People cope with losing a loved one to cancer in individual ways. Some become patient advocates. Others raise money for research. Many celebrate the legacies their loved ones left behind. There are many ways to manage grief, and hearing the experiences of others can help.
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, developed the podcast series Your Stories to showcase unscripted conversations between patients, doctors, and the family and friends who conquer cancer with them. The episodes below feature families and caregivers who offer insight into how they manage their grief––twin brothers who became cancer research advocates to honor their late father, a doctor balancing motherhood with patient loss, a wife recalling her husband’s final heartbeat, and a young oncologist who made a promise to her mother with breast cancer.
Identical twins learned their father had been diagnosed with brain cancer. One brother lived close to home; the other lived miles away. For Matt and Dave Wiemer, the shared experience of losing their beloved father was starkly different, but the weight of their loss and their commitment to honoring their family is one in the same.
Lessons in Loss
Lauren Goldstein learned valuable lessons from her mother, Dr. Lidia Schapira, who, during Lauren’s childhood, regularly cared for and lost seriously ill patients.
Lauren speaks with Dr. Schapira, 2015–2021 Editor in Chief of Cancer.Net and a Conquer Cancer donor, about growing up in the shadows of cancer.
A wife’s life changed forever when her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Erin and Mike Dornsife held onto hope as they sought out life-extending care. Mike entered a clinical trial that improved his quality of life and gave him precious time with his young children.
Alongside her sister, Dana, Erin reflects on the importance of hope and resilience during and after losing a loved one.
Growing up, Priscilla Brastianos, MD, was inspired to enter medicine by tales of her family history. Her grandmother, a practicing physician even in her final days, diagnosed her own fatal breast cancer. After losing her mother to the same diagnosis, Dr. Brastianos is committed to conquering it for every patient, everywhere.
Alongside mentor Evanthia Galanis, MD, the 2012 Young Investigator Award recipient reflects on the promise she made during her mother’s final days and how she honors the legacies of family and patients.