation, my twin daughters had to suddenly come to terms with my mortality.
A yellow sign reading 20MPH on a clear sunny day.

How Chronic Illness Slowed Me Down For The Better

Maybe being happy is more important than how productive you are.
A beautiful woman in a red dress covers the eyes of a bus driver.

In Defense Of Oversharing

When you live with a chronic condition, getting comfortable with vulnerability may be your greatest strength.

Rocking The Boat

Even though my Mal de Debarquement Syndrome makes me seasick even on dry land, I took a multiday boat ride with my husband, and lived to tell the tale.

I Married A Doctor. He Left Me When I Got Sick.

Just because you married a doctor doesn't mean your marriage can survive cancer, but it can show you who you really married.

Dating With A Self-Destructing Thyroid

It can be hard finding love with a chronic condition like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. But it can also make it easier to find the people worth loving.
An Asian man in his thirties wearing glasses and a gray parka standing in front of a waterfall.

I Tried To Quit My Job Because Of Psoriasis, But Thankfully, They Wouldn't Let Me

Through their support during my worst psoriasis flare-up, I got a glimpse of the way more people should be supported during their health crises.