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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My Little Secret

by Lisa Pawlak

At the time of my cancer diagnosis, I was training for a half marathon. I was 37 years old with two children. My lung tumor, previously thought to be benign and stable, had grown. When a lung biopsy was recommended, I was stunned.

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Face to Face with Fatigue

by Marilyn R. Grainger, RN

As an oncology nurse, in 1995, I participated in the Oncology Nursing Society’s patient education program Fatigue Initiative Research and Educa­tion (FIRE). The goal of FIRE was to teach oncology nurses about the reality of cancer-related fatigue, along with proven interventions to lessen this com­mon cancer- and treatment-related side effect. I never imag­ined that one day I would be diagnosed with breast cancer and would need to apply what I had learned at that conference to my own recovery.

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After

by Gail Presnell-Jones

Today is the day I’ve decided
That I will not die.
Or at the very least,
I’ve decided that I’ll try

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Cancer: Only a Part of Who I Am

by Denise Cooper

I am 53 years old, and I have stage IV breast cancer. Do I let this fact define me as a person? Should I? Absolutely not! I have a choice to make each day. Do I wake up with a negative, feel-sorry-for-myself attitude? Or do I face the day with an uplifting outlook so that I can be an inspiration to someone else and turn this negative diagnosis into something positive? I al­ways try to go with the second option.

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Jumpers, Minimizers, and Fixers

by Craig T. Pynn

Scattered among the hundreds of thoughtful and caring responses I received to my prostate cancer diagnosis from my family, friends, and colleagues, there were a few reactions that were difficult to handle. After listening to several people attempt to say the right thing while assiduously avoiding the idea of cancer itself, I sorted their deflective responses to my bad news into one of three categories: jumpers, minimizers, and fixers.

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Healing with Words

by Diana M. Raab

During my breast cancer journey, my lifeline was three-fold: immediate healthcare, a supportive family, and the creative arts as a source of strength. For a long time, the arts have been associated with relieving tension and fears. Creative expression is a healthier alternative to keeping your emotions bottled up inside. Author Virginia Woolf confessed that she wrote in her diary “to bring order to the chaos in her life.”

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10 Ways to Cope with Cancer

by Glenn Brooks

In September 2011, I heard those most-unwelcome, life-changing words: “Glenn, you have cancer.” The news is better now. Following ex­cisions, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, hydration, some sketchy moments, and incredible medical care, the cancer is no longer active. But I am! I vowed to use my story to encourage others, and with that, I give you my “10 Ways to Cope with Cancer.”

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Fighting Cancer with Colors

by Marisol Del Sol-Auten

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “It’s lymphoma.” The scenario was surreal. I was 40 years old. I had just married the love of my life and gotten my MBA in international business through a program sponsored by my employer, a prestigious worldwide oil company that had offered me a promotion as an international sales and marketing executive.

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