Samira Rajabi

Samira Rajabi was diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma, also known as an acoustic neuroma in 2012. She has had ten surgeries to deal with her tumor and its various side effects. She writes a blog about her life, surgeries, recovery and experiences at LivingWithHerbert.com. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies media studies. In her spare time she plays with her two pups and spends time with her husband exploring Philadelphia.


A Brain Tumor Survivor’s Diagnosis Dilemma

February 03, 2021

A major diagnosis often forces us to shift the way we approach our lives, even once we’ve survived. So, what does it look like to chart a future having suffered in the past? And, how might we look forward?

Cancer Sucks, Especially During A Pandemic

April 01, 2020

At the best of times, cancer is a difficult burden to bear, but in the midst of a pandemic, it's especially worse. But patients with cancer know the way out is by going through.

The Season of Yes

November 26, 2019

"I’m trying to turn my season of yes into a season of consideration. A season in which I weigh what I can do, with what I’d like to do, and with a radical honesty with my community around what that means and what a low-impact, beautiful, accepting, good life looks like. I hope that season lasts for a long time."

The Nature of Worry

September 10, 2019

"It would be hard to be a family member of someone with cancer without worrying, but what does it mean to worry, and does our worrying mean we are coping?"

Carrying the Weight of Chronic Illness

May 14, 2019

Carrying chronic illness can be very difficult, but there are ways to navigate the world without being crushed by the weight of what we cannot control.

PTSD and the Felt Reality of Living with Chronic Disease

April 11, 2019

For those of us living in the wake of a big diagnosis, how we define life, living and every day can be clouded by fear and misguided ideas of what it means to truly live. What I’ve learned is that life is not about what we are doing, but why and how we do what we have to for however long we get to be alive.

Living in the Land of the Healthy

December 19, 2018

When a diagnosis begins to improve, it is hard to reconcile your identity as a patient with your identity as a whole. Grappling with questions of who you are after having been diagnosed with something life altering can be both profound and challenging, and leave you a bit, well, ambivalent.

The Waiting Game

December 07, 2018

Once you or someone you love has been diagnosed with something big, the times between scans become sacred in-between times where you do your best to live in light of the ever-changing circumstances of your body. Sometimes that can be a time full of fear, but others it is a time full of hope.

The Health Care Battle

November 18, 2018

Health care shouldn't be a fight, but it is. I tell my story of fighting for an MRI in a hope that I illuminate the cracks in our system in a hope we can make change, so no one falls through those cracks.