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How Surviving Cancer Gave me a Second Birthday

Birthdays are a time for celebration as we become one year older, wiser, and more mature. For cancer survivors, we carry with us another date that symbolizes even more. This is our second birthday. Similar to an actual birthday, this day often carries feelings of even more nostalgia and remembrance. However, it can also grip us with feelings of dread, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). No matter how far along we are in our journey through survivorship, our second birth ...

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Remembering Cancer with a Tattoo, New Career and Anniversary Party

In Jon Christoffersen’s house, important occasions - such as the end of chemotherapy - are worthy of great celebration. First it was a tattoo to mark the beginning and end of his treatment, and now, on his 10-year anniversary of being cancer free, it’s time to party. A house party complete with toast in his honor and a “%&#%$# Cancer” cake marked the occasion in December for Christoffersen, who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia  (ALL) when he was a teenager. He's now 29. ...

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A Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor’s “New Normal”

My life with cancer began five days before my wedding when I was 25 years old. On August 2, 2004, I was at a family birthday party when I felt a lump protruding out of my neck. After the party, I rushed over to see my stepdad who is a doctor. Although he knew that the position of the lump at my age was not a good sign, he calmed me down and gave me antibiotics. After months of planning for the wedding, he knew how important it was for me to walk down the aisle. On our wedding day, Aug ...

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Born with Leukemia, Eevie is now age 3 – and Cancer Free!

After Eevie was born, she was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood blood cancer that affects 1 in 5 million newborns. She was given a 17 percent chance of surviving to age 2. This month, Eevie celebrated her third birthday. Her mother, Brynne, tells her story… When Eevie was born, we noticed little blue spots all over her body. Tests later revealed that her white blood cell count was 50 times higher than normal. Hours later, my husband Ryan, Eevie and I were flown to a children ...

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Moving Cancer to the Back Burner

I am glad to be here. Literally. Being a survivor is a good thing. I could have been six feet under, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on December 16, 2000. I was 40 years old, raising two children with my husband Ron. Our daughter was almost 4 years old and our son was 16 months. After I was diagnosed, I spoke with a survivor through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s First Connection program. Hearing her voice on the phone gave me so much hope. She w ...

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