cancer

‘It’s okay, Chris,’ my mother said to him. ‘I’m here.’ My father was groaning in immense pain. Tears fell onto my jeans.’: Woman finds true meaning of marriage during father’s battle with cancer

“As I leaned toward the mirror, slipping mascara onto my lashes, I heard more grumbling. I froze. I was stuck in their moment with no place to go. ‘I’m so sorry,’ my father said. I sat on my bed, the door cracked open. I was a self-absorbed, twenty-something at the time, bouncing back and forth between two men like a rubber ball. But this moment struck me. Tears fell onto my jeans because I finally realized something—THIS is marriage.”

‘I knew something was wrong just by looking at him. ‘It’s not a blood clot. You have a 5-inch mass in between your heart and your lungs.’: Woman diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma fights to live for her daughter, ‘I’m too young to die. I have a 3-year-old daughter who needs her mom.’

“My first symptom hit like a ton of bricks. I felt heaviness in my chest I couldn’t explain. We had to run to catch our connecting flight. This is the exact moment I knew. I could not run. I WANTED to, but my body wouldn’t let me. I ate well and exercised often, so I knew something was very, very wrong. My friends said it sounded like I was having an anxiety attack. ‘I’m only 32 years old. How can this happen?’ Our lives changed forever.”

‘Hey, you look swollen by your collarbone,’ my coworker stopped me. I groaned. I had a huge trip planned. The pain skyrocketed.’: Young woman lives with a chronic desmoid tumor, advocates so her ‘struggles can become guidance for someone else’

“My diagnosis began in a yoga studio. I noticed something was wrong when I couldn’t hold my balance easily. I developed a tight pinching and dull ache in my right shoulder. As I came out from anesthesia, my mom asked the doctor how it went. ‘Well, confusing,’ he replied. ‘The cause of your swelling and pain remains a mystery.’ I was stunned. I ended up in a surgeon’s office. ‘This is suspicious for a sarcoma.’ I had to interrupt. ‘I’m sorry, you said sarcoma? Do you mean I have cancer?’ I stammered in disbelief.”

‘I stepped onto the bus and felt a ‘release.’ A warm sensation and then a POP. I lost my balance, my eyes closed shut.’: Woman beats breast cancer after losing her mother

“I’m often asked the same question. ‘What was your reaction to the news?!’If you really really want to know, I was ecstatic. I knew I had cancer. Something lit up in me like a light bulb. A vision of me on my death bed. I remember a tear dropping in remembrance of my mother. The joy of knowing that after losing her at age 14, I could finally meet her again. There I stood, 25, receiving the best news of my life, standing in a bus, in pain, weak.”

‘No, don’t panic. He has a plan. Oh Lord, please let him have a plan.’ He led our daughter in, eyes closed. I gulped my wine.’: Widow recalls emotional birthday surprise late husband planned for their daughter, ‘I didn’t know I was crying until I reached up to wipe my face’

“I came home on party day, carrying in the snacks, which was my contribution to the big shing-ding. He met me at the door. ‘Close your eyes.’ I could tell by the eagerness in his voice he had something delightful to show me. ‘Watch your step.’ He led me into the living room. I imagined glitter abound, circus performers hanging from the chandelier, ballerinas leaping. I was dripping in anticipation. He took my hand, shuffled me to the center of the room. ‘Okay, open!’ And, I did. Nothing.”

‘I can’t tell my dad, please, you have to.’ I couldn’t say the words. ‘Sometimes we don’t all make it to the end.’: Young woman survives cancer 3 times, says she is ‘finally living her full life’

“My husband held me as I cried and said, ‘I just don’t know if I can do it all again.’ I took a minute to figure out if it was the path I wanted to take. I was so exhausted, I didn’t know what would happen nor was I in a state to even TRY. I dug deep and knew in my heart I had to fight again. I was not going to let my family down by giving up.”

‘I promised I’d never divorce him. I was an Evangelical Christian woman. I wasn’t about to give that up because my disturbed husband couldn’t stop screaming at me.’: Woman leaves her abusive pastor husband after 10 years, ‘I never looked back’

“I hid big, dark, angry, broken feelings from the world. If I acknowledged their legitimacy, that meant I had to acknowledge that my husband–the megachurch pastor–was my abuser. And I was his victim. No, thanks! I’d much prefer to pretend everything is fine and our family is blessed.”

‘My friend thinks you’re cute.’ A co-worker handed me a napkin with a phone number on it. ‘My family doesn’t know I’m gay.’: Woman loses partner to stage 4 lung cancer

“One night, my wife couldn’t lift her legs up the two steps on the front porch. She was carrying a bag with a t-shirt in it. The weight of it was enough to make her fall. I went out to find her hunched over, completely unable to move. She stayed there, crying and yelling, ‘Just leave me out here! Let me die!’ I knew something was wrong. In the freezing cold, I dragged her. ‘How do we tell the kids?’ The numbness was unbearable.”

‘You have cancer. I wasn’t expecting to give this news.’ I felt my stomach. My baby is still there. Still with me.’: Woman diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant fears for her and her baby’s lives, ‘I just want someone to tell me I’m okay.’

“My husband asked, ‘Isn’t this what you wanted?’ I locked eyes with those two little lines. A baby. Healthy, happy, whole. Yet a dimple is not just a dimple, not on the boob. But I know the result already. I saw it on the screen. The large dark shadowy mass on the screen, looking down at me. I was wheeled away into the great unknown.”

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