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


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 Cancer, I Hear You

by Emilee Krupa June 23, 2023

Dear Cancer,

Thank you.

Thank you for reminding me of what matters in life. I used to wonder why you chose me; why at 33 years old you found me. Now, I get it.

2022 was the hardest year of my life. I was feeling burnt out at work and was dreaming about striking out on my own.


Cancer Is About to Be KO’d

by Larry Brehm June 16, 2023

Hello Cancer,

I see you tried to knock me out, but sorry, I’ve got too much to live for! My kids and my wife support me so much that you don’t stand a chance inside me. I’m a huge Rocky fan, which motivates me to fight you harder, and I tell myself each and every day to keep punching.


Dear Cancer, Why am I Still Here?

by Sherry Goode June 14, 2023

Dear Cancer,

You thought you were going to take me out, but I am still here. Twelve years ago, when the doctors finally found you, I will admit you did have me there for a second (insert nervous laugh). The doctors were perplexed—they were not sure what they were looking for, and it took a painful six months to even get diagnosed. The doctor said, “You have Multiple Myeloma at 29 years old.”


How It Feels to Be an AYA

by Cody Morrison May 22, 2023

Being an AYA is a unique experience—especially when you have a rare cancer like me. AYA cancer is rare, and then I have a rare cancer on top of that. How do I hate thee cancer? Let me count the ways.

Wait, I can’t quote/butcher Shakespeare like that. I don’t want my high school English teacher to come hunt me down (Mr. S was a big guy!), so let me use something not cribbed from the most quoted author in the English language.


Treat Us Gently

by Rebekah Palmer May 17, 2023

I wish people knew that once cancer has attacked your body and the treatment ravages your immune system, there is no going back to before, nor do you never think about the cancer again—if it goes into remission.

Every year when flu seasons are at their highest, it’s more significant because now the flu isn’t just time off from other people and life’s routine—the flu could now seriously deplete your body for several more days and weeks. Preventative health is a giant measure in seasons of communal illness. Especially now that flu seasons have doubled up with pandemic precautions since 2020.


Finding Friends Who Understand

by Ally Nolan April 26, 2023

When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want cancer friends. At the time I was still processing my diagnosis and trying to wrap my head around the fact that in a few weeks, I would be having awake brain surgery, chemo, and radiation. My brain tumor was an incidental find from a car accident, meaning I didn’t feel sick at all.


Cancer Mandates NOW

by Mica April 13, 2023

I shot out of college like a rocket, a Summa Cum Laude feminist hellbent on shattering the glass ceiling. A la Sheryl Sandberg, I “Leaned In” so hard I mistakenly buried my altruism until cancer forced my eyes wide open. I had set my sight on becoming a tax partner at a prestigious accounting firm and somehow using those skills to improve the community


Dual Diagnosis: Cancer Patient and Survivor

by Michelle Lawrence March 6, 2023

I consider a challenge to be a surprise; it sounds more fun. What I was concerned about at the beginning of my cancer journey are things I don’t even think about now. For example, managing the side effects of medication; I have that down to a science. I am a chronic cancer patient, and the unseen challenges/ surprises of survivorship might be slightly different than you think.


The Battle I Choose Not to Lose

by Cindy Bernard February 27, 2023

With no history of breast cancer in my family, it was something I wouldn’t think would happen to me. It was out of the ordinary to feel the sharp pain. I shrugged it off at first until I felt something in my breast. I was confident it was an abscess because I’d had one before.


To Be Alive

by James Mitchell January 19, 2023

Much has happened since 2019, some good and some bad. In many ways, we live in a different world. Who in 2019 could have imagined that we would live through a dystopian novel in the years to follow? But, in my own life, the most notable event came during the summer of that year—the day I received a call that confirmed that I had, in a phrase taken from Susan Sontag, “entered the realm of the sick.”