For a list of survivor stories by cancer type, click the Type of Cancer and follow the link at the bottom of the page.
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.
Living with Incontinence after Prostate Surgery
by Rick Redner, MSW, with Brenda Redner, RN
The experience with urinary incontinence begins after a much-anticipated event – the day your catheter is removed. I was delighted to be free from my catheter. For a brief period, it was a happy day.My celebratory mood would last a few brief hours before I experienced an emotional nosedive. I was totally unprepared to deal with my loss of urinary control.
by Barbara Delinsky
Loss of control is a major issue for those with breast cancer. It starts early on, when a problem is first suspected, and suddenly we’re taken over by fear, not to mention mammography machines, localization needles, hospital release forms, and biopsies. Then a positive diagnosis comes, and we’re really hit for a loop. We’re swamped by new information, confused by choices, intimidated by sterile rooms. We worry enough to lose sleep; we’re hurting from surgery, weak from anesthesia, and stressed over family demands; and we are not looking forward to the treatment ahead. There’s this big C looming over us, pressing us under its weight, threatening to dominate our daily lives for the next however-long.
The Legend of Big Billy
by Craig Harrison
It was late in the winter of 2010, and the nights were long and dark. I lay in bed motionless hour after hour, listening to the wall clock mock me with its relentless chiming that marked each passage of time – a haunting melody that became the subtle, audible reminder of yet another sleepless 60 minutes I would never get back.
Thank You, Cancer
by Nicole Malato
Truth be told, I would have never invited you into my home. Being the party crasher you are, you barged on in anyway. Admittedly, I was confused and distraught when you first made your presence known. You were frightening and devastating. As time went on and I learned you were not planning to go away, it took a lot of reflection to realize that even though you are with me, I can still live a great life.
Reflections on the Fourth of July
by Ginny Jordan
It is the evening of July 4, 2011. I am babysitting my granddaughter Isabella while her parents have a last night out before their second child arrives. I am slumped on their couch in the TV room, the windows wide open and a fan on at full speed. There is a drought in New Mexico, and now fires in Los Alamos have filled the air with smoke for miles. I have felt hot all day, and my eyes sting from the ash.
Behind Enemy Lines
by Mike Verano
I have to confess that three years into my thymic cancer survivorship, I still have problems with the “war on cancer” mentality. I fully appreciate that the diagnosis of cancer brings on a reflexive fight-for-your-life response. However, I find it hard to reconcile the need for peace of mind with a battle against “the emperor of all maladies.”
by Glen Kirkpatrick
1: A person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system
2: A person or thing excluded from a group; an outsider