Diagnosis: January 2006, Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
2A. Confirmed remission August 2006. Relapse symptoms April 2007, confirmed relapse July 2007
Treatment: ABVD Chemo x 6, Rads to chest/neck August 2006. August 2007 – ICE+Velcade x 3 (clinical trial), BEAM + Auto-SCT (MDA) October 2007. Complete Remission since September 2007.
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It was ongoing anemia that brought me to a hematologist, and also the first word out of his mouth on the day of my diagnosis:
“Anemia. Well, you have a kind of anemia that is unresponsive to treatment.”
“You have refractory anemia.”
Still listening. Snap judgment: doesn’t sound too scary.
“It is very unusual for your age. Refractory anemia [...]
I was away from home on business when I found the lump one morning in the summer of 2005 while showering. There’s no history of breast cancer in my family and I found it quite by accident, I recall it took a great deal of determination and focus to get through my work and [...]
Cancer runs in my family, though not in first degree relatives. My grandfather died of lung cancer. My second cousin on mom’s side was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45, and died at 49. Herceptin wasn’t around yet. She was brilliant and young, I miss her. Her mother passed not long after from breast [...]
I was driving in my car on May 3rd, 1998 when I felt a dull ache in my groin. It felt like a bit of cramp, so I wasn’t too worried about it. The following day, when I got up, the ache was back. With every day that passed the pain increased. After about a [...]
I’m not going to edit this, these words are meant to be just what they are…my thoughts at this very moment….a stream of consciousness writing about a friend.
Today I ask that we take a moment, not of silence but of celebration, to remember one of the most amazing ‘Survivors’ whom I have ever met: Mike [...]
“Self Advocacy” in “High Quality” Medical Institutions and the importance of making YOUR VOICE heard.
An Essay on medical “ignorance” when in a facility “unfamiliar” with YOUR medical history.
By Michael D. Tufo, R.T.(CT) ARRT
(Synovial Sarcoma/Lung Mets “Survivor” and Medical Imaging Professional.)
TO begin with: I have been in the field of Medical Imaging for well over [...]
Stage IV colon cancer.
Eleven years ago these were words that filled my life with fear. They evoked thoughts of suffering. A bald head. Nausea. Fatigue. And even death.
In the years since those words and my life first intertwined, I’ve learned that other things cause greater fear, that suffering is not what I’ve done, that bald heads can be covered – or proudly displayed [...]
The “Testicle Tour” came to my attention early in 2009. I’d just joined Facebook to raise my profile. I lost both testicles 22 years ago and am on a mission. My sister says I am obsessed ! She may well be right.
Three months after I lost my testicles, I made a decision to abandon the [...]
Truth be told I believe I have always been a survivor. We all have. In my mind, however, not everyone has been put to the challenge the way a cancer survivor has.
It wasn’t until I turned 40 years old that this was really put to the test.
When I turned 40 years old, at the end [...]
I am Kim and I am 34 years old
My partner – soon to be husband – of 13 years is Bryan.
My sons are Daniel (6), Will (5) and my daughter Emma is 17 months.
I have a little sister, a mum, a dad and a little brother.
And we have melanoma.
I say we because cancer affects us [...]
I once read a quote from A.A. Milne. Christopher Robin says to Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
The quote is so simply put, and is easy to dismiss; however, its sums up my cancer experience. People always ask me: “How [...]
It was March, 1987.
The doctor’s mouth was moving but I’d stopped hearing the moment he said the word cancer. I was sitting on the edge of the hospital bed trying to listen to a doctor who couldn’t meet my gaze as he explained how the needle biopsy results indicated the tumour in the ball of [...]
Christmas chemo rescheduling put me next to Erica, a ginger-haired angelic-looking patient about my age, She was more vibrant than the other patients waiting for treatment. When I asked about this, she revealed her secret: a triathlon team. Soon, falling flat on my face would be the best evidence that I was surviving and [...]
My story is different than most. In fact, I hardly feel like a “survivor” at all – I don’t feel like I measure up to all the strong individuals who received their diagnosis, invasive and debilitating treatments, and maybe (hopefully) a good prognosis after all the life-prolonging damage has been done. No, no… that’s not [...]
My story begins in the fall of 2005, just before my 28th birthday. I had a mole that was on the back of my head hidden under my hair. I’d had it my whole life but it had always been just that, a regular mole like all the other ones I have. One day I [...]
This is the first entry into the ‘Articles’ section of “Voices of Survivors”. I have asked Brad, the Founder of “First Descents”, to share his story of developing his organization and what makes it so successful for those ‘Survivors’ who take part in the challenge. So without further ado, I give you Brad Ludden.
Today in the Written Word’, we have something a little different. Today, Gayle Weisman, who was the 47th ‘Survivor’ to share her ‘voice’ on camera, has contributed three of her wonderful poems. Each one truly captures what each of us has felt at one point or the other more than likely.
After Cancer Avalanche
A rush of [...]
Karin Gehm Barrett – ‘Survivor’
My life as I knew it
Was there in front of me
Every day the same
But just a little different
Then one day there was a pain
There was a feeling of unease
Of being uncomfortable
Things were happening that were just a little different
My belly was huge and hard as a rock
A doctor visit
I expected to [...]
When I had asked Jomaly to submit a poem for the “Written Word” she had told me about the first piece: “I’ll Be Fine” that she had written during her treatment. I had asked to also contribute a piece that was written from her perspective today on being a ‘Survivor’. Below you will see her [...]
“I’ll Be Fine”
Simple cold, at least that’s what I thought,
Doctor visit, emergency room
25 tubes of blood, two chest x-rays, MRI
Final analysis, bone marrow and spinal tap
Back aches, head aches, visits from people that I love
Nurses checking my vitals every 10 minutes, sleepless nights
Disgusting Hospital food and smells
Backless pajamas, messy hair, decent looking room
Wow! One [...]