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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Cancer Survivors to Celebrate Life on National Cancer Survivors Day – Sunday, June 1, 2014

From family members to close friends, everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. On Sunday, June 1, 2014, thousands of people around the world will unite to observe the 27th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®. Hundreds of communities across the U.S. and abroad will hold celebrations on this day to honor cancer survivors and show that there is life after a cancer diagnosis – and it’s worth celebrating.

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Biking Back

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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Cancer

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.

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