About Elissa Bantug

Posts by Elissa Bantug:

Cancer is a Family Matter: Six Tips to Help Your Kids Cope


Just as most patients have concerns and worries when treatment ends, many children also experience uncertainty and fear when a parent finishes treatment for breast cancer.  Children may be apprehensive and worry about mom’s long-term health.  They may also be sad or resentful at all of the changes at home.  It is very common for(...)

Beating the Odds of Cancer with Humor: 50/50 Movie


On September 14, 2011, I was invited to a special premiere of the movie 50/50.  A group of cancer care providers packed into a movie theater in Georgetown anxiously awaiting the film to begin.  I’ve been hearing about this movie for months; there’s been quite a buzz in the young survivors’ community about its startlingly accurate(...)

Part 4: Why I Walk


Everyone has their own reason.  For some, they feel grateful for how far they have come or to remember those they have lost.   For others, they want to inspire hope and galvanize progress toward ending this disease.  Others may want to participate in the event as a way to fight back at a disease that(...)

Part 3: Bonds that Bring Us Closer


My fellow team member Julie Thomas raised $13,760 this year alone, in her eleventh Avon Walk.  Julie’s been raising money for breast cancer for almost 20 years now, ever since losing a close friend to the disease.  She approaches the task with gusto, maintaining a donor list of 200 names, including family, friends, colleagues, and(...)

Part 2: Walk the Talk


It’s not every day that you commit to walking 40 miles in the heat and rain, but on April 30 of this year, I walked in my second D.C. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer as part of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center Team.  This quite a contrast from my humbling beginning 19 years ago with(...)

Why We Walk


Have you ever considered joining a walk/run/swim or other athletic event to benefit a cause that has special meaning to you?  I never thought that participating in my first event would become even more personal, and I didn’t anticipate that the bonds I formed would help me deal with my own issues. This is the(...)

Caring for the Caregiver


Speaking at a breast cancer caregiver support group recently, I listened closely as they joked with one another about remaining in the “doghouse“ during the entirety of their wife or girlfriends’ oncology treatments and for several months once active care completed.  Although they were laughing and seemed to be taking it in stride, I could not(...)

5 Ways Social Workers Can Support You


Do you know your social worker?  You should.  We’ve listed 5 ways that social workers can help cancer survivors.   Elisabeth Tamasi, clinical social worker at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, discusses these five tips. 1. Sexuality, Intimacy and Body Image “Social workers are great resources to help start a dialogue with you and your(...)

Fatigue


Five weeks into radiation, I decided that the hair on my legs had become so long that an intervention was necessary.  Going somewhere to have my legs waxed was too overwhelming in my current state, and cutting myself while shaving seemed like a small risk, as I’d internalized my doctors’ advice about the compromised nature(...)

Completion of Treatment — Time to Celebrate?


This post is written by Lillie Shockney, the Administrative Director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center and a two-time breast cancer survivor. Completing Treatment - Time to Celebrate? You'd think so. You've been through surgery, perhaps chemo and radiation, maybe on or completing hormonal therapy and you are finally "done" breast cancer treatment. So ready(...)