From One Survivor to Another
by Sara Nelson O’Brien
My battle with cancer began in the summer of 2012 when I was diagnosed with stage III endometrial cancer. This June, I celebrated two years of being cancer-free. It has been a hard fight, with plenty of good times, and more than enough difficult moments too. Along the way, I’ve learned a few lessons that I want to share with you – from one survivor to another.
How I Learned Acceptance on the Berkeley Fire Trails
by Marcia Renée Goodman
Standing in the specialty running store with my 25-year-old daughter Dani and my childhood friend Felice, I am in good fitness company as we survey the options of running shoes laid out before us. Dani was an All-American athlete in college. Felice was the fastest runner in our elementary school. Both have kept in shape. I, on the other hand, have slacked off in the fitness department over the last several years of cancer treatments.
The Other Seat
by Melissa Gallagher
On March 10, 2005, I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer when I was just 26 years old. I experienced a slew of emotions after the cancer bomb was dropped on my life, but self-pity was never one of them. In a way, I was relieved that I was the one with cancer and I didn’t have to watch one of my loved ones go through it. In my mind, now that our cancer card had been dealt, that meant my family members would somehow be protected from having to face this awful disease themselves. I’ve since learned that it doesn’t work like that.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
by Stephanie Madsen
My long, blonde hair used to be a prized possession of mine. Having been a hairstylist for many years, I’d spend hours upon hours styling my luxuriant locks. I wore my hair up, down, and every way in between. I took pride in my frequently complimented tresses. That all changed shortly after my 25th birthday, when cancer barged into my life.
I'm Not Waiting to Live
by Melissa J. Gallagher
Patience is a necessary virtue. We all have heard countless times throughout our lives that in order to succeed, we must be patient. To achieve what we want in life, we simply must wait. I find myself repeatedly telling my own children, “Please, be patient. Wait.” But there are certain situations in which we can’t wait; we have to act. Fighting cancer is one of them.
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.
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.
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.