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 Gail Presnell-Jones
I can’t be the only person in the world who was already at what they thought was the lowest point in their life when their cancer diagnosis came along. Surely I’m not the only survivor who had been waylaid by life: a job loss, financial troubles, death, divorce, or any combination of the mud the cosmos sometimes slings at us. I can’t be the only person who fought cancer and will never say “Well, in the end, it was a gift.”
When Fear Pushes You, Push Back
What if you could overcome your fears? What would you do, and how different would your life be?
“Most people have no idea what they’re capable of; I think they’re almost trained by fear to not attempt the amazing things they dream of. But I’m living proof – if you can overcome fear, you can overcome almost anything,”says Jay Platt, whose feats include swimming across the Mississippi River while handcuffed, shackled, and blindfolded.
I’m Outshining Ovarian Cancer
by Karen Ingalls
Leading up to my cancer diagnosis, I noticed that I had gained a few pounds and developed a protruding stomach, both of which were unusual for me since I had always bordered on being underweight. But I never considered these changes to be anything other than normal postmenopausal aging. When I continued to gain weight, I began an aggressive exercise and weight-loss program.
Art Washes Away the Dust of Everyday Life
by Emily-Kate Niskey
When my breast cancer journey led me to a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, I knew recovery would be difficult. But I thought to myself, “I can handle it; I have a high threshold for pain. And emotionally, I’ll be fine. No big deal. I wanted new boobs anyway!”
The Fashionista Fights Again
by Jennifer Pellechio-Lukowiak
In April 2007, I was a 38-year-old working mom who had just received a shocking diagnosis of stage II breast cancer. After enduring a lumpectomy and 14 months of chemo, radiation, and adjuvant therapy, my interrupted life was finally getting back on track. As I reached my five-year survival mark, my doctors were starting to use the other C word: cured. But life is full of surprises, extreme highs, and extreme lows, and sometimes they all occur within the same week.
Tips for Coping with Cancer from a 15-Year Survivor
by Jeannine Walston
In 1998 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 24 years old, I knew nothing about cancer. Since then, with two awake brain surgeries and many other cancer therapies, my experiences have cultivated insights for optimal survivorship. Through my health and healing journey, I’ve garnered essential wisdom to thrive, and gained knowledge from extensive cancer-related professional work. My personal and professional work has even helped thousands of other cancer survivors along the way.
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.
Journaling Cancer in Words and Images
by Harriet Claire Wadeson, PhD, LCSW, ATR-BC, HLM
Cancer imposed its own special kind of helplessness as I was cut open and parts were either removed or irradiated and blasted with chemicals that destroyed cells and interfered with my physiological functioning. People turn to a number of outlets under this kind of duress – religion, meditation, music. For me, I needed to do something. Writing and making art were my saviors in times of trouble or pain in the past, so it was only natural for me to turn to them to help me through cancer.