National Cancer Survivors Day

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Cancer Survivors
Coping with Cancer

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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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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.

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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.

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