Bob's Columns

Bob Riter is the retired Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Center. His articles about living with cancer appeared regularly in the Ithaca Journal and on OncoLink. He can be reached at bobriter@gmail.com.

A collection of Bob’s columns, When Your Life is Touched by Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals, and Those Who Care, is available in bookstores nationwide and through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Newly Diagnosed with Cancer

The first few days following a cancer diagnosis are like riding on top of a speeding train. You’re hanging on for dear life and can’t quite see what’s ahead. Although

The post-treatment blahs

For many people the months following cancer treatment are more difficult than the treatment itself. During treatment, your “job” is to be in treatment. You’re busy with appointments and you

It’s OK to ask Your Doctor

People often leave their doctor’s offices irritated with themselves for not asking what they wanted to ask. Sometimes they simply forget to ask. (I encourage people to bring a list). 

Don’t Give Advice

People often call me and say, “My friend was just diagnosed with cancer. What can I do to help her?” My answer is simple: Be present and don’t give advice.

Stopping treatment is not giving up

I sometimes hear from individuals with advanced cancer who continue with aggressive treatment because their loved ones exhort them to “not give up.” Some family members go so far as

Chemo nurses and radiation therapists

Chemotherapy nurses and radiation therapists provide much of the hands-on care to cancer patients. As a result, these professionals have a profound impact on the quality of care that patients