pointing fingers in blame

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…
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Daniel Is Anal Cancer-Free in 2021

Daniel had already lived with HIV for many years when he was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2015. Given his existing challenges, he believed he could persevere but that didn’t make his reality any easier. Now cancer-free, when looking back at the experience…
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Cowden syndrome

Ciara was diagnosed with Cowden syndrome, a rare medical condition, not too long after getting a thyroid removed, surviving cancer and experiencing heart failure. Loneliness crept in as she managed her multiple conditions. Here she shares her health journey and expresses gratitude towards…
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lung cancer

There is a very real stigma surrounding lung cancer. Many people believe that the only way you can get lung cancer is through smoking–this is incorrect. Although smoking tobacco is by far the leading cause of lung cancer, it can also be due…
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multiple myeloma

Richard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer that develops in plasma cells, in 2014. Here he reflects on a few aspects of his experience with this condition with no known cause.   Onset of Symptoms [I sought medical help after a] steadily increasing…
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Lisa and Matt are Health Stories Project members from Austin, Texas that believe their community made the difference when Matt had an unexpected hospital stay related to colon cancer. They allowed us to visit them (socially distanced!) to capture their story. Please join…
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In Dallas, Texas, in the late 1970s, Gail Henkin was the youthful, earnest subject of a photoshoot. She smiled. She gazed at the camera. She felt a flutter of pride. Despite her grandmother’s death from lung cancer, she held a cigarette—and many poses—as…
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 This story was written by a community member, Cindy B. She responded to one of our story requests about life with cancer.   Two years ago, a growth in my pulmonary artery was discovered by accident.  Since then, a diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia and…
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Taryn, Jessica and Jacquie portraits

Taryn J. age 26, was a natural homebody before a pandemic struck Washington state, and now staying at home is enforced by law. Jessica Cannon, age 27, commuted to Seattle by train for almost an hour to reach her job as an accountant,…
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Multiple myeloma survivor Sandy, says that “fighting this alone without support is a hard, rough road.” This is true not only for survivors but for family and caregivers as well. If someone you love is dealing with cancer you may feel overwhelmed, helpless,…
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I survived two very rare cancers in two years which included many treatments and surgeries. I want to encourage others who are facing a cancer diagnosis, and have the following advice to share: The best thing you can do receiving an initial cancer…
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Images of Frank running, biking, kayaking and advocating for lung cancer research and treatment

This story was written by community member, Frank Noll. Don’t forget to leave a big THANK YOU for his advocacy work in the comments below. Many people think that someone with advanced lung cancer is fairly old, frail, infirmed and probably a cigarette…
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This is the second of two articles about being a care partner to someone with terminal cancer. Click here to read Part 1. If you would like to share your health experiences, please sign up here. Tiffini Joseph lost her loving mother to lung cancer in…
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Breast Cancer Survivor Molly MacDonald’s The Pink Fund Helps Women Stay Financially Afloat

When it comes to fighting cancer, the timing is never ideal, but sometimes it strikes at the worst possible moment. Molly MacDonald had just endured a financially devastating divorce and was about to transition to a new six-figure job that would help her…
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This is the first of two planned articles detailing the experiences of a lung cancer care partner. If you would like to share your health experiences, please sign up here. Tiffini Joseph works long hours at night as a hospital nurse, while also raising…
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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.

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