The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Survivorship

The stories and experiences are written by people after cancer treatments. These stories are written for those learning how to get back to work, college or just trying to be themselves again. Just getting past treatments isn’t enough, it is surviving and thriving that is key to being you again.

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Unapologetically Me

by Christine Jon'el December 4, 2022

On August 25, 2017, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and boarded a 5:00 a.m. flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Tarkio, Montana. On my way to the airport, it dawned on me that I had just signed up to go whitewater kayaking with a bunch of strangers, and I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it.

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Sisterhood of the Matching Scars

by Deana Holley & Lisa Orr December 1, 2022

As I step out from the shower and wipe the condensation from the mirror in front of me, I see a woman who has been through more than anyone my age should have ever had to endure. Five scars—from my breasts to my lower abdomen and from countless biopsies and two different surgeries. Four permanent tattoos from radiation sprawled across my chest.

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Preventative Measures

by Alyssa Stein November 29, 2022

i could never eat as fast as my food could rot
milk goes sour
mold blooms on bread
even the oreos go stale
i stand each week at the counter
separating the good from the bad

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Not An Easy Choice, My Odd Cancer

by Laura Davis November 27, 2022

It all technically started at the time I was in rehab for one of those young strokes. They were concerned I wasn’t evacuating all the urine when I went so they wanted an ultrasound of my bladder.

Sure, why not. I didn’t mind at the time. The tech decided to peek lower just because we were there. They found an odd mass that I decided not to do anything with.

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Orgasms After Cancer: Part II

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN November 22, 2022

Welcome to Part II of “Orgasms After Cancer!” In case you missed Part I, head back to the March 2022 issue of Elephants and Tea for a quick peek; it will be helpful as we move on to Part II. After all, the more you know about how things work, the more likely you are to discover what works for you. Sit tight, because things are about to get stimulating!

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Cancer: A Poem

by Vikki Ramdass November 20, 2022

What can I say about this six-letter word?
My heart hurts every time I think about it
Am I living my worst nightmare?
Or is this my destiny?
Please tell me, I am desperate to know the truth.

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Avoid Pregnancy as You Were Told

by Rachael Walker November 17, 2022

I was 36 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Premenopausal. What some might describe as “childbearing age,” though I did not have children, nor did I have any intention of having them.

My cancer was hormone-positive, meaning that the tumor fed on the hormones produced by my reproductive organs, estrogen, and progesterone. This meant that, even more so than with most young cancer patients with a uterus, fertility was a part of the early conversations with my oncologist.

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All We Need Is a Little Love and a Lot of Luck

by Steven Giallourakis November 7, 2022

I was 15 when I first noticed the tightness in my right leg. It was mild at first, but as the winter of 2005-06 progressed, the mild tightness grew into something worse. I began to wake every night because my leg was so tight. After weeks of this, my parents decided it was time to do something.

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Being Diagnosed: My Stage 4 Journey

by Jenney Bitner November 4, 2022

Remember the spring of 2020? When absolutely nothing major was going on in the world? While everyone else was dealing with the pandemic that shut everything down worldwide, just after my 38th birthday, I also was given the news that I had stage 4 metastatic melanoma. To make it more fun, I happened to be 24 weeks pregnant with my fourth child.

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Heartbeats of Chemo

by Sarah David November 3, 2022

As I pulled into the parking lot in March 2020, I noticed how empty the clinic was. Only a few cars freckle the spaces, most in the employee section off to the right. At the door, I am greeted by a woman wearing a surgical mask and holding a thermometer.

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