Survivors Speak Out by Sharing Knowledge, Hope, and Inspiration for Coping®‘s 35 Year Anniversary
Coping® with Cancer magazine is proud to be celebrating its 35th year of providing knowledge, hope, and inspiration to people whose lives have been touched by cancer. To commemorate, cancer survivors share what they’ve learned, what gives them hope, and what inspires them.
I pledged that we would get through this one the same way we had gotten through all his other challenges. After all, this is what love looks like.
Every day I remind myself, “Be present.” It’s so easy for me to race aead to the next mountain to be climbed that I am not present in the present.
– William Ramshaw
Author of Gut Punched! Facing Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer survivor
Courage comes in many forms. It takes a special kind of daring for us as survivors to step beyond our comfort zones, allowing others to see not only our strength but also our vulnerability.
Hope is the name of the game when you’re given unsettling news. Surround yourself with positive people and positive energy.
– Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo
Multiple myeloma survivor
Let’s honor those who have passed, by living the best life we can for as long as we can. Live your story as true as you can. This is how we can make our survival worthy.
– Kathryn Davis
Metastatic breast cancer survivor
By finding humor in the events and oddities I’ve faced during this struggle with cancer, I have been able to make the enormous small and the unmanageable manageable.
There is a moment after a cancer diagnosis where most people are enveloped in extreme fear. Then, with most cancer survivors I have spoken with, there is this awakening that comes unexpectedly. You almost instantly become more courageous, powerful, focused, and alive than you’ve ever been. You stand up to fight back this disease with a strength you never anticipated. I am grateful for my cancer, because I now know the value and gratitude of being alive. It changed the course of my life for the better, and I will always remember my cancer as a fork in the road that took me to where I am today.
The human spirit is precious and deserves nourishment. Look in the mirror every day, think of one thing you like about your life and yourself, and voice it out loud. Ask yourself, Am I doing what I want with this life? Am I influencing others in a positive way? What small steps can I take that will lead me to be my best?
Here’s the thing – cancer doesn’t care how old you are, how much money you make, or how good of a person you are. Cancer can happen to anyone. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your story. You have the power to move your life in any direction you dream.
You’ve got to fall back on your strengths and forget about your weaknesses when you’re going through something like this.
I had learned that a successful life meant noticing, enjoying, and reveling in the small moments. Simple joys are relative; they are different for different people and for where they are in life … Life isn’t one big thing; it’s several tiny moments.
Yes, your life will be forever changed, and yes, your life will be turned upside down for a while, but even during this unplanned tumultuous part of your life, you deserve – no, you need to make your plans. Maintaining your will to live and your ability to put one foot in front of the other is, in my opinion, just as important as what medical science can do for you. Both must work hand in hand.
– Lynda Peterson
Through my journey and faith, I discovered who I could be in spite of my medical circumstances. The lessons I have learned from my cancer experiences and my circumstances do not dictate my future. I look at my adversities and know I am a survivor and overcomer. My future has limitless possibilities.
Once I stopped fighting and resisting what simply was, once I surrendered, I opened myself to worlds of experience and insights I had no idea even existed.
– Michael J. Russer
Speaker and thought leader
Prostate cancer survivor
Some people view the storm as a profound spiritual experience that proves life changing. I have to confess, I had no such experience of enlightenment during cancer. I did however have an abundantly clear understanding of what constitutes my quality of life, and a dogged insistence upon having it.
– Amy Bryant
Breast cancer survivor
It taught me that sometimes you have to fight through the bad days to earn the best days of your life.
Life can get back to normal. It’s even better after. That’s hard to see at the moment, but that’s how it was in my case.
If you bury your head in the sand, you won’t see the real threats coming, and that is what leaves you the most vulnerable. To overcome trouble, you must acknowledge it, understand it, and address it at the earliest possible stage.
Laughter and positivity spilled into every aspect of my journey, and I held onto my sense of humor as cancer challenged my sense of self and my sense of identity. It was certainly the hardest time of my life, but in the end, a hefty prescription of tumor humor is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Through it all, I’m still me, and I didn’t allow cancer to take away who I am or what I stand for. I’m a survivor, and I can go on and still look and feel beautiful and shine brighter.
– Karen Rice
Breast and colon cancer survivor
There are moments in all our lives that can be painful and humiliating, but as a cancer survivor, I’ve come to realize those moments are the ones we look back on, appreciate most, and sometimes, even laugh about.
Anytime the word cancer comes up, it’s hard not to conjure worst-case scenarios. I think the more we can tell stories about these good outcomes, the more people realize there’s hope.
I believe we all have many things and people and dreams in our lives that help keep us fighting. You know yours, just like I knew mine.
I see everything differently! The biggest difference is that I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. If I can beat cancer, everything else is a piece of pie!
More inspiration coming soon!
Everyone has a unique story to share. Do you want to share your survivor story? We consider a cancer survivor to be anyone living with a history of cancer – from diagnosis through the remainder of life. Here are our submission guidelines.