For a list of survivor stories by cancer type, click the Type of Cancer and follow the link at the bottom of the page.
My Cancer Transformation
by Jaime Andrews
I was 33 years old when I learned I had breast cancer. Not only did I have cancer – I had aggressive, advanced cancer. This unrelenting disease is diagnosed in the later stages and is referred to as metastatic, a word with Greek origins meaning change. It’s when the tumor spreads to other parts of the body. For me, it spread to my skull, spine, pelvis, and abdomen. It even fractured my ribs.
A Buddy System for Courage
by Pamela Davis, EdD
When my oncologist suggested chemotherapy, I panicked. My perceived future played like a movie in my mind, fast-forwarding then stopping on scenes of frailty, vomiting, total loss of appetite, and incapacitation. As I began treatments, I still had visions of potential pain even though doctors and breast cancer survivors assured me that the chemo I was being prescribed wasn’t the monster I had imagined. Side effects, they explained, were often minimal, and co-therapies alleviated even severe reactions in most people.
One Step at a Time
by Matt Jones
On January 29, 2016, I crossed the finish line of my seventh marathon on my seventh continent. Just three days prior, I completed my sixth marathon on my sixth continent, Antarctica – yes, I ran a marathon in Antarctica. But twelve years earlier, at age 25, I was relearning how to walk.
Embracing the Positive Side of Cancer
by Susan M. Krauss
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. How vividly I remember the negatives: the interminable delays in getting in to see a doctor, the waiting for test results, the waiting in doctors’ offices, the waiting to feel better. Then there were the side effects from chemo: mouth sores, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, allergic reactions. And the post-treatment period brought worries about my future: What will my life look like now? Will my cancer recur? Where might it metastasize?
Putting Together the Pieces
by Cynthia Cox
The waiting room in the radiation center is quite stellar, and I should know. With my chemotherapy, surgery, and hormonal treatment, I’ve been in many different waiting rooms this year. However, this one is a little different from the rest.
The Sun Will Shine Again
by Adrienne Slaughter
As an upbeat, active single woman living in Hermosa Beach, CA, I live a fabulous life. But my life hasn’t always been easy. When I was just 14 years old, I faced my first of two rounds with cancer. And I was given only a one-percent chance of survival.
Determined to Live
by Virginia Repsys
I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. I had known something was wrong. But I never imagined it’d be cancer. I guess none of us do. I was devastated, but I tried to remain hopeful. When I researched my disease online, I found out that my type and stage of cancer had a 90-percent five-year survival rate. But even that didn’t quell the fear I felt inside.
by Mary Dunnewold
In general, I don’t think about cancer in terms of lessons learned, because I believe cancer is just stupid and unlucky, not a golden opportunity to improve your life. Whether we’ve been diagnosed with cancer or not, all of us should live every moment to its fullest because life is, in fact, short. I believed that before I had cancer, and I think I did a good job putting it into practice.