Martha Carlson

Martha lives in Illinois and was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in January 2015. She has a husband and three children, ranging in age from 12 to 18, a dog and a lizard.

Patient Advocacy at ASCO 2022

July 22, 2022

This year, I returned to the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, where I heard about the latest advancements in cancer care, as well as met with fellow patients and advocates.

What It Was Like to Take the Plunge And Get Acupuncture for Chemo-Induced Neuropathy

December 22, 2021

A patient with cancer writes about trying acupuncture as another potential tool to lessen the effects of chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy and offers advice for other patients on how to possibly deal with the debilitating side effect.

The Ins and Outs of Privacy in Clinical Trials for Patients With Cancer

November 30, 2021

A woman with metastatic breast cancer simplifies common terms used in guidelines for privacy of patients in clinical trials. “If we want to take down cancer, we have to find confidence in a system that wasn’t designed to protect us,” she writes.

Telling Me That My Cancer Is ‘Chronic’ Is a Painful Lie

October 26, 2021

Even in the doctor’s office, the words patients hear can cover up the realities of stage 4 breast cancer. “He thought he was offering hope but what he was doing was denying my reality and minimizing the deaths of so many people,” writes a woman with metastatic breast cancer.

Embracing All the Good Things in Life Despite Cancer

October 19, 2021

A woman with metastatic breast cancer looks back on the happy memories she made this summer and how she uses them as strength in the face of cancer. “Sometimes, when we’re lucky, the scale tips toward the good,” she writes.

119 Reasons Why Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day Matters

October 13, 2021

I am in awe of what scientists have been able to discover, but we don’t know enough for those 119 women who will die this Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, nor for the 43,881 others who will die before the next Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolls around. We deserve more.

Breast Cancer Made Me A Better Ally

May 27, 2021

“Understanding and taking action against racial differences in cancer care and clinical trial participation are made more powerful when we listen to patient voices,” writes one patient with breast cancer.