Mary endured various anxieties associated with a high risk of breast cancer for a decade before ultimately being diagnosed with the cancer in 2014. Here she shares how it felt to face the disease, the many decisions triggered by her diagnosis, the treatment
We love to tell stories. And as storytellers, we know sometimes we just need to get out of the way and let you tell it. You own your story, and sharing it with us and the Health Stories Project community can be the bravest thing you do.
Below you will find stories we’ve written or curated and stories taken directly from our community. They might be raw and unfiltered, but we feel it is our members’ truths we need to honor and respect.
Many people living with multiple illnesses don’t just manage symptoms, they also adhere to a medication schedule and may need to repeatedly adjust their overall regimen (with their doctors’ input) due to how medicines interact. Staying on top of treatments alone can have
Tonianne has lived with physical and mental health conditions since childhood. These are their frank, empathetic words about coping and learning over time — a valuable message all the more appropriate during this Mental Health Awareness Month. This story mentions self-harm and other
Rosemary’s health concerns date back to 1984, when she was diagnosed with lupus and interstitial lung disease. In the decades since, she has been diagnosed with several other conditions, making each year more complex and challenging than the last. Looking back on her
Zoann managed asthma symptoms for nearly two decades only to find that the doctors she saw over those years had never truly seen her. They had never looked beyond her diagnosis to see that she had multiple health issues going on. When Zoann
Pain has shaped Pam’s life for decades, both physical and mental. Others’ pain, too. She has served as a caregiver for multiple family members and in more recent years, after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, shifted focus to her own
In 2021, Cathy sent us her story about her harrowing experiences leading up to, and following, a multiple system atrophy (MSA) diagnosis. We checked in with her before publishing it, and in the time between, she had forgotten exactly what she’d shared with
Two similar people living with the same health condition may have varying symptoms, a range of responses to daily difficulties and unique ways of finding peace. The very concept of “support” means one thing to you and likely something altogether different to your neighbor.
Robin’s declining strength and stamina at work served as an alarm that something was wrong. It took three years, however, to identify what was causing these feelings of weakness and exhaustion. Here Robin shares the perspective gained from this long process — and
For many years, Megan’s multiple physical and mental health conditions have proven difficult to treat with standard medications. As a result, she has found alternate ways to find relief and peace. Here she shares some of what she has experienced and how she’s
In a span of just over five years, Frank experienced multiple health challenges that further complicated a mental health issue that, on its own, led to disability. This is how he described the journey and the perspective he gained along the way. Stress,
Despite a healthy, active lifestyle, Michael found himself in an ICU bed with kidney failure in 2019. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, underwent dialysis and chemotherapy and then a stem cell transplant. Still recovering nine months following this procedure and in search
Gina’s life completely changed when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She went from being an active 34-year-old business owner to completely disabled by 46. Here she shares her story, along with encouraging words for others experiencing similar situations. Seeking Medical Care I
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is like personality — it’s very different from one person to another. The symptoms are unique to everyone diagnosed with MS and may be misunderstood by people who don’t live with the condition. March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, so
An accident at work changed the trajectory of Kimberley’s life. Although her health issues may seem invisible to others, the pain she feels is very real. Here she shares a situation she encountered with someone she used to consider a friend and how
Danielle has been living with bipolar disorder since 1996. This condition, and others she lives with, affect her life daily. Here, she shares hurtful words her father told her and how comments like this affect her and others living with a similar condition.
Lindsey kept her narcolepsy diagnosis to herself, family and close friends, until September 2019 when she decided to finally post about her health experiences on her social media profiles. Here she shares how opening up about her diagnosis has helped her accept the
Denise was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the late 1980s and told she might only have one year to live. Here she shares what has given her strength in the decades since. A Bleak Prognosis [In the 1980s], my friends were
When Sylvia’s husband passed away, managing her health conditions — including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) — became exponentially more difficult. The key to her perseverance was receiving support from someone living with similar circumstances. Here she recounts her emotions following in the wake