Reading cancer survivor stories is always a source of encouragement for people who . . .
However, being a survivor is not only surviving the disease as the patient. In my own opinion and based on my experience with my father's diagnosis and death eventually, I am a survivor.
My mother and my siblings are also survivors. The disease took its toll not only my father's health but also on my mother's who is his primary carer all those 19 months.
It was summer of 2009 and my father just turned 82 when he was diagnosed with stage 2b lung cancer. Prior to that, we never had any idea that a tumor was growing in his lungs. My Dad used to be a "chain smoker" during his younger years. He said he could finish a pack of cigarettes easily in a day. He quit smoking before he turned 40. The doctor explained to us that although he stopped years ago, those cigarettes he smoked already damaged his lungs.
Looking back, I remember my Dad usually getting sick of lung diseases such as the common cough, bronchitis and pneumonia more than any other type of disease. He was healthy compared to other dads I know. He didn't have any problem with his blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar or prostate.
Thus, the diagnosis came as a shock. All of us were devastated. My Dad took his diagnosis with courage. His doctor referred him to an oncologist. The oncologist told him treatment would only be radiation. Surgery and chemotherapy were out of the question because his aging body might not withstand the side effects.
He received radiation primarily on the chest to kill the tumor. The side effects were terrible. My Dad's chest took the color of a burned bottom of a frying pan. He lost his appetite and couldn't eat for days. His hair fell off. He lost a lot of weight. We also had to endure the pain of seeing him suffer.
Treatment went on for months until my Dad couldn't endure the painful side effects anymore. He finally said no to radiation. I guess he knew he wasn't going to get well.
The tumor in his lungs didn't grow in size but a part of it spread to his brain. The metastasis affected motor coordination. He couldn't walk on his own. He had to use a walker to help him move around. Until he couldn't walk anymore.
He had memory lapses. I saw my Dad slowly slipped away from the man he used to be physically and mentally. He was in and out of the hospital.
In November of 2010, my Dad passed away at the age of 83. In my heart, he is a survivor even if he died. He survived life and all its glory and despair. My Mom is also a survivor. She found the courage to let go of my Dad.
My family has already moved on. I sometimes cry when I think of my Dad because I miss him. But the thought of seeing him again when it's my time to leave makes me smile.
Are you a survivor? Or do you know someone who is a survivor of the disease? How did a diagnosis change your life? Tell your cancer survivor stories here. As a survivor, you have so much to share.
As a survivor, you might be helping or be inspiring someone by sharing. Cancer survivor stories always help someone who is fighting the disease. They provide hope that it is possible for him or her to be a survivor.
Click on the links below to see some touching stories. These stories were all written by other visitors to this page.
Surviving Breast Cancer
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My Story as a 10 Year
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"An Awakening" Not rated yet
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20+ Year Squamous Cell Carcinoma Survivor Not rated yet
The year was 1990. I was 47 and recently married to my beautiful wife to this day and we had just had a new baby girl enter our world. I was the kind …
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In 2003, when I was a newly divorced, single mom of three teens and fighting to keep afloat financially and emotionally, I noticed a dull ache in my right …
Surviving Prostate Cancer
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I was cured of prostate cancer last year (2009) with no side effects and no collateral damage. I was the first prostate cancer patient beamed (radiation) …
Finding the Will to Survive Breast Cancer Not rated yet
My story begins when I stopped breast feeding my daughter in October of 2009. When I stopped, my breasts were engorged, and I was eating more than usual. …
There are celebrities who also have cancer survivor stories to tell. Their stories are sources of encouragement as well.
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Cancer Prevention Home > Cancer Survivor Stories
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