Practical advice and personal wisdom from a four-time cancer survivor.

I’m retiring from teaching cooking

by Julie Negrin

It breaks my heart to say it out loud.  I know it’s weird but my work has been the love of my life for the last twenty years. Unfortunately, it’s time for me to admit the truth: my body can’t handle the manual labor that goes along with culinary work. I was also in denial when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 17 years old. I acted like other college students, drinking alcohol and eating cereal for three straight meals in a row. I lived like that for four…

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Everything I do to heal

by Julie Negrin

I’ve watched all of the Bourne movies at least 50 times. My favorite thing about Jason Bourne is that he is never a victim. Even when they try to assassinate him, he doesn’t run away. He confidently heads TOWARD the shooter. He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t wallow. He doesn’t cower in fear. He confidently flips the situation to his advantage. Dorky, I know but movies like this help my mental state. It’s so easy to get down these days. SO EASY.  I want to head towards cancer and the havoc…

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I’m not the same person

by Julie Negrin

I realized the reason I’ve been in mourning the past year is that I’m grieving the death of someone. A very important person. You could say the most important person in my life. I’ve been trying to cope with the death of myself. My former self. My pre-menopausal, fertile, fiber-ingesting, energetic self. The woman who would hop on a plane and travel abroad alone. The woman who could juggle 8 different freelance gigs at once. The woman who could work 10 hour days on her feet, then go for a run…

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I don’t want any stuff

by Julie Negrin

I’m surrounded by “stuff” right now. Things I’ve packed into suitcases and shlepped from San Diego to Seattle. One of the reasons I’ve led a gypsy lifestyle is because I love change, the excuse to purge, start fresh somewhere new. It feels cleansing, emotionally, spiritually – the feng shui magic tidying of it all. When I moved in the past, I’d imagine my new life during the purging process. When I was packing in New York for San Diego, I’d decide what belonged in my new life: black clothing (no) bathing…

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I eat only 10 foods

by Julie Negrin

I walked through the grocery stores and wanted to cry. This week was especially hard for some reason. Many days, I can handle it. I don’t think about the food I’m missing or the life I had before. I see this diet like an athlete views hardcore training. It’s about the long game, getting the body to an optimal state. But this week sucked. I wanted to stuff EVERY-THING in my face. I usually give myself one 24-hour treat day per month – nothing that will cause immediate pain but…

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I’m ok not having kids

by Julie Negrin

I wrote this Facebook post after casually mentioning in a previous one that I was “okay not having kids.”  This is the follow up. I realized in my last post, I glossed over the “I’m ok not having kids” topic without giving context. The reason I haven’t discussed losing the ability to give birth is because a) I am still processing it b) it’s SUCH a delicate topic. Some people get upset (offline) when I discuss certain topics, especially regarding kids/families. They feel I’m minimizing their experience when I share…

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Dear Newly Diagnosed

by Julie Negrin

Dear Beth, I heard you were just diagnosed and wanted to write you a letter. I remember feeling so lost and alone after my diagnosis. You are probably freaking out right now. Panic, fear, grief. It’s overwhelming. The moment the doctor said “cancer” everything changed. The grocery store clerks mutters a casual “how are you?” and you want to shriek in their face, “I HAVE CANCER THAT’S HOW I’M DOING. I’M LOSING MY MIND. DEBIT OR CREDIT, REALLY? MORE LIKE LIFE OR DEATH!” But you don’t. You grimace and say…

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I’m climbing out of hell

by Julie Negrin

It’s dank and depressing at rock bottom. The mud that oozes through my toes smells like shit and I’m either too hot or too cold. There is no light, just stale black air – the same shade of nothing whether my eyes are closed or open. I want to breathe the fresh succulent air of a life outside doctor offices. I want an entire week without being poked with a needle. I want to escape this deep grief that shackles me to this gloomy cave. No matter what I do, I can’t…

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My scar inspired my logo

by Julie Negrin

I wake up with my arms wrapped around my belly. There are weird lights shining above my head. My head feels so fuzzy. Where am I? I’m drugged. I’m in a hospital bed, my hands protectively covering my stomach. As if I could stop the creepy nightmare I just woke from, where people were slicing me, stitching me up. Except this isn’t  a bad dream. This is real. They DID cut me open. They did remove organs, several of them. I start whimpering. The drugs, the hospital lights, the surreal…

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Dear Cancer I want to hate you but I can’t

by Julie Negrin

Dear Cancer, I want to hate you. I do. I want to KICK your ass with everyone cheering me on. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT you as the enemy. I want to beat on you with a baseball bat, gloved fists, booted feet. You have stolen seven organs from my family in 18 months. You have halted my life. Cut me open, raw, 7-inch scar left in your wake. Toxic drugs plunging through my veins. Shrunk my beloved palate and plate. Messed with my hormones. Forced me to quit working. Changed so…

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  • Hi, my name is Julie Negrin. I’m a nutritionist that’s battled 4 cancers: melanoma, ovarian, colon, and endometrial cancer — the last 3 all at once — due to a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome. In the three years since I lost four organs, I've been slowly transforming to "disabled" after living a mostly able-bodied life. I've also had a bunch of other complications including not being able to eat solid foods.... Stick around if you're not afraid of the ugly bits. Much love,

    Much love,

    Julie Negrin

    About Julie & Cancer Teacher

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