'Seize The Days' Project Documents A Life With Cancer | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

'Seize The Days' Project Documents A Life With Cancer

Play associated audio
Oncologist Dr. Evan Lipson runs Seize the Days, a non-proft that documents ways cancer patients add life to their days.
Emily Friedman
Oncologist Dr. Evan Lipson runs Seize the Days, a non-proft that documents ways cancer patients add life to their days.

As a Melanoma specialist at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Evan Lipson, has seen the devastating impact cancer diagnosis can have on a patient.

"Your whole life is just shaken off course," he says, "and everything that you think about in your day-to-day routine, you kids, your job, spouse, career, it all has big question marks all over it."

While there were moments that were tremendously sad, Dr. Lipson says, about 2 years ago, he realized there was something else to what he was hearing from patients.

"Patients were making changes in their lives, in very positive ways."

Lipson's long-time patient Mike was diagnosed with lung cancer while in the midst of a big backyard renovation. Instead of paying someone else to build him a patio, Mike decided to build it himself, so that after he was gone, his wife could look out their kitchen window and be reminded of her husband.

Nearly all of his patients, Dr. Lipson realized, were doing really interesting things. He tells of a woman who knitted quilts for her daughters and granddaughters so they could 'wrap themselves up' in her love. Another patient was diagnosed with brain cancer and began a second career as a public speaker.

Dr Lipson began an audio recording project, called 'Seize the Days,' where cancer patients or their caregivers sit down for a one-on-one interview to document the side of cancer that you don't often hear about. Anne Appelgarth was interviewed for the site and says, for her, the interview wasn't about having an emotional catharsis, it's about passing on information to the next person diagnosed.

"In this current information age when we're diagnosed with something, we Google it," she says. "And then you find the 200 pieces of information. But hopefully enough hits will come to Seize the Days that someone will click and go 'oh, wait a minute!'"

A short version of the interview goes on the website, and the full version is hosted online by the Johns Hopkins Medical Library for anyone to stream, anywhere in the world. Which is exactly the exposure Dr. Lipson is hoping to achieve.


[Music: "The Story" by Brandi Carlile from Karaoke Version]

Photos: "Seize the Day"

NPR

Stephen Hawking Says Zayn Malik Could Still Be In One Direction In A Parallel Universe

Millions of hearts were broken last month when Zayn Malik left One Direction, but according to physicist Stephen Hawking, that might not be the case after all.
NPR

Competitive Bartender Pours Father's Wisdom Into Signature Drink

Bartender Ran Duan will represent the U.S. in a Bacardi international cocktail competition. His specialty? "Father's Advice," a stirred-not-shaken cocktail that's a testament to his hardworking dad.
WAMU 88.5

Warren Weinstein's Death Has Local Lawmakers Debating Drone Policies

Lawmakers in the D.C. region are mourning the loss of Maryland native Warren Weinstein, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. The killing has lawmakers debating drone policies once again.
NPR

How Tech Firms Are Helping People In The Nepal Earthquake Zone

Tech and telecom companies stepped up with much needed services. Facebook and Google offered tools to help those in the region let family and friends know they're OK. Other firms cut calling costs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.