Survivors

For a list of survivor stories by cancer type, click the Type of Cancer and follow the link at the bottom of the page.

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Against All Odds

by Stacey Polak

In 1998, I received chemotherapy while I was preg­nant. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the end of my first trimester, the prognosis wasn’t great, and the unknowns were terrifying. I was sick from both the pregnancy and the chemo. Weak and exhausted, I rarely left the house. The odds weren’t in my favor, yet by my third cycle of chemo, my tumor was shrinking.

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Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood

by Joanna Chapman

1. It can be really hard to make treatment decisions.
2. Seek out your pink tribe, the group that feels right to you.
3. Remember that it’s emotionally exhausting for your loved ones too.

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Let’s Be Honest …

by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Giving your friend with cancer permission to tell you the truth about what they want and what they’re feeling doesn’t mean they have to tell you absolutely everything. When friends of mine asked how I was doing during breast cancer, I used to answer in detail – until I started noticing how often their eyes glazed over.

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Still Struggling with Post-Cancer Loneliness?

by Debbie Woodbury

I’m OK with solitude. In fact, I crave it. What I’m not OK with is loneliness. Before my breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy, I thought I knew what lone­liness felt like.

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The Hidden Scars of Breast Cancer

by Beverly McKee, MSW, LCSW

As I emerge from a year of treatment for stage III breast cancer, I have 12 new scars. They vary in size, but each one bares a story of survival and a reminder of how much my body has endured in the name of surviving a life-threatening disease.

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Still Standing with Late-Stage Lung Cancer

by Joseph Liguori

If I’ve learned anything from my battle with cancer, it’s that can­cer can find anyone; it doesn’t discriminate. But more importantly, I’ve learned that a frightening and bleak cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence.

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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.

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Words of Wisdom from “The Running Rabbi”

by Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe

In 1978, I bounded across the finish line of the New York City Marathon wearing a shirt identifying me as “The Running Rabbi.” I was equally as tireless in my calling as a rabbi in Newburgh, NY. I had marched for civil rights in the 1960s, rallied to free Soviet Jews, and in 1980 visited the hostages held in Iran. I’d never been sick in my life. I felt indestructible. That was then.

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