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

Patients

The stories and experiences in this category are written by people currently going through treatments for cancer. Read these stories to find inspiration and know that you are not alone in your experience with cancer.

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Dear Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patient

by Ashlynne Mannes November 27, 2023

Dear Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patient,

First off, I am sorry you are here needing this, but I want you to know you are not alone, although it may feel that way. You probably think your life has stopped, but it’s just been rerouted. Life goes on for everyone else even if you feel yours isn’t.

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The Myriad of Platitudes

by Cody Morrison October 16, 2023

I was watching TV when a commercial came on for one of those “Exposed to [THING]? Money has been set aside for victims of [whatever cancer]! CALL US TODAY!”—then the commercial proceeded to show images of gray-haired old men and just talked about how being exposed to whatever might cause cancer.

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Is This Mic On? Testing…123…Testing…

by Michelle Lawrence September 25, 2023

What we say to each other matters. Most of us know that but often speak before thinking. I know I have and will; I am human and make mistakes. I try to ensure my language is helpful, supportive, and sassy. I have learned that disclosing your cancer diagnosis invites people to share unsolicited thoughts, cancer stories, medical advice, opinions on your lifestyle, and so much more.

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Reality of Breast Cancer

by Nicole Piela September 13, 2023

Cancer comes with a mixed bag of emotions. I started out with denial, so part of that was the absence of language. I didn’t say that I had “breast cancer” and I barely reference it by name. I will say “my diagnosis” or “this situation” or “what I’m going through.” I don’t acknowledge its presence in my life because I don’t want it to define me or become too much a part of my life. Although it is. 

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The Things You Said, the Things I Heard

by Becky Holden September 7, 2023

The things you said versus what I heard… these are words that we hear and the way they warmed.

“I am happy to drive you”

Thank you for not only offering something specific but attaching emotion to this offer. Thank you for knowing that driving is not my favorite thing; my car is not reliable and driving can be exhausting.

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I Captured the Flag, Now What?

by Taylor Roth August 29, 2023

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment I went from “cancer patient” to “cancer survivor.” It’d be nice to post an annual ribbon on Facebook with a triumphant, inspirational message. After all, survivors are done with all the yucky parts of cancer, right? Survivorship is the ultimate “good vibes only” party and I’d like to know when I was invited.

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Loneliness and Isolation

by Leah Schrader August 14, 2023

The worst part of the Cancer journey is not all the side effects of treatment and pain from procedures and surgeries, it’s the isolation that is sometimes necessary and the loneliness that comes from no one truly understanding how it feels.

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Infertility Chose Me

by Michelle Lawrence July 19, 2023

I didn’t choose not to have children; my body decided for me. My heart and brain were left out of the decision. More than a decade later, this is my first time writing about this. My heart still hurts, and tears roll down my cheeks as I type this.

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Dear Breast Cancer, I’m Celebrating the Wins

by Amy Loddo July 16, 2023

On August 24, 2022, at 40 years old I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was living blissfully unaware and taking “normal” for granted.

Cancer, you took what I thought defined my beauty: my breasts, my nipples, my hair and eyebrows, the brightness in my eyes. You put my body through the wringer with early menopause, sleepless nights filled with tears and anxiety, pains, diarrhea, 12 extra pounds, bloating, and depression.

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Dear Cancer, You Weren’t Invited

by Dana Garcia July 10, 2023

Dear Cancer,

You came into my life abruptly and invaded my body. The moment I heard your name you terrorized my soul until it was dust in the wind. You are soul-crushing. Every cancer patient would agree that we wish we would have never met you. But here we are. You make the strongest souls weak.

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