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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You Can Drop the Act

by Ruzette Solis June 26, 2020

You are enough for the world just as you are. There is no measure of worth, there’s no perfect cancer “survivor.” There’s no “weakness.” There’s no guidebook (although I’m sure there are some attempts out there) to tell us how to play the crappy card we’ve been dealt.

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As a Survivor, I Felt Invisible.

by Madison Chapman June 22, 2020

I wanted people to see me as brave, but I saw myself as selfish, a coward, ungrateful for having survived when so many wouldn’t, and so self-absorbed and narcissistic with my pain. I saw photos and blog posts of other survivors who seemed to be doing so well. I compared myself to them and thought “I am doing this wrong. Maybe I didn’t deserve to survive this.” Then, I hated myself for thinking I didn’t deserve to beat cancer, because I had fought so hard to beat my disease, and because I did—and still do—love life, so, so passionately. 

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When Your Life Becomes the Story: Poetry and Prose

by Rachel Mihalko

The thing about the stories we read or watch is that there’s typically an ending. You can wrap the plot up in a tight little bow and be done with it. That’s not life. We are continuously growing and changing and recreating our own narrative. I definitely have trouble with that concept; if I had my way, I would just skip to the end: the parts where I’ve recovered emotionally from cancer and have put the pain of the past completely behind me. 

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Survival is Insufficient

by Mallory Casperson June 19, 2020

Now there is scientific research showing that the young adult cancer population, aged 18-39, is the most isolated age-group who experiences cancer, and that this isolation is linked to all sorts of quality of life issues.  It affects survival rates, reintegration into normal life, and a host of other things.  There is data showing that surviving cancer is not enough, we must also be helped to thrive.  There is data showing that survival is insufficient.

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This Is My Reality

by Rachel Mihalko June 15, 2020

Until now, I haven’t realized that, two years after my cancer diagnosis, once I’ve reached that state of running on empty, a lot of unresolved anger about cancer resurfaces. I’ve tried to tuck it away for so long, but I have to face it eventually. I remember how angry I was when I had to do more chemo. That was when I knew I had to take a semester off of school. I would have to miss out on time with friends and just living like a normal college student. 

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Skywalking

by Mafalda von Alvensleben

Reveling in the swashbuckling joy of learning something that few people have ever dared try. Just watch me. It’s in the click of a switch flip between my fingers, my body reverberating with the power of the engine, and bathing in the smell of kerosene flowing into open air. That is where I feel a little braver and a little less broken– because if these feet aren’t made for dancing, I’ll have to settle for flying.

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2020: What Fresh Start?

by Lisa Orr June 1, 2020

If I’m being completely honest, ‘survivor’ is still a term I struggle with. Something I often ask myself is: will I always feel this way? Is it hard for me to accept this term because the wounds are still so fresh?

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Because I Can

by Hanna Madsen

I was in Paris when my dad called to confirm that I had cancer. I had just accepted a position in Afghanistan with a French NGO and was in training. I thought about flying to Afghanistan anyway. The position was only for six months. I could treat it after. No one knew I had cancer.

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Do The Thing, Even If You’re Not Exceptional

by Rachel Mihalko May 28, 2020

Do the thing. As I sit in my backyard listening to the calming music of artists like dodie and mxmtoon, I don’t know what to write. This is supposed to be my spot, my place where inspiration strikes and my writing flows.

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Quarantine Life: The “New” Normal

by Jesse Anne Moore May 27, 2020

Welcome To quarantine life: The “New” Normal. One day your living your life-day in and day out-on repeat. Everything seems fine..maybe a little off every now and then but for the most part-normal. Then SUDDENLY everything changes. Everything is up in the air in limbo.

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