I am back to writing full-time as I am no longer a caregiver. on November 15, 2016, one week past her 101st birthday, my mother died the way she’s always prayed to die, at home and in her sleep. One of my sisters and I were curled around her.
Now, it’s back to working full-time, I cut really back in the past few years, and haven’t pitched much.
I have been catching up on end-of-life issues. A feature published in Aeon called Final Independence was republished last year in the Saturday Evening Post.
People with certain types of lung cancer are living longer thanks treatment tailored to a specific change in the tumor. A recent feature looked at the the ways personalized medicine is helping those with the disease. (Genome, November 2014)
Donated blood may have a shelf life that’s shorter than we think, In a feature called Blood Feud, I explain why. (Nature Medicine, September 2014)
A feature on postmortem genetic testing called Telltale Hearts brought me to the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN, and to the Medical Genetics Laboratory in Manhattan. The story was supported by a reporting fellowship from the Association of Health Care Journalists, and won second place in the trade category in 2014 at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting . (Nature Medicine, November 2013)
I looked at the trend of young women with post-injury osteoarthritis in How Old Are Your Knees? (Women’s Health, December 2013)
A story that was delightful to write featured my 98-year-old mom, the gym queen, in Is Exercise the Elixir of Youth? (Washington Post, December 2013)
A Q&A on Elaine Mardis brought me to the Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. (Discover magazine’s Year in Science, January/February 2014)
Access to genetic testing often brings the need for follow-up care that can save lives. Unfortunately, not everyone can access that care. Is Your State Legislature Waiting for You to Get Cancer? (Slate, December 2013)
Some stories are lucky enough to combine business with pleasure. For a recent story in the health & science section of the Washington Post, I got to write about the benefits of figure skating for older adults. (February 2014)
As always, I write about cancer from many vantage points, such as the genetic discoveries that guide cancer treatment; nutrition for cancer survivors; coping with cancer’s financial aftermath; the dangers of grapefruit juice for those on chemotherapy; and coping with appetite changes.