Gynecologic Cancer Survivor Stories

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8 Rules for Keeping Your Sanity
While Coping with Cancer

by Jane Loeb Rubin

As a four-year primary peri­toneal cancer survivor and a fifteen-year breast cancer survivor, I am often asked how I’ve kept my head on straight when there seems to be so much fear associ­ated with cancer. Drawing from some great advice from my husband, David, as well as my physicians, nurses, rabbi, children, and coworkers, I have come up with eight basic rules for keeping sane while coping with cancer.

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I’m Outshining Ovarian Cancer

by Karen Ingalls

Leading up to my cancer diagnosis, I noticed that I had gained a few pounds and developed a protruding stomach, both of which were unusual for me since I had always bordered on being underweight. But I never considered these changes to be anything other than normal postmenopausal aging. When I continued to gain weight, I began an aggressive exercise and weight-loss program.

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Journaling Cancer in Words and Images

by Harriet Claire Wadeson, PhD, LCSW, ATR-BC, HLM

Cancer imposed its own special kind of helplessness as I was cut open and parts were either removed or irradiated and blasted with chemicals that destroyed cells and interfered with my physiological func­tioning. People turn to a number of outlets under this kind of duress – religion, meditation, music. For me, I needed to do something. Writing and making art were my saviors in times of trouble or pain in the past, so it was only natural for me to turn to them to help me through cancer.

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Gratitude

by Linda Goss

I’m in the light,
But I’m not out
Of the woods.

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A Journey Completed

by Alyssa Phillips

My story has a happy ending, but it didn’t exactly start out that way – at all. In order for me to tell you how I got to where I am today and what I learned along the way, I must first tell you where I began.

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The Trouble with Hope

by John Ptacek

I had a strained relationship with hope before my wife was diagnosed with cancer. To me, hope was a high waiting for a low, a fix with a nasty flipside. Far from the precious entity exalted by legions of poets and philosophers, hope was just another coordinate on the pain and pleasure cycle, existing in infinite balance with its opposite.

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My Doctor Fired Me!

by Michele Forsten

“You’re no longer my patient,” Dr. L, my trusted gynecologist of 15 years, told me. “Where do you want me to have your records sent?” What had I done to deserve this? Argue relentlessly about a bill? Get caught stealing K-Y jelly? None of the above. What I did was try to take care of myself the best way I knew how.

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Spring Fling

by Joanie Shawhan, RN

I do not send Christmas letters, not because I am lazy or too busy, but I rarely have anything newsworthy to share. I am unable to testify to the exploits of talented, gifted, brilliant, amazing, or perfect children, as I have none. I am not the proud owner of a clever pet, such as a chocolate lab that consumed a string of popcorn from the Christmas tree and carefully rearranged the cranberry strand over the bare boughs.

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COPING TOGETHER

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