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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One on One Support

by Nick Giallourakis August 21, 2020

We are excited to be able to partner with Imerman Angels as we continue to help people across the AYA cancer community know they are not alone in facing cancer by providing one to one support.

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Challenging My Comfort Zone

by Rachel Mihalko August 11, 2020

This summer working with Elephants and Tea has been more incredible than I could have imagined. I have gotten to work with the most wonderful people, do tasks that I love, and connect with so many new people. I never quite knew how to get connected in the AYA cancer world. I was always nervous […]

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Cancer Guilt: A Poem

by Jennifer Anand August 9, 2020

I feel guilty Waking up with all of my natural limbs. Getting ready unassisted Complaining about a bad day at work. Paying exorbitant medical bills   I feel guilty Yelling at my caring sister Seeing my family pictures ruined with my bald head Watching my brother evaluate his faith Hearing my mom demand nurses take […]

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Listening to Folklore as a Cancer Survivor

by Rachel Mihalko August 3, 2020

If you haven’t heard the new Taylor Swift album yet, this is your friendly reminder to go check it out. I have to admit, since her style has shifted, I haven’t been following her super closely, but when she announced her new album’s release in the midst of quarantine, she had me hooked. 

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The House That Survivor’s Guilt Built

by Stephen Heaviside July 30, 2020

Life hurts and it inspires, it causes grief and joy, it’s sweet and it’s sour. The people who have disappeared from my life, they all contributed to a story. A story much denser, more complicated and much bigger than me and my own story. I’m lucky that I got a second of their time or got to know them at all.

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Body Positivity with Cancer is Kind of Bullsh*t

by Aly Senko July 25, 2020

I can take all of these past statements that helped me make peace with my body and be gentle with her during cancer, and change them to the future tense. I love my feet for the adventures they will soon take me on, my eyes for the beauty they have yet to see, and my belly for the jokes it has yet to laugh at.
If mainstream messages of self-love and body positivity leave you feeling left out: do not fret. You still are, and always will be, worthy of self-compassion, grace, and hope.

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A New Hope

by Angeliki Pelehrinis July 20, 2020

Over time, I began to feel guilty, especially around my own cancer-free milestones. Why am I alive when they aren’t? My treatment was significantly shorter and less intense. I hadn’t fought any harder and wasn’t any more positive. After years of being a supportive friend, I was now helpless. I pleaded with the world to give me my friends back. I offered to be a cancer patient again if they could still be here.

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Disappearing Behind the Diagnosis

by Rachel Mihalko

I’ve found myself pondering and writing about friendships a lot lately. I think all human beings are created for connection, and that is something that I personally crave so much. Having obstacles to that connection is so frustrating, and I’m still piecing together what life looks like these days since finishing treatment. 

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The Everyday Things

by Meagan Shedd July 13, 2020

I don’t remember these things from before. But I do now. Because I have more time that I didn’t expect, but is suddenly before me. Six years ago, this thing that I thought, that I was told, I would run out of is inexplicably before me and I get to observe and imagine and reflect. All of the little things. The everyday things.

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Friendships Through Cancer: It’s Complicated

by Rachel Mihalko

Although I do wish many of those friendships didn’t end the way they did, I don’t want to make anyone feel guilty for not knowing the “right” thing to do. It’s hard for anyone to figure out how to react in a situation like this, and if I’m being honest, I could come up with a huge list of what not to do and a very limited list of what to do.

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