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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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.

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Lessons Learned

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.

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How Martin Sheen Helped Me Survive Cancer

by Susan Groh

Life has a funny way of giving you the things you need. When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, I felt like a ship cut free of its moorings during a storm. I cast about trying to come to grips with my diagnosis and find safe harbor, until a conversation with actor Martin Sheen provided the anchor I needed.

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Something Old, Something New

by Holly J. Bertone

Over the course of 48 hours, eight words changed my life forever. The first four came during a phone call from my doctor. The latter came two days later when my boyfriend, Carter, proposed marriage. Those eight words, “You have breast cancer,” and “Will you marry me?” were just too much to process together.

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Where Is That Silver Lining?

by Rosemary Bobay

Six years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving, I got the call. You know which one I’m talking about. The one where the doctor says, “It’s cancer.” Invasive ductal carcinoma in my case.

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From One Survivor to Another

by Sara Nelson O’Brien

My battle with cancer began in the summer of 2012 when I was diagnosed with stage III endometrial cancer. This June, I celebrated two years of being cancer-free. It has been a hard fight, with plenty of good times, and more than enough difficult moments too. Along the way, I’ve learned a few lessons that I want to share with you – from one survivor to another.

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How I Learned Acceptance on the Berkeley Fire Trails

by Marcia Renée Goodman

Standing in the specialty running store with my 25-year-old daugh­ter Dani and my childhood friend Felice, I am in good fitness company as we survey the options of running shoes laid out before us. Dani was an All-American athlete in college. Felice was the fastest runner in our elementary school. Both have kept in shape. I, on the other hand, have slacked off in the fitness department over the last several years of cancer treatments.

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Develop a Cancer Conqueror’s Mindset

by Lauren E. Miller

When the doctors told me, at age 38 with three young children while going through a divorce, that I had a 50/50 chance of survival, I had no idea how strong my survival instinct was. In less than two years, I went through divorce, a double mas­tectomy, 16 chemotherapy treatments, an additional year of chemo, 6 weeks of daily radiation, and 12 surgeries.

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