National Cancer Survivors Day

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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 Life Gives You Cancer,
Find the Celebration

by Shannon Doan-Duff

Only 11 weeks after my dad was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, I too became a member of the cancer club. I had melanoma. My family went from being a “normal” family (normal being relative for those who know us) to a family living with cancer. Living, though, took on an entirely different meaning after cancer entered the picture.

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Finding My Cancer Lifeline

by Roberta Aberle

Cancer has always been a con­stant in my family. Even from an early age, I’ve always known I was at risk. Several uncles and aunts, as well as three of my grandparents, lost their lives to cancer. When a few cousins were diagnosed, my fears increased. I began doing everything I could to mitigate my risks – eating the right foods, exercising regularly, avoiding toxins, and just taking care of myself.

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Curly Hair

by Diane Tefft Young, MA, LICDC-CS

In late January 2015, I was di­agnosed with uterine cancer – stage IIIC. My oncologist recommended a “sandwich” treatment plan. I would receive three 6-hour chemo infusions three weeks apart, followed by 28 daily radiation sessions. Treatment would end with two addi­tional 6-hour chemo infusions four weeks apart. As I was trying to take this all in, I posed a question: when will I lose my hair? The response was that my chin-length, fine gray hair would be completely gone following the second chemo infusion.

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Finding My Strength

by Richard S. Hillman

When I heard the doctor say prostate cancer, it felt as if I was struck by a bolt of light­ning. My wife, Audrey, and I had moved to Florida to enjoy an active retirement. A few sets of tennis and a swim were on our daily agendas. Not this. It seemed our world would crumble.

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Learning to Love My Body
and Live Out Loud

by Morgan Thompson

Scared. Confused. Hurt. Ashamed. When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at just 26 years old, I was overwhelmed with so many different emotions, but the feel­ing of shame kept washing over me. I naively believed that cancer was something that happened to “other” people. It had never touched my life in a personal way, and I assumed that if I did the right things (exercise and eat a healthy diet) — it never would.

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Life Is about Choices
I Chose … Live

by Mike Coy, RFC, CPBA

I’ve been asked many times by friends and family if I ever wanted to just give up when I was battling cancer. The answer is no. I had a six-month-old grandson, and I wanted to be able to take him to the park. I wanted to be able to play catch with him and watch him grow up. No, giving up wasn’t an option for me. However, I do understand why someone would quit.

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Advice from a Teenage Cancer Survivor

by Carly Freels

Nearly 16,000 U.S. children and adolescents under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer each year. I am one of them. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when I was 17 years old.

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Metastasis is a FOUR-LETTER Word

by Patricia Ohanian Lundstrom

You’re a survivor? How long? This question continues to confuse me. I have no idea how to answer it. I usually say something like, “Well, I woke up this morning, so about five hours now.” People think this is a witty thing I say, but, in fact, it’s the closest to the truth I can get.

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