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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Finding and Losing Myself

by Adar Higgs January 30, 2024

In 2012 I was invited to a celebration for cancer survivors at which I spoke about finding my sense of self again after cancer. I still have a printed photograph from the event. On that glossy paper I was captured wearing a sleeveless white dress with a red sash. I looked healthy, and I was smiling. I was 22 years old.

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Any Questions?

by Aubrey Danielson January 25, 2024

“You will be 100% infertile… Any more questions?”

The words reverberated in my skull as I took the receipt from the hospital parking deck turnstile. My anger radiating through my knuckles as I gripped the steering wheel tighter with each passing minute. My vexation only heightened by the fact that I just paid $15 for parking. All to be nonchalantly reminded that my new treatment plan would leave me unable to conceive children on my own.

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Finding My Voice Again

by Savannah Mason

Going through treatments was incredibly isolating. At the time, I did not really know anyone in the cancer community, so I had no one to talk to who understood what I was going through. I was the youngest patient at the hospital where I was treated. After treatments, I felt driven to start doing things I really enjoyed again that did not have to do with school or work—things that I enjoyed because it was a form of self-care, and it was just fun.

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Debts We Don’t Owe

by Aisha Bien-Aime January 24, 2024

In February, I was faced with a sudden bout of severe pain and imaging that showed significant enlargement in one of my ovaries. Although I’ve since learned it was benign in origin, the debilitating pain and protracted (months-long) screening saga that followed triggered a fuming sense of betrayal that I couldn’t shake for about a week.

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When Trauma Triggers…

by Beth Reed January 23, 2024

As a sit here on a hot and humid day in New York City, literally today’s Wordle was “humid.” I see the air quality alert on my Alexa and weather app and am instantly taken back to when I was sick with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease in the summer of 1996 when I wasn’t allowed out of the house when there were such alerts.

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I am Not A Soldier

by Sarah Ammerman January 17, 2024

You call me warrior, but I do not receive that title
I am a survivor, I am a mother, I am a friend
I am not a soldier

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The Unspoken Cancer

by Avi Grant-Noonan January 16, 2024

Cervical cancer is one of the cancers you don’t hear about. If you haven’t been impacted by cervical cancer, you don’t talk about it.

I want to share my story because I want to make sure every one understands there is no shame in being diagnosed with cervical cancer. In this age and time, it’s hard to find a space and people to talk to who can relate to what you’re about to go through, are going through, or have gone through—to ask questions or to just even have an ear to listen to you.

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How the Berating Surgeon Lost Her Power Over Me

by Erin Perkins January 11, 2024

Before the vaccine was available to the layperson, when the CDC was recommending double masking in public, in January of 2021, I attended my diagnostic breast biopsy alone. Double masked and still carrying the weight of my postpartum anxiety that caused a debilitating fear of germs, I entered the small, stuffy waiting room, forced to sit very close to my nervous comrades.

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Year Three: Mentally I’m… I Don’t Know

by Sheena Harris-Williams January 10, 2024

Who could ever forget 2020? Certainly not me. It will go down in history as a catastrophic year full of loss, grief, anguish, and unpredictability. If it wasn’t you yourself, you knew someone directly affected by the COVID-19 fallout: illness, job loss, struggling to stay afloat, etc. 2020 was an inescapable year. And I was no different…but for a different reason.

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Meeting Myself for the First Time

by Chelsey Gomez December 19, 2023

Boundaries—such a scary term and concept for someone like me who was raised without a solid understanding of healthy boundaries. I grew up being the perpetual “go-to” person in my family and in so many other areas of my life. I was always there for everyone else, regardless of my own needs. This was my way of life for 28 years, until cancer intervened, forcing me to reevaluate everything in my life.

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