Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, or if someone you love is currently a cancer patient, we know that sometimes, it can be tough to hold out hope.
Even the strongest people may sometimes find themselves thinking, “Is this pain worth it? Will I make it? Should I continue with this treatment?”
When things get especially tough, it helps to read cancer survivor stories.
Whether you’re commemorating a breast cancer survivor’s courageous battle, or if you’re just tired of the constant doom and gloom regarding the condition, it helps to change your perspective.
That’s why we’ve put together this inspiring list of cancer stories from survivors.
The Survivor Turned Advocate
There’s a lot of misinformation and even victim-blaming out there when it comes to cancer.
Those suffering from lung cancer and cancers linked to HPV often feel the brunt of this abuse and ignorance.
When Cheryl Stack was diagnosed with a form of cancer directly linked to HPV, the stigma surrounding it made her want to disappear. Though in today’s world, there are vaccinations that can guard against HPV and the cervical cancers it can cause, they were not available to Stack.
Instead of letting those who would shame her win, Stack became a fierce advocate for the HPV vaccination after her own cancer cleared.
She is committed to bringing greater education surrounding the HPV vaccine, as well as the ways in which HPV can be sexually transmitted, to schools around the country.
By sharing her cancer survivor experience with young people, she has likely already saved many lives — and helped to end the stigma surrounding HPV.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care about your age, gender, wealth, current health, or where you live.
When someone successful gets cancer, however, for some reason, it can still feel like a surprise to many of us.
Shannon Miller, who won seven Olympic medals in gymnastics, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 33.
Though she was diagnosed after her time competing as an Olympian had finished, she said that the life skills and perseverance she’d learned as a gymnast saved her life.
But what’s really remarkable about this entry on our list of cancer survivor stories?
Miller almost didn’t bother with her annual checkup at all. If she hadn’t attended the checkup, she likely wouldn’t be alive today.
Miller said that she felt overwhelmed and too busy as a working mother to take the time to get screened. It turned out that she’d actually been showing several of the many signs of cancer for weeks at a time. But she’d chalked them up to being “tired” or thought she just needed to push through it.
It turns out, those pains indicated the presence of a tumor.
She knew that she wasn’t alone in putting checkups on the back burner.
Now, she’s become an advocate for other parents — mothers and fathers alike — who feel “too busy” to take care of their own health. She speaks about the importance of listening to your body and the selflessness of taking care of yourself.
The Male Breast Cancer Survivor
If you’re a male who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s easy to feel like there are no stories out there similar to your own.
This makes it tough to feel like you have the right support network — and can even lead you to feel forgotten.
Aubrey Glencamp is here to change all of that. He credits his positivity and his “no regrets” attitude with helping him to deal with the challenges of being a man with breast cancer.
He is willing to have frank discussions about how he made the choice to have a double mastectomy as a man. He also talks openly about how, because of his gender, the diagnosis was an enormous shock.
He is an invaluable advocate for “normalcy” in the life of someone with cancer. He wants patients to feel like that, despite whatever cancer they’re dealing with, they are still themselves.
An avid mud runner, his tenacity is an inspiration to many others — both men and women.
We especially love the fact that two days before his surgery, Glencamp learned that he was about to become a father for the first time. He credits his daughter with helping him to push through especially tough times.
Remember that the right diet may also be able to help you to keep your body strong during the fight of your life.
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Cancer Survivor Stories: Ready to Tell Your Own?
As a cancer patient or a family member of someone with cancer, we hope that these cancer stories have given you hope.
Remember that, although you may not always be able to control the outcome of your illness, you can control your attitude as you fight it. You can also look to herbs and your diet to manage pain.
There are no “wrong” emotions when it comes to dealing with cancer. You don’t have to be brave all the time, but you also don’t have to be crying all of the time.
One day, you may be able to share your own cancer survivor stories with the world.
In the meantime, we know that you’ll need lots of love and support to make it through. Cancer isn’t just a physical illness — it also seriously tests your emotional limits.
We’re here to help by providing you with the inspiration that you need to keep going even when you feel like giving up.