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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When Chemo Brain Follows You Home

by Beth Leibson

We sat on comfy sofas talking about fainting. Passing out was frightening, embarrassing, and seemingly inevitable. Someone was listing the various places we, as a cancer support group, had lost consciousness: the workplace, the schoolyard, on the way home from chemotherapy.

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Battling Breast Cancer the SECOND Time Around

by Lisa Boccard

In 2003, I was diagnosed a second time with breast cancer. But this time, it was metastatic breast cancer. After eleven years of surviving Stage III breast cancer, I found myself once again fighting for my life. This time around is much different than the first time – I will be treated for this disease for the rest of my life.

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It’s Not So Bad - You Are a Survivor

by Patricia A. Bauer

The waiting room is comprised of one small loveseat in a brightly flowered pattern. Two straight-back chairs of an anemic maroon color join a small, generic lamp that claims a small space on the magazine-laden table. Although a magazine wall-holder clings to the wall, it is empty. A square mirror that is desperately crying out for a squirt of glass cleaner is suspended above the table. This completes my first vision of the waiting room I would soon come to know very well.

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The Night the Lights Went Out

by Kate Cassorla

Eleven months after my non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, I awoke in the middle of the night to a power outage. Assuming that the whole neighborhood was without electricity, I set the alarm on my cell phone and went back to sleep. When the alarm rang, I proceeded to my eldest daughter’s room to wake her up for school. Oddly, her bedroom had power, as did all my neighbors’ homes.

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My Cancer Philosophy

by Liora Hess

In the spring of 2007, about a month before my 39th birthday, my reading shifted to spiritual topics. I started meditating daily and began a serious effort to de-clutter my home and simplify my life. Looking back now, I see that I was anticipating something, though I didn’t know it at the time.

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The Road From Grief to Grace

by Nicole Zechella

One week after my 30th birthday, I was told I had a large melanoma in the center of my back. The dermatologist informed me that I had an appointment for that afternoon with a surgeon to discuss the next step. My denial started as soon as I hung up the phone. Like in the movie of the week, I found myself in front of a very impressive, degreed doctor nodding on autopilot as he told me directly, clearly, quietly, “Nicole, you have cancer.”

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Time to Fly Away

by Rob Wahrhaftig

My eight-year-old nephew Steve often asks me, “Did you get out of cancer yet?” I tell him that you don't exactly “get out” of cancer, that it's not like being in a jail. A jail is where you are put when you have done something wrong, and people with cancer have not done anything wrong. No, having cancer is more like being stuck in a barrel.

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Waiting All of My Life

by Theodore R. Westfall

The nagging pain had been distracting me for over a week. Laura, sitting next to me, had been distracting me much longer. When we arrived back to my apartment, I winced as the nagging pain worsened. Laura urged me to see a doctor as soon as possible. A colonoscopy confirmed that a large polyp had penetrated the intestinal wall. I learned that it had been there for possibly ten years. I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer.

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