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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Why I Stayed Away From Survivors

by Melanie Kent September 22, 2022

“My demographic,” I told my sister. “Can we say, ‘my demographic?’”

It was code, so that when we navigated the COVID-tightened New York sidewalks—chatting almost directly into others’ ears—it didn’t have to be “cancer” that they heard, “cancer” that I shared, like a little poisonous puff of fumes on the air.

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How Cancer Taught Me What Really Matters

by Jordan Adams September 20, 2022

Hello, my dear reader. My name is Jordan, and I am a cancer survivor. I am here to share with whoever feels like listening a little bit about my story, and more importantly, what it has taught me. I am sure my story will sound familiar to many other cancer patients who may stumble across this. I hope you enjoy it.

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Cancer is a Big #@$%&* Ordeal

by Cynthia Hayes September 19, 2022

Nobody expects a cancer diagnosis. It comes out of the blue, defying the belief that it can’t happen to me. There are no cancer-prep classes, no training programs to help us ready ourselves for this moment, and no way to practice reacting to such shattering news. So, when we hear those words, “You’ve got cancer,” the brain short circuits, leaving us stuck in feedback loops baked into the wiring: “cancer equals death” and “showing emotions is a sign of weakness.”

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Choose Your Own Adventure

by Jessica Guerrero September 15, 2022

In 2011, I didn’t get to choose my path. Cancer chose for me. The diagnosis meant 14 months of being told to see doctors, have tests and surgeries, and undergo a course of immunotherapy. The doctors said it was all necessary to survive, and I did it all.

At the end of those 14 months, I felt lost.

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Lessons Learned with Lisa: Self Care

by Lisa Orr September 12, 2022

You are not alone if . . .

No one prepared you for how difficult survivorship would be
Cancer crosses your mind every single day, even years out of treatment
There are things, places, smells, and phrases that immediately trigger your anxiety
You are still figuring out how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine

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There’s A Safe Space For You Here

by Asha Miller September 8, 2022

I remember the sounds of the door squeaking at my very first oncology appointment. I remember the smell of a cleaning agent that was too strong and the undeniable odor of rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer. I remember the snap of rubber gloves being squeezed on hands. The loud crinkle of the paper I scooted back onto. 

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How Cancer Changed My Perception of Masculinity

by Charlie Razook September 7, 2022

In a small white room outside of Rome, Italy, with nothing on the walls but a haunting crucifix, I was told: “Hai la leukemia linfoblastica acuta.” You have acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Alone in a foreign country, I immediately sensed how helpless I was. I needed to get home, and fast. I needed my friend to immediately scratch all her plans and take the train with me from Rome to Milan to grab my essential belongings.

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Roe v. Wade: A Call to Stand with Our Herd

by Nick Giallourakis August 25, 2022

By now many of you are aware of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the amount of backlash from the cancer community.

The Steven G. Cancer Foundation and Elephants and Tea initially took to social media asking people to listen to the stories of those individuals impacted by Roe v. Wade.

Was that enough? No. Can we do more? Definitely.

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My Work as a Death Doula

by Julia de'Caneva August 23, 2022

“Well, the results aren’t what we were hoping…” my doctor said, closing the door behind her. “But the good news is this usually responds really well to treatment, and you won’t have to do chemo.”

We talked for a while longer, and then she offered up, “I mean, I’ve seen people with thyroid cancer all over their body live another 20 years.”

I think it was meant to be soothing, but I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t quite relevant to me. Not to mention, it contradicted her speculation just moments ago that my chance of recurrence after surgery would be very low.

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My Path into the Cancer Field

by Alique Topalian PhD, MPH August 19, 2022

I was seven years old the first time I told my mom I wanted to grow up to be a “talking doctor.” If that does not scream childhood cancer survivor, I am not sure what does. I grew up knowing that I wanted to help others like myself, who faced cancer head-on and made it out on the other side. My family helped to found the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry because so many Armenians had registered to see if they were a match during my first diagnosis with AML.

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