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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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.

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Thank You, Cancer

by Nicole Malato

Dear Cancer,

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.

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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.

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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.”

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Out•li•er

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

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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.

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Cancer Can’t Dance Like This

by Daniel Stolfi

It was Valentine’s Day 2008. I know this because my roommate wanted the apart­ment to himself so he could have a “special” night with his girlfriend. The moment I stepped outside of my apartment building to give him some space, the cold winter air hit me like a punch to the face. This strange ill feeling in my bones swept through my body, and I thought to myself that I must have been getting the flu. This didn’t feel like your nor­mal, run-of-the-mill flu, but I went on with my life thinking it would pass on its own. Well, it didn’t pass.

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Send Your National Cancer Survivor Day Photos by June 10

Did you celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 2? We want to see your photos! You could have one of your photos chosen for the cover of Coping with Cancer magazine’s July/August 2013 Celebration Issue. We’re planning a section to showcase the wide variety of ways people have celebrated life on this special day. Send us your most interesting shots to share with other survivors in our special issue. Deadline is Monday, June 10, to be considered for its official coverage of National Cancer Survivors Day.

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