Jane Gardner never wanted to become a full-fledged member of “the cancer frequent flier’s club.” Nobody does. Since she was first diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago, Gardner has survived breast cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. And just when she thought…
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Not even the rudest of trolls can stop Tinu Abayomi-Paul a patient activist who lives with cancer and multiple disabilities. She spends her time creating helpful resources for others and speaking out about chronic illness, civic duty, and life as a black woman.

Cancer is different for everyone, and rare cancers like AML can be even harder to cope with, as patients often must seek out testing, specialists, and undergo intense treatments. This post in honor of Health Stories Project member, Coel Peach continues his mission of boosting the experiences of people living with this condition.

After the stem-cell transplant failed, David Israel had three primary choices: a donor bone-marrow transplant, CAR T-cell therapy, or palliative care. David decided to try CAR-T cell therapy, a new treatment that was recently approved by the FDA.

We asked the Health Stories Project community about their personal experiences with cancer — particularly the hardest parts — and they didn’t sugarcoat it. It’s challenging sometimes in ways they couldn’t anticipate.

“I think the best way to heal from cancer is to love life with all that you have,” he says. “Does everybody have to swim a river? No. But if they passionately pursue their dreams, it gives them the best chance to heal.”

Jen James Shares How She Turned Her Experience With Mental Health Crisis Into An Opportunity To Help Others

Editor’s note: If you or a loved one are living with depression, bipolar, and/or thoughts of self harm the following post could be potentially triggering. If you are overwhelmed or in pain you can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741. Meet Jen……
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Immunotherapy is a relatively new and exciting type of cancer treatment that activates the body’s immune system to help identify and fight cancer cells. New studies have shown that a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy greatly improves lung cancer recovery rates, leading researchers…
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Steering through CLL Together: A Couple Chooses Providers, Procedures and Clinical Trials

When Jay Sperling went to have pre-operative bloodwork done for a minor knee surgery, he hadn’t anticipated the results. His white blood cell count was abnormally high. He didn’t have any infections (which can often cause the white cell count to go up),…
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For newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients, Peter Sennert represents hope. Peter, 57, was diagnosed with the rare cancerous blood disease 18 years ago and is still going strong. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, now devote themselves to advocating for blood cancer research…
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When Gene Mikov, 75, described his current skin care routine, he recited a set of rules: “Wear sunscreen, put on a hat and don’t get too much sun.” Gene has adhered to these rules — or at least the first two — since…
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How One Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Found Support – And Continues to Reach Out to Others

Alison Gomez, a two-time non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) survivor, began vlogging (video blogging) as a way to connect with and support others with her condition. She speaks openly about her experiences with various treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, a bone marrow transplant, and the emotions…
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Professional fighter, DJ, and fitness model Coel Peach “couldn’t figure out what was going on” when he started coughing up blood and feeling unusually tired all the time. After a year of experiencing these symptoms, Coel was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Now,…
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Finding Acceptance Through Body Art after a Mastectomy

Nothing about breast cancer is easy. And for a lot of women, one of the hardest things about breast cancer is mastectomy. In theory, you think you might know what to expect; maybe you’ve even seen post-surgical photos of other survivors. But your…
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Real Talk About Lung Cancer and Stigma

According to the American Cancer Society, more people die of lung cancer each year than of breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. And stigma may be a contributing factor. People are ashamed to tell others that they are having possible lung cancer symptoms…
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Blood Research: How Donating Blood Helps Advance Living-Saving Treatments and Cures

Blood is the stuff of life. Our bodies depend on it to deliver a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to our cells. It fuels the heart, helps us regulate our temperature, and removes waste. We truly can’t live without it. Most people…
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12 Insights Into Melanoma Treatment

As skin cancers go, melanoma is the least common and the most concerning. It can spread from the skin to organs and bones and is most often triggered by UV exposure, especially in those who have a genetic predisposition to this type of…
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A Tough Pill to Swallow: Taking Aromatase Inhibitors to Prevent a Second Breast Cancer

Getting the Diagnosis that No One Wants Judy started getting mammograms yearly when she was forty. Because she has dense breast tissue, her doctor decided that she should also have an ultrasound each year since dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to…
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We’re Sorry, Your Son Has Leukemia

Not Just Another Cold The first decade of the 21st century was pretty rotten for Chris and her family. They experienced multiple losses of loved ones – some young, some old, none easy. They were also a two-career family with three children under…
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