What does it mean to be a survivor?
It means there is a bright future ahead of you. It means that you are one of the lucky ones and you have a unique perspective on life. Some may not see it that way, especially those recently diagnosed. I was diagnosed 21 years ago and I can [...]
December 28, 2007 will always be a strange day for me, that’s the day they found my lymphoma. I’d had bronchitis about two weeks before Christmas and even after finishing the antibiotics I didn’t feel better. Two days after Christmas my sister and I were shopping. I coughed really hard and felt something move in [...]
What it means to me to be a co-survivor?
In my video I said that being a survivor meant conquering the disease. I didn’t mean to be smug. All survivors know that cancer can rear its ugly head and bite when we are least expecting it. And I realize that there are others that may be [...]
Growing up in southwestern New York and Iowa left me with a deep connection to the world of living things. My brothers, sister and I would spent hours outside – from building castles and forts in the woods to sliding into mud puddles when the rain fell just right. Early on I loved the changing [...]
I had a feeling something was wrong. I had always been a fireball of energy and activity, but something was “off” and I just couldn’t figure it out. I was always tired. Not normal everyday tired, but tired with a crushing fatigue that sleep didn’t seem to help. I barely had an appetite, and when [...]
It has been 1 ½ years since I got that awful phone call. Survivor Sisters & Brothers, you know the one I’m talking about…
I was 35 years old, and I’d never given breast cancer a second thought. That was something that happened to other women – not me. Nobody in my family had ever had [...]
“Where do you turn when there’s nowhere to go
Can’t escape the fear deep down in your soul
It paralyzes your heart, stops you in your tracks
No one can save you, your future looks black”
*Lyrics from ‘No Surrender’ by Dichroic Glass, © 2007
I was 37 years old, happily living life with my wonderful husband of 12 years [...]
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1975 after accidentally swallowing a staple. I was a freshman in college and thought I had the flu, so I had stayed home from school for a few days. A fraternity brother had copied his class notes for me. On Friday afternoon I sat and read the notes [...]
I will preface this by saying that I’m writing this in a stream of consciousness with zero editing because that’s how I feel right now. I just want to see what comes out and be as honest as I can in the process. I’m writing this on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 after my day of [...]
I really truly hate cancer. I hate it because it has not only altered my life (and my body) as a result of four bouts with the disease, but because it has deprived me…and by extension, the world…of the wisdom, enthusiasm, talents and love of those I have lost to cancer. I have even lost [...]
It was April 1988 and I’d just woken up mad as hell, because I’d failed in an attempt on my life. I’d not taken the decision to end my life flippantly. After all, I’d just survived Cancer, having just been declared Cancer free at the end of my treatment. Life should have been good, but [...]
I am no stranger to cancer. I have met it several times over the course of my 26 years. My first meeting was my grandfather, who was diagnosed with skin cancer, though it didn’t affect me and the people in my “bubble”. Cancer didn’t enter my world until 1992. My little brother was diagnosed with [...]
My name is Valerie and I am a breast cancer survivor. For more than 20 years, I often felt like I was just waiting for the diagnosis that had claimed my mother’s life when she was only 48, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when I was diagnosed with stage IIB invasive lobular carcinoma at [...]
Survivor: It is an interesting word and one that has many definitions depending upon circumstances. Mine is actually the story of my life and how I found hope and meaning through the process of surviving. It is a word that I have dealt with since birth. I was born two weeks late, not breathing and [...]
How many of you have ever had a cough? How many of you have ever had a cough that lasted longer than 7 months? A cough, a simple-stupid cough – who would have thought that it would have changed my life forever!! This annoying little pest started in January 2003. I was 34 years old [...]
On September 4, 2004, my mother called telling me she thought my father was having a heart attack. When I arrived, I found him in his recliner not breathing. I began CPR while my mother called 911. Little did I know this would be just the beginning of my new life.
After four months of good [...]
My first experience with cancer came when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease at the age of 16. Back in 1992, the “C” word was rarely mentioned, spoken only in whispers or behind closed doors. Fortunately, I was young, and as they say, ignorance is bliss. I wasn’t aware of the severity of the disease. [...]
My experiences with the most profane word in the English language, “Cancer” has given me a life that I truly appreciate and it is because of that ”C” word, that I now live each day with special meaning and purpose. There are experiences in life that test the very fiber of your being, for me [...]
The one phrase that defines me more than any other is ‘Cancer SURVIVOR’! It’s that simple – but behind that simplicity lies a rather complicated story.
I was diagnosed with seriously-advanced Testicular Cancer on 16 May 2000, just 3.5 months short of my 51st birthday. My cancer had spread from the testicle – a grapefruit-sized tumour [...]
I’m surviving two cancers, thyroid and breast. They were diagnosed about nine months apart. The thyroid cancer was found after my physiotherapist, working on my shoulder, told me to have my thyroid checked because it felt swollen to her. For a long while, I thought it might be a benign thing, not needing intervention up [...]
It was on the 13th of June 1985, and I had made a brief appointment with Doctor Dixon in The Brighton Hill GP Surgery (it is funny how clear all of this still is). Just to have a quick chat.
I made the first appointment at 9 a.m., because I had a very important business meeting [...]
The scariest words you never want to hear are “Mr. Sparks, we don’t know what that mass is in your neck and it may be malignant.” That sentence turned my life upside down and inside out. Nothing thereafter would ever be the same.
It all started so innocuously in late August 2008. My girlfriend, Carey, and [...]
March 24, 2008 was the day that I got news that changed my life; that was the day I heard the words: “You have breast cancer”. At first I thought there was some sort of mistake, I had a lump removed, but I was only 20 years old. I have no family history of breast [...]