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


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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The First ‘A’: On Loneliness as a 16-Year-Old Survivor

by Alexander LaMonica April 5, 2023

It was 7:31 PM on a Wednesday and as I stared into the wall that night, the last thing I wanted to feel was sorry for myself. Against every word the doctor spoke to me that dripped with his implicit condolences, my mom crying on the window sill beside my bed. With a quick post to Instagram I was showered with attention, likes, and words of encouragement—everything I needed to get me through… or so I thought.


The “Too Young’’ Club

by Samantha Rodriguez April 4, 2023

The adolescent and young adult cancer community is one I never dreamed of being a part of. We see it in the movies, on television, or on social media, always depicted as young children or individuals ages 50+. We are told constantly that we are “too young” to have cancer. Here’s the thing, cancer does not discriminate between too young or too old, too male or too female, or too rich or too poor.


To Past Me

by Brooke Barnes March 31, 2023

To Past Me:

On May 5th, 2016 your entire life is going to change. You’re going to get the news that you have cancer, go directly to the hospital, and two weeks later you’ll get released with some daily medication that will save your life. When you’re discharged, you’re going to want things to go back to normal but you will never be the person you were before.


Rose Colored Disco Ball

by Camille Ferruzzi

The question, “Will I ever be able to have kids?” fell out of my mouth without recognizing the weight of it. It was another conversation, with another doctor, about another instance of how cancer would impact my life long-term. What would be deemed an intense and difficult conversation in the real world, I ate for breakfast without batting one of my eyelash-less eyes.


Aging Out but Always Welcome

by Paola Palmieri March 29, 2023

I recently celebrated my 43rd birthday. Something about birthdays just hits differently for a cancer patient or survivor. They are not just special days when you blow out your candles and eat cake. After a cancer diagnosis, birthdays are a lot more meaningful. They are a celebration of life, accomplishments, challenges, obstacles, and fears we face daily.


I’m Still an AYA

by Liz Hiles March 28, 2023

I aged out of AYA before I was even diagnosed, but I’m still an AYA.

My bladder cancer diagnosis was handed to me on August 12, 2016. I was 40 and only 100 days from turning 41. 

I was floored. Utterly and completely shocked. I was blindsided and thoroughly pissed off. 



by Rachelle Rolf March 24, 2023

The pain . . .
It’s crippling
it lets me know
I can still feel

Everything else is numb


A Bittersweet Milestone

by Veronica Morgan March 23, 2023

Remember when everyone in the oncology waiting room did a double take when you showed up alone so it was obvious you were the patient? Remember those sympathetic smiles because they were there for the same things but had grey hairs and weren’t trying to figure out how to get their son picked up from soccer practice?


The Show Must Go On & other poems

by Alyssa Stein March 21, 2023

it’s easier to be written out of the storyline
that’s why my character always dies
and if they survive, it always comes back
again and again until the sickness wins
because healing is messy, hard, and
never a straight line


The Rollercoaster No One Expects

by Allison Rosen March 17, 2023

Kidney infections, kidney stones, menopause, hair loss, osteoporosis, septic shock, ostomy, depression, body image issues, and mental health struggles.

None of these words would typically be used in the same sentence when describing a young adult, but they are common when describing a young adult cancer patient/ survivor. My name is Allison Rosen, and I am a 10-year stage 2c colorectal cancer survivor.