Gynecologic Cancer Survivor Stories

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One Hat, Two Hats, Red Hats, Blue Hats

by Joanie Shawhan, RN

My sister said, “We have to make this fun!” I had just had surgery for ovarian cancer. I was devastated, in pain, scared, and unsure of my future. The chemotherapy would make me sick and bald.

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That’s What Friends Are For

by Katharine Hoffmann

Just when life seemed a little too easy, I received a phone call from my doctor. She said the results from my Pap smear came back abnormal, but not to worry, “it’s probably just nothing,” she reassured me. The samples were sent to the lab for further testing, and a few hours later, I got another phone call. “You have Stage IIA cervical cancer,” my doctor told me.

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Changing Your Stars

by Michelle Whitlock

Star light, star bright, cancer came into my life one night. Initially, it turned my universe upside down. Cancer shook the ground beneath my feet and blinded my sight.

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My Cancer Journey

by Linda Townsend

May 2005 was when I first heard those life-changing words, “You have cancer.” I felt as if I was receiving a death sentence. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer at age 54 and was given a 90 percent chance of recovery. But she lost her battle just three years later.

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From O. R. to P. R.
How Cancer Taught Me to Pursue My Dreams

by Fran Di Giacomo

I needed to write a book, and I had every opportunity an author would need to fail. As a professional artist and career cancer patient I’d been on chemotherapy for five years. I didn’t have a computer, fax machine, cell phone, or college degree. I just knew how to juggle multiple tumors, surgeries, chemotherapy sessions, art galleries, portrait commissions, and armies of medical staff, and how to enjoy life.

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Lessons from Cancer

by Pamela K. Steele

The last two and a half years have been a bit rough. I’ve said goodbye to my mother and my father, discovered my own early stage ovarian cancer, and supported my brother through his battle with stage IV prostate cancer. While these experiences and realities have led to a great deal of grief and uncertainty, they’ve also given me the opportunity to reflect, reprioritize, and rejuvenate.

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