National Cancer Survivors Day

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Oral, Head, Neck & Thyroid Cancer Survivor Stories

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Life Is about Choices
I Chose … Live

by Mike Coy, RFC, CPBA

I’ve been asked many times by friends and family if I ever wanted to just give up when I was battling cancer. The answer is no. I had a six-month-old grandson, and I wanted to be able to take him to the park. I wanted to be able to play catch with him and watch him grow up. No, giving up wasn’t an option for me. However, I do understand why someone would quit.

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by Eva Grayzel

When I returned home from the hospital, my children, seven-year-old Jeremy and five-year-old Elena, could barely look at me. I understood. I could hardly look at myself, even though I kept my sutures covered with scarves and ban­dages. My children shied away from my touch. How could I blame them? I couldn’t bring myself to touch my own wounds.

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10 Ways to Cope with Cancer

by Glenn Brooks

In September 2011, I heard those most-unwelcome, life-changing words: “Glenn, you have cancer.” The news is better now. Following ex­cisions, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, hydration, some sketchy moments, and incredible medical care, the cancer is no longer active. But I am! I vowed to use my story to encourage others, and with that, I give you my “10 Ways to Cope with Cancer.”

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Sad Eyes

by Don Rhymer

Cancer pushes everybody’s buttons differently. For some, it’s a scary “what if it happened to me?” For others, it’s an all too present reminder of the traumatic experience of a family member or close friend. Either way, cancer is a devastating car crash that even the most disciplined bystander has a hard time turning away from.

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Daily Reminders

by David Kelley

Tinnitus is the correct medical term for it. What I call it is one of my daily reminders that at least I am alive and able to, literally, live with such things as the constant, sometimes louder, sometimes quieter but always present tinnitus. It’s that ringing, buzzing, droning, no longer annoying, always there side effect of my cancer treatment last year. Actually, it’s just one of the side effects of the cancer treatment.

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Thrown for a Loop

by Mary Jedlicka Humston

Two thyroid cancer surgeries. Four weeks on a low iodine diet. One radioactive iodine treatment requiring three days of isolation. Five to six weeks of radiation therapy still ahead.

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Turning a Corner

by Roger Tunsley

It’s Sunday evening, around nine o’clock. My wife, Kathy, and I are watching TV. I turn to her and ask if she would like anything – a snack or a drink. Then I suddenly remember; I have a scan in the morning and I’m not supposed to have anything to eat or drink after eight o’clock. I mention this to Kathy, and then we both realize what’s happened and we grin at each other. I’ve turned a corner.

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More Than Survivors

by Chris Frey, MSW

I have had wonderful cancer care. At each stage of my journey, I have met highly skilled, efficient, and compassionate caregivers. I have also been repeatedly reminded that I am not just the recipient of that care; I am an active, vibrant member of the team, working to restore me to health.

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