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Cancer Survivors Can …

by Nicole Malato

Nicole Malato spends a day at the beach with her husband and son.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I remember thinking that my life was irrevocably changed. I was right. But not in ways I would have expected. At first, my future felt limited. In time, I understood that it wasn’t. I thought that being a cancer survivor was something to be afraid of or sad about. Then I realized it was something to be proud of. I learned early on in my survivorship that there is indeed hope in cancer: hope for a cure, and hope for making the world a better place.

I was curious to learn what cancer survivors can do, so I did a little research. Here’s what I found out:

  • Cancer survivors can become professional athletes. They can run marathons and win races. They can compete in the Olympics.
  • Cancer survivors can hold political offices. They can serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Cancer survivors can climb Mount Everest. They can hike the Grand Canyon, jump out of planes, and go zip lining.
  • They can go on to have families.
  • Cancer survivors can earn degrees and shape young minds.
  • They can win Grammys, Oscars, and Emmys. They can write New York Times best sellers. They can win Nobel prizes.
  • Survivors can treat and cure other cancer survivors.
  • They can run into burning buildings and save lives.
  • They can run Fortune 500 companies, and they can invent technology that changes lives.
  • Cancer survivors can help others. They can spread awareness. They can raise millions for a cure or touch the life of just one other person.
  • Cancer survivors can find meaning and beauty even in dark times.
  • Survivors can live fulfilling lives.
  • Cancer survivors can – and often do – make a difference in this world.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Nicole Malato is a breast cancer survivor and mother living in Toms River, NJ.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2012.