For a list of survivor stories by cancer type, click the Type of Cancer and follow the link at the bottom of the page.
When Life Gives You Cancer,
Find the Celebration
by Shannon Doan-Duff
Only 11 weeks after my dad was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, I too became a member of the cancer club. I had melanoma. My family went from being a “normal” family (normal being relative for those who know us) to a family living with cancer. Living, though, took on an entirely different meaning after cancer entered the picture.
Finding My Cancer Lifeline
by Roberta Aberle
Cancer has always been a constant in my family. Even from an early age, I’ve always known I was at risk. Several uncles and aunts, as well as three of my grandparents, lost their lives to cancer. When a few cousins were diagnosed, my fears increased. I began doing everything I could to mitigate my risks – eating the right foods, exercising regularly, avoiding toxins, and just taking care of myself.
by Diane Tefft Young, MA, LICDC-CS
In late January 2015, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer – stage IIIC. My oncologist recommended a “sandwich” treatment plan. I would receive three 6-hour chemo infusions three weeks apart, followed by 28 daily radiation sessions. Treatment would end with two additional 6-hour chemo infusions four weeks apart. As I was trying to take this all in, I posed a question: when will I lose my hair? The response was that my chin-length, fine gray hair would be completely gone following the second chemo infusion.
Finding My Strength
by Richard S. Hillman
When I heard the doctor say prostate cancer, it felt as if I was struck by a bolt of lightning. My wife, Audrey, and I had moved to Florida to enjoy an active retirement. A few sets of tennis and a swim were on our daily agendas. Not this. It seemed our world would crumble.
Learning to Love My Body
and Live Out Loud
by Morgan Thompson
Scared. Confused. Hurt. Ashamed. When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at just 26 years old, I was overwhelmed with so many different emotions, but the feeling of shame kept washing over me. I naively believed that cancer was something that happened to “other” people. It had never touched my life in a personal way, and I assumed that if I did the right things (exercise and eat a healthy diet) — it never would.
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.
Advice from a Teenage Cancer Survivor
by Carly Freels
Nearly 16,000 U.S. children and adolescents under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer each year. I am one of them. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when I was 17 years old.
Metastasis is a FOUR-LETTER Word
by Patricia Ohanian Lundstrom
You’re a survivor? How long? This question continues to confuse me. I have no idea how to answer it. I usually say something like, “Well, I woke up this morning, so about five hours now.” People think this is a witty thing I say, but, in fact, it’s the closest to the truth I can get.