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Hi There, I Write Your Stories, I Mean ‘Our Stories’
I write stories about my coworkers. Collectively known as "Our Stories," a new one publishes in my organization's newsletter every other week. Yesterday, the newsletter published a story I wrote about . . . myself. Here is that story with some redactions.* * *Every morning after waking, I prime my body and mind for the day: meditate for 20 minutes, perform 20 pull ­-ups, and then jump on a mini trampoline while singing whatever pops into my head. I then move to the kitchen where I prepare four eggs mixed with hot sauce and grated cheddar on a pan coated with butter, and pour-­over coffee. Once my breakfas...
Source: cancerslayerblog - September 7, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

Road Tripping Ireland: Drive on the Left
In July, I spent one week in Dingle, Ireland, where I participated in my fourth residency in my fiction-writing program. After residency, two friends and I explored Dublin for a few days, and then I rented a car by myself to travel around the southwestern part of the country for several more days. Of course I made a video of my adventures. Enjoy. You canwatch it on YouTube or directly below if your web browser allows.Ireland: the land of every shade of green covering rolling hills, the kindest and most welcoming people, and a shocking quantity of pubs.A Recent Social Media PostWhat kind of life do I want to lead? My emotio...
Source: cancerslayerblog - August 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos travels Source Type: blogs

See Where the Heat Is
“You should request Sarah to be your mentor next semester, she’s fabulous!” said Susan Conley, the visiting workshop leader for my fourth residency in Dingle, Ireland, which ended just over one week ago.My upcoming semester is a biggie —I’ll complete my thesis, which I hope becomes a published book of short stories.I followed Susan's recommendation and emailed Sarah and asked if she ’d like to work with me. But the next day, even before Sarah responded, I said to Susan, “I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I was thinking: wouldyou like to work with me? ”The typical...
Source: cancerslayerblog - July 23, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

Scrapping (Sorta) Like Conor McGregor
Yesterday morning began like most others for me: meditate or pretend to, perform 20 pull-ups, jump on a trampoline, eat eggs, drink coffee,read my coveted 15 minutes of Trump news, and then switch my phone to “do not disturb” and set its timer for 60 minutes. It was writing time.That ’s when my morning became unique: I couldn’t crank out words. I was stuck on one paragraph in the middle of a 22-page behemoth essay I’m revising and hoping to get published inGQ,Rolling Stone orPlayboy . . . dream big.Hey brain, ignite! I read the writing note I had left for myself the day before, and then the la...
Source: cancerslayerblog - July 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: living habits MFA writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

Make It Count
This story is brought to you bySecrets of the Cancer-Slaying Super Man, my second memoir about having confidence when there ’s no reason to have any in the face of deadly illness.Secrets is for ages 10 and up. If you like this free blog story, then you ’ll loveSecrets which is only 800 cents more!***Walterrrrrrrrrrrsssssssss!!!!!!!!!! and I stood on the grassy hill in the University of Virginia football stadium for the final time together as students. Maybe we ’d stand again later as graduates, maybe we’d sit together in seats later like proper old men, or maybe neither. Who knew how often my former...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons sports Source Type: blogs

Google Calendar Notifies Me of Friends' Birthdays. And of Their Deaths.
Some people lie about inconsequential things like who recorded what and who peed on whom. A couple years ago, my friend Parsnip crossed the line: on Facebook, he lied about his birthday.On the day Facebook said was his birthday, Parsnip ’s timeline was flooded with thoughtful posts like “Happy birthday dude!” and “HB.” Hundreds of posts just like that from a spectrum ranging from cousins to Facebook friends he couldn’t recall ever having met.Birthdays are meaningful and I thought deserving of a one-on-one deep conversation instead of public recognition. So I texted him, “Happy birt...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 11, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: living habits Source Type: blogs

If a Fish Could Talk
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” - Carl Rogers, founder of person-centered psychotherapyYou might be surprised to learn you can have a conversation with a fish that is swimming in a fish tank. I know because I once had one.During the ages 16 and 17, I walked past a fish tank hundreds of times as I came and went to clinic at the National Institutes of Health where I received treatment for my bone cancer. The tank stood against a wall in the waiting room, in between the elevators and the bathroom. For a cancer patient, no room is more important than the bathroom,...
Source: cancerslayerblog - May 30, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: animals imaginative life lessons super model Source Type: blogs

Parenting a Bone Marrow: Suffer, Suffer, Suffer, Suffer, Relief
I walked in on Bone Marrow as she was mainlining pollen. Talk about having your tongue tied. I entered the balcony of our apartment and there was my teenage bone marrow “daughter” injecting into herself—I mean, injecting into us—the pollen she had plucked from the air and collected in a small mountain on the bistro table.Bone Marrow saw my shock and said, “It’s maple, our worst allergen,” as if that statement was enough for me to understand her reasoning.Eventually, words came to my mind, and I said, “You can’t just shock our body into building immunity like this withou...
Source: cancerslayerblog - April 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer-free anniversary life lessons Source Type: blogs

If Everything Took 15 Minutes: Considering Time
I always thought about time —How long until we get there, Mommy and Daddy? . . .Fifteen minutes, Benjamin . . .no matter the destination, my parents always proclaimed the car ride would take 15 minutes —but time assumed new significance when I was 16.I remember, then, scanning the ceiling and thinking about time. Unlike my bedroom nowadays, in which even my computer ’s LED light is covered with a blackout sticker, my hospital room dazzled with light streaming in through the door’s small window and from the IV machine’s red digits telling me fluid was entering my bloodstream at 150 milliliters ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - March 21, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons MFA Source Type: blogs

Where Common Decency Crumbled, and It ’s Not Where You Think
As published on The Huffington PostI grabbed a kosher beer from the refrigerator and then found my chair in the back of the hushed room just before the first presidential debate. Now was not the time to ask what made a kosher beer kosher. Now was not the time to say anything except, “I’m with her.”My very Jewish, very liberal friend, Meira, had invited me to her debate-watching party along with what looked like 15 other white, Jewish, liberal, white collar young professionals I ’d never met before. I scanned the room in search of someone, anyone else holding a kosher beer. There were none. Instead, ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - January 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: politics Source Type: blogs

The Literary Citizen
I just got home from my third residency in theStonecoast creative writing program where I learned writing and bonded with friends (over writing) every moment, from waking until slumber, and I realize now I must respond to texts from a week ago. Halfway through today I will cease being productive and slow my brain. In that calm, I hope my synapses strengthen their hold on the lessons I learned. Here are some of those lessons (in my own words) which you can use in your writing and in your life. These are courtesy of two Stonecoast faculty members,Justin Tussing andSuzanne Strempek Shea, who don ’t just mentor me, but r...
Source: cancerslayerblog - January 16, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

In a Word
My first published piece of creative nonfiction literature also happens to be quasi poetry. Here is me, in a word.As published in aptFavorite drug: OxyContin. Second favorite drug: Cinnabon. Most painful drug: chemotherapy. Second most painful drug: Cinnabon. Drug I consumed most: Benadryl. Person who has consumed most Benadryl in world history: me. Number of uses of Benadryl: infinite.Favorite food: pizza. Favorite topping: pepperoni. Practice never followed: kosher. Feeling experienced during bar mitzvah: nervousness. Substance wished knew about during bar mitzvah: whiskey.High school sport: tennis. Sport too short to su...
Source: cancerslayerblog - January 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

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My first published piece of creative nonfiction literature also happens to be quasi poetry. Here is me, in a word.As published in aptFavorite drug: OxyContin. Second favorite drug: Cinnabon. Most painful drug: chemotherapy. Second most painful drug: Cinnabon. Drug I consumed most: Benadryl. Person who has consumed most Benadryl in world history: me. Number of uses of Benadryl: infinite.Favorite food: pizza. Favorite topping: pepperoni. Practice never followed: kosher. Feeling experienced during bar mitzvah: nervousness. Substance wished knew about during bar mitzvah: whiskey.High school sport: tennis. Sport too short to su...
Source: cancerslayerblog - January 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

My Curated 2016 Review
There ’s too much content: you post too many tweets that don’t offer value to anyone whom you don’t call “Mom,” and you post too many photos of your baby sitting on a carpet. I’d like to create a movement for 2017. In this movement all adopters will be thoughtful in what they share with the wo rld. We will share less, though what we share will have more impact on others.Be prepared, though, to become less popular, because social media rewards those who post the most. You will not gain as many followers as you did in 2016. People may forget you exist (until you post that killer photo of y...
Source: cancerslayerblog - January 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: holidays Source Type: blogs

I Like Literary Fiction and I Cannot Lie
This semester I read literary fiction for the first time in my life. In August the following idea entered my mind, in September I acknowledged it, and in October I asked others about this idea to see if I was being absurd or dramatic; to see if I was crazy:Is it possible to learn more about life by reading literary fiction than through actual experiences?Let me explain before you go looking to buy me a straight jacket for Hanukkah. We move through life with just one point of view —our own. We can try putting ourselves in others' shoes and seeing the world from their perspective, but that's nothing more than an exerci...
Source: cancerslayerblog - December 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

I Quit TV But I Can ’t Quit Watching Trump
As published in The Huffington PostEpisodes ofIt ’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia from 2014 remain un-viewed on my DVR, and I didn ’t know the Oprah Winfrey Network existed until yesterday. I have quit TV, or to be specific, I have quit watching programming with story arcs.I just don ’t have the tolerance to commit to shows any more. I prefer watching movies because the story ends in two instead of 100 hours. I would rather research the health benefits of a squat toilet than starting a new series. But sometimes being out of touch with pop culture poses social challenges.Last month, two coworkers and I were...
Source: cancerslayerblog - November 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: politics pop culture Source Type: blogs

My 9/11 Shows That Cancer Patients Aren't Saints
I finally got a hold of my mom on the telephone on Sept. 11, 2001, just hours before I was supposed to receive my penultimate dose ofradiation to treat my bone cancer. After nearly a year of treatment, I only had two days left. My mom said the National Institutes of Health was closed and I couldn't get radiation that afternoon. The NIH would probably be closed the next day, too, my mom said. Instead of feeling sadness for my country and for the thousands of Americans who were injured or killed, I felt anger that I would have to wait to call myself "cancer-free."Cancer patients are often portrayed in the media and...
Source: cancerslayerblog - September 12, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fear and rage Source Type: blogs

Road Trippin' from D.C. to Portland, Maine, in a Nissan Maxima
In July I went on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Portland, Maine, where I participated in my second residency in my fiction-writing program. Of course I made a video of my adventures. Enjoy. You canwatch it on YouTube or directly below, if your web browser allows.AppearancesI delivered a public speaking workshop to leaders from the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at George Mason University on August 21. Want to compete against me to see who can speak with the fewest "ums," "uhs," and "likes"?Book me for your next conference or event for a showdown.See me inThe Story Collider's next D.C. show ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - September 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos travels Source Type: blogs

My Katie Campbell Story
We look down at the iPhone directing us from the Maryland home of Katie “Crush” Campbell and her husband to our writing getaway in West Virginia and the battery is almost dead and it isn’t charging even though the charge plug is snug inside and the plug’s indicator light is bright blue. “This always happens,” Crush says in the way I imagine a monk says anyth ing.“Do you know how to get to the cabin?” I say.“Not exactly.”Crush stops the navigation to save her phone ’s battery for when we get closer and possibly really need it. Thankfully between us we have th...
Source: cancerslayerblog - August 23, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: a day in my life life lessons Source Type: blogs

A Book Party: All It Takes Is One
Reclined on the patio chair with my feet propped on the other chair, hearing screams from the drunk man who lives in the tunnel down the street and the lyricless music playing through the Bluetooth speaker on the bistro table next to me, my attention occasionally altered by a plane taking off at the airport one mile away or the flickering television through the window of an apartment dweller across the way, I readOlive Kitteridge on my Kindle Touch going on three hours now. It is a Friday night and I am across the river from the most powerful city in the world and I am not texting friends "What are you up to tonight?&...
Source: cancerslayerblog - August 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: living habits Source Type: blogs

I ’m Proud to Be Like My Dad
Two months ago I shared aninterview I conducted with my dad for Huffington Post's new blog series "Talk To Me." Huffington Post promoted it on its Facebook Page and then later asked me to write a story and re-post the video on its site.As published in The Huffington PostI was 12 when my dad and I took our first trip as just the two of us. As he drove his brand-new minivan while listening to country music, I tested all the buttons and levers and seats and I counted the total number of cars he passed: two. My dad may have been the only country music-loving, minivan- and slow-driving Jew from Brooklyn, but damn coul...
Source: cancerslayerblog - August 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: family Source Type: blogs

Lessons From My MFA Creative Writing Program
In the moments after I listen to each new episode of the Tim Ferriss Show, I want to redesign my entire life. Especially after The Terminator was a show guest. In other words, I'm easily inspired. After completing my second residency in my master's of fine arts in creative writing program, I felt like I absorbed the one-liners from all of Arnold's movies since Conan.I can't properly show you how meaningful this Stonecoast experience has been for me, but I can share some of the insights I transcribed. I think many of these are true in writing and storytelling and life.Author Rick Bass says:So much of writing is physical. Yo...
Source: cancerslayerblog - July 19, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

I Created This Fictional Character on Instagram
Instagram lends itself to fiction and I just created my second character on the social network. Follow my "quadsteppers" if you want some silliness sprinkled with all the selfies in your Instagram feed.Sometimes I use crutches, or what I call quadsteppers, but I don't want to carry them once I reach my destination. So I place them behind couches and under seats; prop them against walls; plop them in recycle bins. In what other ridiculous places can I stow my quadsteppers? Find out on Instagram.com/quadstep.You can also follow Cancerslayer, who is my first fictional character on Instagram.com/benrubenstein. C...
Source: cancerslayerblog - July 18, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: imaginative Source Type: blogs

Talk To Me: Me, My Dad, and Foul-Tasting Medicine
When Justin Halpern's hilarious hit book Shit My Dad Says published, I thought, I wish I thought of that first! My dad has been sharing with me his goofball stories, philosophies, and OCD-like behaviors my whole life. I have written about him, of course in my books and also in this blog about his thoughts on exercise and clothing. Now I get to share an interview I conducted with him.Two months ago The Huffington Post invited me to be part of its new video series called Talk To Me in which children interview their parents. The Huffington Post is sharing many of these interviews online and I hope they share this intervi...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: family Source Type: blogs

Continued Phallic Stage
My first fiction story to publish is about a penile operation.During my first residency at Stonecoast, everyone talked about "submitting." I knew what that meant—my agent and I had submitted my first book about a hundred times before landing a publisher. I just didn't realize I could submit anything. I began researching publications. There are so many, for every genre and story length. I created an account on The (Submission) Grinder to track my work. And then I submitted two stories to a total of six publications, and have since received three rejections and one acceptance by the website A Story In 10...
Source: cancerslayerblog - May 19, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: imaginative Source Type: blogs

My Greatest Professional Accomplishment Was a Bureaucratic Miracle
When we achieve our all-time greatest professional accomplishment, we know it right away. Like Dr. Carl June developing a novel way to treat cancer, Mark Sanchez not throwing an interception, and me breaking through bureaucracy in the U.S. federal government to author a column in my organization's 18,000-circulation newsletter.Last summer, the communications office where I work wanted to create a new feature in our newsletter focusing on a different employee every other week. They asked me to write it. They said, "We want it to be about people's day-to-day lives at work."I said, "That's boring, how about ins...
Source: cancerslayerblog - May 9, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

The Fiction-Writing Guide Worthy of Dave Eggers and God
I am afraid to write fiction.Two months ago I wrote a jokey blog about being in over my head in my writing program despite having authored two memoirs and an essay that got anthologized. But there is truth in comedy. Compared to the personal stories I've been publishing on this blog the last nine years, writing fiction takes me longer, leads to anxiety, and usually lags in quality.It doesn't make sense. A story is a story, and the same elements that make a story entertaining cross all genres. But telling myself that didn't help, so I imagined myself as the protagonist, which I usually am in my blog stories. That, too, didn...
Source: cancerslayerblog - April 22, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

Writing Exercise: Develop Your Craft by Alternating Perspectives
If you want to improve your writing technique then—just like building physical strength and endurance—exercise. One of the books I read for school, The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, offers many writing exercises. One is to take a simple event and describe it using the same characters and setting in five radically different ways (changes of style, tone, sentence structure, voice, psychic distance, etc.).The event: A man gets off a bus, trips, looks around in embarrassment, and sees a woman smiling. Below are my five radically different attempts to describe this event. How would you write this scene? Email it t...
Source: cancerslayerblog - April 11, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: imaginative MFA Source Type: blogs

Our Safari in Tanzania
For me, few things are more fun—and time-consuming—than creating videos. In February I went on an incredible group safari in Tanzania, in eastern Africa, through the nonprofit First Descents which sends young cancer survivors on free adventure trips. I made a video of our adventure which you can watch on YouTube or directly below if your Web browser allows. You can also read about my trip on First Descents' blog: FDX Africa: This is Way Better Than ‘Planet Earth’. (Source: cancerslayerblog)
Source: cancerslayerblog - April 4, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos travels Source Type: blogs

My Batman-Loving Colleague's Opportunity of a Lifetime
I write a lot: for work and school, as a hobby, in my sleep. It is usually not appropriate for me to publish what I write for work, but I can in this case. Yesterday this story I wrote about my colleague published in my organization's newsletter. Enjoy.* * *James Olsen, an ace interviewer at Manhattan's immigration office, arrived at work March 28 with a case already resting on his desk. His supervisor left a sticky note on the file: “For James only.”Olsen spent his entire lunch break studying the file and preparing for his 1 p.m. interview. After the interview, he would have to recommend that the immigrant eit...
Source: cancerslayerblog - April 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: imaginative Source Type: blogs

FDX Africa: This is Way Better Than ‘Planet Earth’
Last month I traveled to Tanzania in east Africa and I wrote this story about my trip.As published in the First Descents blogMy new friend Spaceballs and I walk through the tall grass at the Lake Manyara Rift Valley and enter the clearing where zebras, jackals, gazelle, wildebeest and warthogs all roam close enough to kill us before we could utter “hakuna matata.” We turn our heads and see more animals. Then we turn our bodies in a full circle and see animals everywhere. We are wearing long pants and button-downs coated in permethrin to deter malaria-carrying mosquitos, safari hats, daypacks, sunglasses and bin...
Source: cancerslayerblog - March 10, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: travels women Source Type: blogs

Nine Years of Blogging
Last Friday I was on a plane headed to Sarasota, Florida, where that night I was the guest speaker at services at Temple Beth Israel, and will speak again at its adult education class Monday. I rehearsed my talking points on the plane. I opened my speech with a story from my 2011 Birthright Israel trip and needed to re-read my blog post about that trip to remember the story's details.I've been blogging for nine years and, more than my blog's entertainment value for you (at least I hope it has been entertaining!), for me it has become a wonderful peek at my life and my past adventures. The average blogger stops af...
Source: cancerslayerblog - March 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: writing/speaking Source Type: blogs

Post on the Bulletin Board at Your Own Risk
People will draw funny things on marketing material. If you're going to post something on your apartment building's bulletin board then assume the worst will happen to it.I noticed this in my elevator. No, I didn't draw on it—someone did that before I got the chance. Yes, I made a video about it, which you can watch on YouTube or directly below if your Web browser allows. (Source: cancerslayerblog)
Source: cancerslayerblog - February 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: living habits my videos Source Type: blogs

An Illiterate Walks Into an MFA Program
As published in The Huffington PostDespite having written two nonfiction books, I don't know how to write. Shh.Have you ever done something without knowing how but you just did it anyway and could never explain it? That's me for writing, and now I'm attending a low residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program for fiction.I arrived at the program's first ten-day residency in Maine with my cohorts, ranging from 22 to 86 years old, all excited to avert real life for a week and a half. I first met Cameron, who had just finished undergrad, and we went out for lunch. Cameron played outfield for his college baseball ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - February 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: a day in my life I'm an ass MFA Source Type: blogs

Beginning my Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing
I have been busy and, I think, this has been the longest amount of time in between blog posts since I began blogging nine years ago. My latest video suggests why. You can watch it below (if your browser allows) or directly on YouTube. (Source: cancerslayerblog)
Source: cancerslayerblog - February 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA my videos Source Type: blogs

My Stanford Prison Experiment While Waiting in Line for 'Star Wars'
As published in The Huffington PostThe scene reminded me of the 1971 experiment on authority which suggested why Nazis conformed, only instead of cells with prisoners there was an IMAX movie theater full of Star Wars nerds.My numbered wristband revealed when I could enter the IMAX theater at the National Air and Space Museum the night Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened. I would be the 362nd nerd in the theater because I arrived only 90 minutes before the showing instead of 630 minutes like the luckiest nerd, Number 1.Screw this. I cut through the pack, weaving between ropes, to stand with my friend Griffin who had arrived...
Source: cancerslayerblog - December 28, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: pop culture Source Type: blogs

Rocky VII
Creed snuck up on us like a left hook from 27-year-old Rocky Balboa. Creed is the latest film in the Rocky franchise and hit us all in the face for doubting Sylvester Stallone (yes, I know he didn’t write the screenplay this time, but come on). It has a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.7 on IMDB. “Five star movie of the year best actor best supporting actor top 25 movies I've ever seen,” I emailed JD when it ended.I still smiled hours after seeing the movie in the theater on Thanksgiving, thinking of the character I grew up with, loved, and considered my last line of defense against cancer; o...
Source: cancerslayerblog - December 4, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: pop culture Source Type: blogs

'I Like the Shawties': Cruising the Caribbean
Listerine ‒ the oral cancer-causing mouthwash ‒ meant something else two weeks ago when I cruised to celebrate my friend Infinicuralier’s wedding, which took place mid-cruise in Grand Cayman. Cruises are expensive to begin with. And they are extravagant if you don’t smuggle “Listerine” on board.Infinicuralier and me carefully pouring lowest-shelf Colonel's Pride whiskey ($10 for a liter) into an empty Listerine bottle, which I placed in my checked bag and smuggled onto the cruise shipMy stateroom mate, Crabcakes, and I sat on our balcony many evenings searching for sharks with cool glasses ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - November 27, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos partying travels Source Type: blogs

If You Had One Week to Get Your Dream Girl
You are a “nice guy” and never get girls. What do they want and what are they looking for in a guy? The New England Patriots are more likely to lose to Boston College’s football team than you deciphering the key to a woman’s heart.Now you meet an intelligent, bubbly, funny and beautiful girl in class. You talk and joke a little. Class ends and you vow to woo her at next week’s class. These are the steps you must take over the next seven days to win her over.Day 1You’re too old to grow and one week isn’t long enough to increase your body mass or attain a v-shaped torso – the t...
Source: cancerslayerblog - November 18, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons women Source Type: blogs

A Weekend at Colorado Breweries and Mountains
"Let's take a weekend trip to Colorado," my friend Greek said to me on October 3. "There are some breweries I want to see.""Colorado is my second favorite state. I'm in," I said.We targeted a weekend in December.Days later Greek texted me, "It's cold in December. How about we go in two weeks.""Sure, why not."Kayak for flight + Priceline for rental car = booked.We stayed in between Boulder and Denver. We planned specific breweries to visit each of our three days in Colorado and otherwise went wherever our rental minivan took us. Town & Country led us high in elevati...
Source: cancerslayerblog - November 7, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos travels Source Type: blogs

From Awareness to Acceptance in Two Months: MFA Bound
I apologize to you, my awesome readers, for writing infrequently the past two months. This is why I have slacked, with some added fiction because, well, it fits.July 23: I tell JD I’m considering becoming a part-time barista so I have more time to write.Over the last decade I authored two books. I have spent my time writing, marketing, taking marketing classes, speaking, receiving training in public speaking, starting a company, and creating a super-sweet spreadsheet to track my inventory and expenses. In exchange I have sacrificed or neglected undergraduate grades, video games, television and pop culture, dating, pr...
Source: cancerslayerblog - October 11, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MFA Source Type: blogs

I ’ve Been Arrogant for 15 Years and Now I Atone
As published on Gather the Jews It is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In synagogue I recited one of the most important prayers Jews read each year called viddui , or the confession . Al chet she-cha-tanu l ’fanecha. For the sin we have committed against you. There are many sins. One stood out to me. “. . .The sin we have committed against You by our arrogance . . . For all these sins, O God of mercy, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement! ” * * * * * I distributed stickers of my Instagram character named Cancerslayer to the sticker-hungry children who visited my table. “Cancerslayer f...
Source: cancerslayerblog - September 25, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons Source Type: blogs

I’ve Been Arrogant for 15 Years and Now I Atone
As published on Gather the JewsIt is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In synagogue I recited one of the most important prayers Jews read each year called viddui, or the confession. Al chet she-cha-tanu l’fanecha. For the sin we have committed against you.There are many sins. One stood out to me.“. . .The sin we have committed against You by our arrogance. . .For all these sins, O God of mercy, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement!”* * * * *I distributed stickers of my Instagram character named Cancerslayer to the sticker-hungry children who visited my table. “Cancerslayer fights illness by day...
Source: cancerslayerblog - September 25, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons Source Type: blogs

I Hope They Allow Crutches in Hell
As published on The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young AdultsCrutching is a great way to help injuries heal and bypass the lines at Disney World, and able-bodied individuals may treat crutchers with kindness. If you use crutches and think people are nice to you only because they consider you weak, and you must prove your strength until your death by always taking the challenging path through life, then follow these steps.On the Washington, D.C., Metro, people will ask, “Do you want my seat?” Don’t let them snatch your completely irrational pride. You need to stand on one leg while holding crutches with one hand ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - August 14, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: I'm an ass living habits Source Type: blogs

Hi Mom, I Got a Tattoo!
As published on Gather the JewsHi Mom,Please sit so you don’t keel when you read this, and remember to inhale and then exhale, in that order: I got another tattoo.I know you thought my final would be the survivor tumor tattoo I received three years ago, or even the tattoo dots I received before my radiation 14 years ago. I know that you, Dad, and ten percent of women like me exactly how I am. Please let me explain my tattoo and then you will love it like I do.In Judaism, we use trees to celebrate holidays, weddings and births. I love consuming food and booze on holidays, and Mom, your other son just got married and m...
Source: cancerslayerblog - July 13, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons living habits Source Type: blogs

I Remember Rachel for Her Ferocity for Life, Not Cancer
I first wrote about my amazing friend Rachel "Lings" Yingling three years ago, and today likely won't be the last time. She was among the best and my favorite people I have met. Besides her inexplicably odd-shaped feet which she didn't mind showing off, we could all benefit from acquiring her characteristics: passionate, positive, resilient, adventurous, alive. Fiercely alive.This is for Rachel.As published on The Huffington PostThe skeet whooshed towards the heavens. My right eye stared ahead with the barrel flush. I had developed a rhythm with the saucer: After it launched I waited until it reach...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 23, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life lessons Source Type: blogs

Biggest, Baddest, Raddest Wedding: My Bro Got Married
I didn’t dance with that pretty girl nearly enough. I missed seeing the bouquet toss, cake cutting, mother-son and father-daughter dances, and my dad hopping on the drums to “Sweet Caroline.” I accept all these failings because NoCommonSense and I crushed our best men speech that included Hulk Hogan’s theme song.I have spoken many times to audiences as large as a few hundred about cancer stealing my physical abilities and chunks of my adolescence. Unlike those speeches, the attempted humor-to-sentiment ratio for our best men speech was a whopping 95 to 5 percent. And unlike all those others, this be...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 16, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: family Source Type: blogs

Road Trippin' from Denver to Las Vegas in a Chrysler 200: A Picture Story
Read this first: Remembering That One Memorable TripI miss the 11 a.m. tour of Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park by six minutes, resulting in possible catastrophe: after the noon tour, Garmin estimates I will reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset instead of with a time cushion. I roar down the two-lane US-160 West with its broken yellow center line, passing all the cars.I stop for my afternoon coffee, a requirement for this addict. Garmin says I just lost five minutes. Now I pass cars that any other time I would consider too risky. My accelerator pedal lives on or near the floor. This rental Chrysler 20...
Source: cancerslayerblog - June 3, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: my videos travels Source Type: blogs

Remembering That One Memorable Trip
Whenever I fly I recall my first trip to Minneapolis with my parents in March 2003 when I was 19 years old. My life was stalled, I had dropped out of college and cancer was rapidly invading my bone marrow. Though, physically I felt fine. I felt great. I loved that trip and I had life-or-death purpose, or maybe I loved it because I had life-or-death purpose.We traveled across the country to spend a day at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and speak with Dr. Andre Million. It was one of the top children’s transplant centers and he was one of its rock star transplant oncologists. Minneapolis symbolized hope.My ...
Source: cancerslayerblog - May 15, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: travels Source Type: blogs

What Does Frisbee Golf Have to do with Cancer?
This morning I joined FOX 5 DC's Good Day DC set to talk about one of my favorite organizations, First Descents. I know what you're thinking: only a goofball [insert other descriptors here if you wish] would mention frisbee golf in an interview about cancer and adventure trips for survivors. But hey, I'm 30 years old which means I have a license to be a _______.You can see my interview by clicking the image below. You can also read stories I previously wrote about my experience with First Descents on its blog and The Huffington Post. (Source: I've Still Got Both My Nuts: A True Cancer Blog)
Source: I've Still Got Both My Nuts: A True Cancer Blog - August 19, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: media Source Type: blogs