Cancer Survivor Stories
Many cancer survivors share their stories to inform and inspire you.
Survivor Stories from Our Blog, The Topic Is Cancer
“I fell in love with the sun-assisted caramel color that my Afro Puerto Rican roots blessed me with every summer,” says melanoma survivor Robin. “In 2012, I noticed a misshapen mole on my right arm. Today, I have a three-inch caterpillar scar. Cancer is real, cancer is dangerous, and even the most basic surgeries can result in unexpected consequences.”
“Fighting cancer is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping my mind focused and my attitude positive made all the difference in the world,” says Ronda, who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer a week before Christmas. “For all that cancer took away from me, it gave me something extraordinary. Cancer gave me a new perspective on life. Cancer gave me the opportunity to live my life in the moment, with intention.”
“The impact of cancer doesn’t stop as soon as treatment is finished,” says Jordyn, who was diagnosed with cancer at 16. “I question every odd symptom I sometimes feel. But, I try to focus on what I can control. Having cancer taught me to try to find as much joy where you can get it.”
“Even though I knew I had almost every risk factor for skin cancer, a lighter natural skin color, red hair, and a lot of sun exposure from my teen years as a lifeguard, I fell into the far too common trap of thinking that skin cancer wouldn’t happen to me,” says Ginny.
“The reality at first is such a shock,” says ovarian cancer survivor Terri. “I realized I can live with a chronic condition, and I can have a great life.” Now Terri makes it her mission to help women who are at risk for or who have ovarian cancer.
Breast cancer survivor Pam says, “I’m proud to say that my family is full of survivors. However, it’s a whole different ballgame when the person with cancer is staring at you in the mirror. My focus centered on the health and happiness of my two boys. Having cancer forced me to understand the importance of making my health a priority.”
“When you hear the word ‘cancer,’ your world changes in an instant,” says throat cancer survivor Lewis. After seven chemotherapy treatments and 35 radiation treatments, the tumor had shrunk to the point that doctors could no longer detect cancer. Lewis and his wife Amy decided to start a support group for people with head and neck cancers.
An illness caught Gary, 61, off guard in 2013. When doctors suggested he go for more tests, he knew his condition was more severe than he first guessed. He recalls, “The doctor asked, ‘How long have you had hepatitis C?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t even know I had it!’”
George had already survived two kinds of cancer when his doctor gave him the shocking news that he had prostate cancer. “I began my journey back to health by relying on my support network and positive attitude,” he says. “I also work at keeping a confident outlook on life by participating in cancer discussion groups with other survivors.”
“My normal morning suddenly became life-changing for me. I found a lump in my left breast,” says breast cancer survivor Traci. “I’m happy to say that was three years ago. It hasn’t been easy. As a cancer survivor, I sometimes have mixed feelings about my future. I try to think about how I am blessed.”
“I’m a fair-skinned redhead. I spent summers as a lifeguard and vacations at the beach, and I never wore sunscreen,” admits skin cancer survivor Sharon. “My battle with melanoma began in 2002. I learned that knowledge is power. Skin cancer is the most preventable of all cancers. Vacations now center around better things.”
“I began using indoor tanning beds in my early teens,” says skin cancer survivor Dr. Travis Kidner. “I did not realize that the healthy glow I was so desperately seeking was actually caused by DNA damage from the UV radiation. Twenty years would pass before the damage eventually surfaced. As a surgical oncologist, I never imagined that I would become a patient. But there I was at age 36 with two small children and a potentially deadly cancer.”
“It was the moment when the diagnosis, the treatment, the road behind, the road ahead, all converged. I started to plan how I wanted my year to be when treatment ended. … Somewhere from within, we find a strength that helps us to overcome. Cancer did not win,” says Carletta.
Featuring Breast Cancer Survivor Joan Lunden
“Work with your doctors to gather as much information as possible to determine the right treatment plan for you,” advises breast cancer survivor Joan Lunden in this video.
Joan Lunden shares her advice in four videos—