Tattoo Therapy

By Anne Marie Cerato

There are a few words I thought I’d never utter together, Tattoos and Therapy are an example, mind you “I have cancer” is another! You might wonder how inflicting pain on one’s self could be seen as therapeutic, but I swear to you it is. The pain is temporary, what stays behind is a permanent reminder, much like a scar. Before actually getting tattooed, I did try conventional therapy, it worked for a while, but was somewhat unsatisfying, but I’m jumping the gun!! We really should start at the beginning.

My name is Anne Marie and I am living with stage 4 Lung Cancer, my story starts in 2009 when I was diagnosed with stage 3a Adenocarcinoma of the right lung. This was a shocker because at the time I was a healthy 30 year old that had never smoked!! I received treatment almost immediately (Chemo-radiation, surgery followed by high dose chemo); six months later I was done. All this seemed to have worked until 2011 when it was determined that like the cat, the cancer came back. This time, it was in both lungs and in multiple lobes and my options were far fewer, so how did [...] continue the story

Kenneth Schwartz Story

July 16, 1995 The Boston Globe Magazine

UNTIL LAST FALL, I had spent a considerable part of my career as a health-care lawyer, first in state government and then in the private sector. I came to know a lot about health-care policy and management, government regulations and contracts. But I knew little about the delivery of care. All that changed on November 7, 1994, when, at age 40 I was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. In the months that followed, I was subjected to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and news of all kinds, most of it bad. It has been a harrowing experience for me and for my family. And yet, the ordeal has been punctuated by moments of exquisite compassion. I have been the recipient of an extraordinary array of human and humane responses to my plight. These acts of kindness — the simple human touch from my caregivers — have made the unbearable bearable.

• • • • • DURING SEPTEMBER and October of 1994, I made several visits to the outpatient clinic of a Boston teaching hospital for treatment of a persistent cough, low-grade fever, malaise, and weakness. The nurse practitioner diagnosed me as having atypical pneumonia and prescribed an antibiotic. Despite [...] continue the story

The Truth of It: Dave

Dave worked as a locomotive engineer for Canadian Pacific Rail. He is married and is a father and grandfather. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008.

Dave passed away in January 2010