CURE magazine - week one

I've always known that cancer is the growth of abnormal cells, can spread from its primary site, consists of different types and stages and that it's sometimes called the silent killer. If you're like me, you've always thought to yourself, "Knowing all of this gives me a good idea of what cancer is." After my first week interning at CURE, all I can do is laugh at myself.By the way, I'm Jennifer. I'm the editorial intern at CURE for the summer. I'm very excited to be working with such an outstanding group of individuals, but I'll let you in on a little secret. I really don't know what I'm doing.At first, I felt a bit out of place; like I didn't belong here because I had no idea what anybody was talking about. Yes, it was overwhelming. I'm working at a publication for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and families, and don't have much background in cancer. My interest in CURE came from writing for my college newspaper, The Daily Mississippian at the University of Mississippi. As an editor/reporter, I often wrote stories of how people overcame unwanted obstacles or burdens. I've always enjoyed telling the stories of others, and appreciated the lessons that came out of it.But a comment from Lindsay Ray, the assistant editor at CURE, made me feel that my lack of knowledge wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and that it somehow connects me to our readers."Think of yourself as a newly diagnosed patient," she told me. "Most of them don't know anything about their cancer at first."True. It was definitely a lot to take in on Day One. I was scared and intimidated listening to the editorial staff on my first day. I'm willing to bet it's scary to hear that you have cancer. If something didn't make sense to me, I would look it up. If you're diagnosed with something you're unfamiliar with, you're very likely to do your research on it. Obviously, learning about cancer will not happen overnight. It will not happen over a week. It probably won't even happen by the end of my internship in August. No, scratch that, it for sure won't happen then.The beginning of a journey can be many things. It can be scary, overwhelming, exciting or anything else. There are sometimes when we're unprepared for it, whether it's a new job or a new diagnosis. The rest of the journey is up to us, and we can only control how we handle it.So please, what do I need to know to help you?Jennifer Nassar, a journalism graduate of Ole Miss, is a summer editorial intern with CURE. Jennifer enters graduate school at the University of North Texas this August.