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Tag Archives: living with cancer

Don’t Be a Stuffer

by Gail Fay

In May 1999, as a recently engaged thirty-two-year old, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Given the two western medicine optionshysterectomy and a relatively untested drugI opted for door number 3: an alternative juicing therapy. Six months later, however, it became clear the cancer was too aggressive and I ended up having a hysterectomy anyway.

I never really wanted kids. I mean, I didn’t not want them, but I wasn’t the kind who had been dreaming of being a mom. However, having the choice taken away was hard. Now I would never find out if our child had my husband’s eyes or my smile. I would never experience pregnancy or the incredible reality that we made this little human.

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Living with Cancer: It can’t all be sunshine and roses

AnneMarieCeratoby Anne Marie Cerato, Living with Cancer, CKN Young Adult Section Editor


Life is hard enough under normal circumstances, but you get thrown into the lion’s den when you are diagnosed with cancer. Its something that changes you forever, whether you want it to or not. The diagnosis and the fallout usurp every fiber of who you are before cancer. If you are lucky, you get cured, but you can’t forget. Some of us are able to shake it off or move on and become survivors. I am not one of them.


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Role Reversal

LizORiordanby Liz O’Riordan MD, Living with Cancer


“I’m a consultant breast surgeon, and I have breast cancer”. That’s something I never thought I’d say. I was diagnosed in July 2015, and it’s fair to say that life would never be the same again. I noticed a lump in my left breast in March, and all the scans were normal at the time. Three months’ later, when I got another lump, I went back to the breast clinic. My mammogram was normal. The radiologist asked me if I wanted to see the USS. I said yes. I turned my head to look, and in that split second, I knew. No learning curve. It was cancer. I would need chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.  I knew all the side effects of all the treatments, and all the risks of recurrence.


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Testosterone Challenges After Testicular Cancer

StevePakeby Steve Pake, Living with Cancer


Before I was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 33, I had always been a very regular person. I had regular amounts of energy and enthusiasm for life, regular amounts of optimism about most everything, and there had never been a single depressive “bone” in my body. I felt confident and secure, had very regular moods which were all good, and very regular amounts of libido, too! My cancer diagnosis blindsided me, and shook my foundations to their core. How could you not feel depressed and anxious while you’re afraid for your life, and fighting like hell just to live at all?


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The (Dreaded) Battle Metaphor

TaraBaysolby Tara Baysol, Living with Cancer


From the moment I was first diagnosed, I was thrown in the common metaphor of being “at battle” with cancer by those around me placing their own labels on my experience. This has never sat well for me and often left me feeling isolated because I felt the complete opposite of how people described my “heroism” and “strength”.  There was not an ounce of courage or warrior woman inside of me when I was given those labels. I was/am merely living with an illness as millions of other people do with other conditions and circumstances. I squirm at the suggestion that just living with my condition somehow equates me more to a fighter and warrior than anyone else.


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Tara’s Story

TaraBaysolby Tara Baysol, Living with Cancer


I was originally diagnosed in October 2013 with grade 2 Astrocytoma. I was 27 years old and in my first semester of graduate school at Yale, studying Health Policy. I was experiencing problematic symptoms a few weeks before classes began. After an MRI found a lesion in my right frontal lobe, I underwent a craniotomy in mid-October and withdrew from classes for the semester. A few days after my surgery, I received that life changing call informing me of my diagnosis.


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