The Ear of the Hippo, An essay by Carolyn Grant

Death can be complicated, abrupt, swift and shocking. Death due to cancer can be devastating but simultaneously a relief (our loved one is no longer suffering). As caretakers of those with cancer, death and loss is sometimes part of the journey. And with any loss, comes grieving. Just as there is no single way in which loss is defined, there is no one trajectory that defines the path of those grieving. Grief can be messy and complicated yet also something that ties us together. Grief is an emotion that all humans, regardless of race, religion or nationality will come to know in a lifetime. Carolyn’s piece is a personal story of loss but reflects the broader breath of grief. The Ear of the Hippo is eloquent, honest and relatable. I am humbled and proud she chose to share it here. 

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A Sister's Story by Becca Bruce Dobberfuhl

Cancer affects those diagnosed with it but it also affects the caregivers of those individuals. In my years practicing oncology I have learned that the caregiver is equally, although sometimes differently, impacted. One thing I love about practicing oncology is that I often get to know patients’ caregivers as well as the patient. I asked one of my patient’s sisters to put into writing how her sister’s diagnosis has impacted her. Her words, written below, are poignant and I think will strike a cord with caregivers, who can relate to the ways in which cancer has impacted her. 

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