May 17, 2019

10 Things Worse Than Dying

By Ellis Emerson


There are worse things than dying.
Like grudges so old that you don’t even
remember why you’re angry.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like well-meaning people who tell you that
at least you have the good cancer.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like middle school lunchrooms and nowhere to sit. 
Or maybe just all of middle school.

There are worse things than dying.
Like hospital waiting rooms an hour after 
your appointment was supposed to start 
and no WiFi.

There are worse things than dying.
Like someone eating the leftovers that
you’ve been looking forward to all day.

There are worse things than dying.
Like people who tell you to look on the 
bright side and everything happens for a reason.

There are worse things than dying.
Like regretting not taking that trip to San
Juan when you had the chance.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like Netflix asking if you’re still watching 4
hours into a Breaking Bad marathon. Again.

There are worse things than dying.
Like taking yourself so seriously that you
forgot how to laugh. At the world and at yourself.

There are worse things than dying.
Like not really living.

April 23, 2019

CAPTIVATED

By Michelle L. Urmeneta


Captivated…

not by one, not by many…
this past convention I made lifelong friends — -not few — — but many…

Pam, the one who sponsored me to come here…
you still owe me $440 for hustling the table and sporting that gear!!!

Kane, drinking buddies from the start…
in the 50’s… you left imprints on my heart…

Peter, you’ve got strong orator moves…
but nothing can compete with those “grooves”…

Todd, an imminent presence that warmed my heart…
a prominent new homie from the start…

Erin, thanks for sharing your skills…
who knew — -you don’t have to seduce to get a free meal!!! 🙂

Jaden, although we’ve known each other awhile…
it’s a reassurance to get one of your unique smiles…

For all others that I missed…
thank you for making my weekend a bliss!!!

-Michelle L. Urmeneta

Memories of CancerCon 2019…

December 6, 2018

Tia’s Story of GRYT


July 10th 2018 is when my world came to a screeching halt. I remember everything about the day I was diagnosed with Leukemia. The smells, the music the doctor had playing on his little stereo, even down to what Jordan’s I had on. My family had been affected by cancer before but I never saw it coming for me, never thought it could be me.

Since then I feel like I’ve been on this non-stop rollercoaster of ups and downs that never stops to let me off. My oral chemotherapy meds definitely contribute to more downs than ups. The side effects are the thing that pulls me down sometimes. The nausea, vomiting and all the other side effects I don’t have to get into make for a difficult time. However, a part of me is thankful for my diagnosis in a weird way. Why? It has changed my outlook on life and I’m no longer in a rush anymore. I also have a new life motto that I live by now. “I got the L but I’m not taking the L”


GRYT is going through Chemo but still going to your full-time job everyday because the “L “doesn’t define you.

GRYT is creating a blog about your vulnerability so that your friends/family can understand what your experiencing.

GRYT is finally understanding that you may need help time to time to overcome the feelings that come with the diagnosis.

GRYT is creating your own strength to get up in the morning when all you really want to do is not start the day.


Instagram: yanumber1


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July 13, 2018

Sarah’s Story of GRYT


I was a young woman diagnosed with a cancer young women didn’t get. Even the radiologist inserting my port confirmed it.
“Colon cancer?” he said as he walked over to my bedside in that freezing cold room in radiology. “I saw you lying here and my first, second, and third guess was not colon cancer.” And that was the response I grew to expect in the coming months and years as I encountered anyone who asked about my disease. Why would a young, fit, healthy, 34-year-old have a cancer that everyone associates with their grandparents?

I’ve now lived over 6 years with a cancer not meant for the young, yet understand that it is very much a young person’s disease now. I think back to that day with the radiologist, and I have no doubt he’s no longer surprised to read “colorectal cancer” before inserting a port in another young adult. Just as I’m no longer surprised when I hear from yet another young person like myself who has heard those fateful words.

Though I can’t take away what this disease aims to steal, I can give them every reason in the world to have HOPE.

It’s what motivates me to do what I do. I will go to the ends of the earth strung out on chemo if it means saving one young person from a late stage colorectal cancer diagnosis, or giving one more patient HOPE that they can beat a disease that statistics say they won’t. In a twisted way my diagnosis changed the course of my life for the better. And despite the battle that still rages within my body, this disease put me on a path that gives me purpose like I’ve never had before.

GRYT is 144 rounds of treatment and counting.
GRYT is waking up every day for the last 6 years knowing there is cancer in my body.
GRYT is living every day knowing you shouldn’t be alive.
GRYT is feeling the guilt and pain of watching your friends die, while you keep fighting.

GRYT is getting out of bed and choosing to LIVE despite this disease.

Colon Cancer Coalition