National Cancer Survivors Day

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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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Fighting Cancer with Support

by Traci Clancy

In September 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I waited in the radiologist’s office for the results of my biopsy, my husband, John, and I were confident that the tests would come back negative. The statistics were on my side: no one in my family had had breast cancer, and many of our friends told us that if it hurts, it’s not cancer or if it’s on both breasts, it’s not cancer. Well, it was, and we were shocked.

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On Purpose

by Wendy S. Harpham, MD, FACP

During the disorienting weeks after a diagnosis of serious illness, people often ask “Why me?” This question never once enters my mind in the weeks after my cancer diagnosis, which I attribute to all I’ve seen over the years as a physician. If anything, “Why not me?” Then, after weeks of wrestling with fear of death, an unexpected concern erupts: “What if I survive?”

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Baby Curls

by Melanie Rollins

After chemo, when my hair finally started growing back, it was like peach fuzz at first. There was great excitement, until I stepped back from the mirror and realized that the first hair was transparent, and there was not enough of it to make the slightest difference. I still looked completely bald.

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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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Sharing Our Stories

by Lori Taft Sours

Ten years! February 3, 2010, marked the tenth anniversary of my cancer survivorship. It was a time to reflect on the past, relish the present, and plan for the future. It was also a time to share my story, as I believe that knowing each other’s stories gives us all strength and hope.

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My Fear of “The Big R”

by Fredricka R. Maister

Cancer – just the word could spin me into ruminations of doom and gloom, pain and suffering, and possible death. I was young, physically fit, and health conscious. I didn’t indulge in junk food, didn’t smoke or drink, and was born to a family with bad cardiac DNA, not wayward cancer cells.

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Life Becomes Art: Cancer Survivor Awarded Top Prize in 2010 Oncology On CanvasSM Art Competition

Following her lung cancer diagnosis, amateur artist Annette Zalewski felt as if her life had been "cut up, rearranged and become a different picture." She sought to express her cancer journey on canvas by using a cut-up painting technique for the first time. Her mixed media entry, "Wild Water," took first prize in the fourth biennial Oncology On Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey Art Competition and Exhibition.

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Do I Know the Lady in the Picture?

by Pamela Estes

A girl with a short, choppy haircut looks back at me. She’s not young, not old, but dangling somewhere in between. Do I know her? Is she a part of my past, perhaps an old friend, or just someone I thought I once knew?

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