cancer survivor

‘Why are you involved? Isn’t it depressing?’ I was dying and it wasn’t the cancer. It was the state of my life.’: Woman survives esophageal cancer, jumpstarts organization to help others

“I was separating from my husband, all the while wondering whether I was going to live or die. I was sharing a room with a woman who’d been told, ‘You have an incurable blood disease. Death is certain.’ I recall shrinking beneath my blankets, not wanting to bring attention to myself on the other side of the thin layer of privacy hanging between us. She told them ‘I have no family to call,’ and when the doctors left, we sat there in silence. I knew I was destined to do more.”

‘I am confident you have the deadliest form of skin cancer.’ I burnt regularly. I remember peeling off dead skin.’: Woman survives both skin and breast cancer, has learned to always ‘trust your gut’ when it comes to your health

“I was lying on a sun lounger (in the shade of course) and I suddenly got an overwhelming, unexplainable gut feeling I needed a mammogram. I didn’t have any lumps, but my gut was screaming it was the right thing to do. I had so many unanswered questions. ‘Am I dying? How long do I have left to live? Will I be here to see my children grow up?’ I was so vulnerable and weak and didn’t know whether I had the strength to climb the mountain which now seemed to be looming in front of me.”

‘I knew something was wrong just by looking at him. ‘It’s not a blood clot. You have a 5-inch mass in between your heart and your lungs.’: Woman diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma fights to live for her daughter, ‘I’m too young to die. I have a 3-year-old daughter who needs her mom.’

“My first symptom hit like a ton of bricks. I felt heaviness in my chest I couldn’t explain. We had to run to catch our connecting flight. This is the exact moment I knew. I could not run. I WANTED to, but my body wouldn’t let me. I ate well and exercised often, so I knew something was very, very wrong. My friends said it sounded like I was having an anxiety attack. ‘I’m only 32 years old. How can this happen?’ Our lives changed forever.”

‘Hey, you look swollen by your collarbone,’ my coworker stopped me. I groaned. I had a huge trip planned. The pain skyrocketed.’: Young woman lives with a chronic desmoid tumor, advocates so her ‘struggles can become guidance for someone else’

“My diagnosis began in a yoga studio. I noticed something was wrong when I couldn’t hold my balance easily. I developed a tight pinching and dull ache in my right shoulder. As I came out from anesthesia, my mom asked the doctor how it went. ‘Well, confusing,’ he replied. ‘The cause of your swelling and pain remains a mystery.’ I was stunned. I ended up in a surgeon’s office. ‘This is suspicious for a sarcoma.’ I had to interrupt. ‘I’m sorry, you said sarcoma? Do you mean I have cancer?’ I stammered in disbelief.”

‘I can’t tell my dad, please, you have to.’ I couldn’t say the words. ‘Sometimes we don’t all make it to the end.’: Young woman survives cancer 3 times, says she is ‘finally living her full life’

“My husband held me as I cried and said, ‘I just don’t know if I can do it all again.’ I took a minute to figure out if it was the path I wanted to take. I was so exhausted, I didn’t know what would happen nor was I in a state to even TRY. I dug deep and knew in my heart I had to fight again. I was not going to let my family down by giving up.”

‘I am OK being single.’ I don’t ‘husband hunt.’ I didn’t grow up learning kids are a blessing.:’ Woman celebrates being single after growing up in divorced family, ‘a relationship is not where happiness begins or ends’

“I wasn’t going to have kids with some deadbeat guy just to check ‘things women are supposed to do’ off the list. I know some of you silently judge me. I’ve become the spinster I worried about becoming, but this year I started to love her; truly, madly and deeply. I think you envy the freedom single people have.”

‘We found a large tumor.’ No way I had TWO types of cancer. I saw the look on his face. I knew.’: Woman defeats odds of beating colon and thyroid cancer, ‘I have tears in my eyes. I survived.’

“They wheeled me back. With a smile on a face I yelled, ‘See you soon!’ The next thing I remember, I opened my eyes and was completely alone in a very dark room. With tears in his eyes he told me, ‘We found a large tumor.’ I was in a nightmare. Oh, no. It can’t be. Brave face Amanda, brave face. I had TWO types of cancer. Absolutely no way. ‘There is some bad news, however.’ There was more bad news? It was too much.”

‘Help me, mama. Pleeeease, help me!’ Covered in sweat, he escaped the doctors. That was it! I was DONE.’: Boy beats cancer 3 times, loses vision, ‘he wasn’t supposed to survive his first day’

“The doctor looked me square in the eye. ‘Brain tumor.’ WHAT?! I looked at my baby playing with Tonka trucks. ‘I’m sorry, but I think we both knew it.’ WHAT? Are you freaking kidding? No, I didn’t! I sat in the pre-op area signing consent forms. I wrote in large letters, ‘NO STUDENT OR RESIDENT IS TO TOUCH HIM.’ Never again was I going to just accept what a doctor said without question.”

‘It’s gonna be ok.’ Brad pulled me in to him, tears rolling down his cheeks. My mind couldn’t process.’: Wife loses husband to sudden Stage 4 cancer after beating her own cancer 5 years prior

“The week before, we were celebrating our 8-year wedding anniversary and my 5 years being in remission from my fight with cancer. For 5 years, we held our breath – hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. The week before Brad’s ER visit, we finally exhaled. We talked about our future. Whether or not we wanted kids. Where we’d retire. And then, Brad started having fevers and night sweats, symptoms I was all too familiar with.”

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