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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When No One’s Around

by Leigh-Ann Elsey October 19, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic took away a lot of things, but I never thought something else could take away so much more on top of it all. COVID-19 took away celebrating my “dirty 30” birthday with friends and family, and two years of Christmases and New Years. But being diagnosed with cancer DURING a pandemic took away so much more than that. My name is Leigh-Ann, and I am a 31-year-old girl who has a strong love for reading, horses, and hiking. I’m from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and this is my story.

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A Letter of Love

by Michelle Lawrence

Dear newer Michelle,

STOP. Pause. Please take the time to really listen to what I have to share. Sit down in a quiet spot, in the sun in the backyard, in your favorite chair. Take a deep breath. Ensure you will be afforded peace and quiet so that you really absorb what I am saying and take self-inventory. This letter is a letter of love that I want you to take to heart. 

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The Words We Often Use

by Allison Stults October 16, 2022

The longer I endure the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the more in depth I contemplate the words we often use to describe it: fight, battle, warrior, etc. I’m truly beginning to see that these are all the WRONG words to use.

Fighting implies that there is a winner and a loser. It also implies that with enough strength, strategy, and mental mindset, that cancer will just go away, and you’ll be healed. Spin it the other way, and if your cancer becomes more aggressive, incurable, or terminal then you lost the battle.

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I Remember…

by Dara Davis October 12, 2022

I remember when she passed away. (I would like to place the utmost respect on her name and her memory but won’t name names). Her family posted on Instagram the news about her death. She had posted a few days earlier that she was in the hospital being treated for blood clots.

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Who He Was

by Jillian Locke October 2, 2022

There is a drawing of a small bird that is nestled in my dresser drawer amongst my most treasured memories. I take it out occasionally, sometimes on a particular date and sometimes when a memory whispers for my attention. I never know when the thoughts will come, and years ago, I thought they would eventually fade away; but survivor’s guilt doesn’t choose to be graceful and exit quietly to stage left.

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Cancer Does Not Play by the Rules

by Allison Stults October 1, 2022

It can happen to anyone. Cancer does not play by the rules!

In Fall 2020 I was training for an ultra marathon. My goal was ultimately 50 miles! I was rocking it. In October I locked in 175 miles, and 150 miles in November, even though, surprise, I was expecting our fourth child!

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Chemo Kitty

by Naomi Volain September 29, 2022

Meet Ginger, my chemo kitty. She’s the pet I adopted after swearing I’d never get another pet, after my last cat Xena died a few years ago. Uh-uh. That litter box needing constant cleaning. The pet sitting logistics. That pungent cat food aroma. None of this appealed to me as I was going forward in life and time. But circumstances were different with cancer in the time of COVID.

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“E” is for Emotional Intimacy

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN

Cancer has a way of disrupting almost every aspect of a person’s life, including sex. If you’re like most young survivors, you may be struggling with a number of things that can affect how sexual you feel, or whether or not you’re interested in or able to engage in sexual activity. This is totally normal. Sometimes, though, altered sexual routines can also impact a couple’s emotional closeness. If you are in a romantic relationship, it’s important to remember that there are lots of ways to share intimacy that don’t include sex.

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Give Yourself Some Credit: Body Image and Self Esteem 

by Rachel Mihalko September 27, 2022

“I am enough.”
“I will live in the present moment.”
“I love the life I am creating.”
“I am in control of my own narrative.”
“I am strong, and that strength isn’t going anywhere.” 

These are all things that I wish I could tell myself on a regular basis—and believe them too. I know the importance of reciting affirmations, and I know it takes time to start believing them. But they still feel ridiculous sometimes.

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Cancer Survivorship During Young Adulthood

by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society September 23, 2022

Michelle: If you could take yourself back to when you were first diagnosed, what would you tell yourself based on what you know now?

Elissa: I would say go to therapy early. I did not go to therapy until I basically broke down after completing treatment. I realized I was depressed when I was no longer excited about the upcoming holiday season, and I knew something was wrong.

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