For a list of survivor stories by cancer type, click the Type of Cancer and follow the link at the bottom of the page.
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
Take Control of Your Journey
by Lynda Peterson
What do you do when you’re given a cancer diagnosis? After you get over the shock and the air returns to your lungs, after your soul returns to your body and you no longer feel as if you’re floating above watching the scene unfold beneath you, do you feel sad? Yes. Scared? Yes. Confused and paranoid? Yes. Do you feel sorry for yourself? Yes. At least for about three seconds. Then you have a choice: put your head in the sand and wait to die, or hold your head up high, summon the courage that is deep in your soul, and show yourself and the world just what you’re made of. You get on with the business of healing.