Survivor Stories

In less than a week, I will celebrate my 9 years cancer-free anniversary. Today, while looking for a gift to treat myself to in honor of the occasion, I stumbled upon your Web site … which I adore! I posted it online and I’ve already chosen a few gifts!! Please, if you can, add my survivor story to the others posted on your site. It would mean a lot. Thank you so much.



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Mandy K.

Thyroid Cancer
Ventura, CA

Two years ago I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I was going in for a routine physical when my doctor felt a lump on my neck. He suggested that I get an ultrasound to make sure it wasn't anything serious. They checked the left side of my neck during the ultrasound and didn't see anything abnormal. However, they noticed a nodule on the right side that had to be biopsied that same day. I thought nothing of it until I was driving to visit my father and received a call from my doctor. He told me over the phone that I had cancer and needed to have surgery right away. My jaw dropped to the floor and I had to pull over on the freeway. I could not speak. I was in shock. The only words that left my mouth were please call my dad I can not talk. Having strong faith in the Lord I eventually pulled myself together after prayer.

I went in for surgery 1 month later after hearing the horrible news on July 11, 2014. My surgery was only supposed to last 2 hours, but turned into 8 grueling hours. The doctor came out and told my family that my cancer had spread and she was very surprised because it wasn't visible on my ultrasound. It had spread to 9 of 11 lymph nodes on the right side of my neck.

After the surgery, my doctor came into the recovery room to tell me that I would have to do a treatment of radiation, which was news I was not expecting. The thought of that scared me even more than the C word. It meant being isolated for 5 days by myself in a room without seeing anyone and that would just be awful!

Fortunately, it was not that bad after all as my mom delivered pancakes to me outside my bedroom door! After doing radiation treatment my nuclear scan came back negative and I was in the clear!! Thank you God! My love for the Lord and my strong faith is the only way I got through this trial in my life. I am actually extremely grateful that I was able to be a success story and give hope to my mother who just beat Pancreatic Cancer last month! God is so faithful! I hope sharing my testimony will encourage you to never give up and never lose hope my friends

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Vicki Tashman

Breast Cancer
Founder of Pink-Link

My cancerversary is February 26, 2004. It’s the date my radiologist called me and told me that my biopsy showed some “cancer cells.” He never said the words, “You have breast cancer.”

It was actually a friend of mine that said, “doesn’t that mean you have breast cancer.” My radiologist proceeded to tell me that this will be a “blip” in my life and I’d get back to normal soon. Was he ever wrong! Soon after starting my journey I realized that I would never be going back to my old life, my old normal. I would have a new and BETTER normal!

I would never wish breast cancer on anyone, but it’s truly been a blessing in my life. My life outlook has changed for the better. Founder of Pink-Link

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Diana H.

Breast Cancer
West Hills, CA

I was asked when my cancerversary was and the date I came up with was not the date that I completed my treatment. I picked the date that I went into the doctor’s office to check on a lump that had been bothering me. I am prone to cysts and I figured it was just another cyst that needed to be drained. No biggie. When the surgeon pulled that long needle out of my breast, he said, “Uh oh”. I instantly knew that wasn’t good.

That day changed my life.

I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Mediplastic Breast Cancer. Of the many types of breast cancer, I managed to get one of the most rare and trickiest to treat. Since it is so rare, the doctors’ know little about how it forms or its long-term prognosis. I may be cancer free today, but tomorrow is a mystery. Lucky me.

I started off my journey as most folks do, I was scared, no I was terrified. Being a single mom with one parent who was ill (and by the way died after my second surgery), I also knew in order to get through; I was going to have to ask for help.

When I did, I was astounded to find that the people I knew were clamoring over one another to assist me in every possible way I could imagine. However, even with all of wonderful people by my side, it took every thing I have learned and every tool I possess to get through a two year battle with a semblance of dignity and grace.

Three major surgeries, and 16 weeks of nasty chemotherapy later, I am happy to say that I am currently in remission. The most important thing I have gotten out of my bout with cancer is the knowledge that I am truly loved by many. I honestly do not know how I would manage without the army of people, including the doctors and staff at Kaiser, who have continued to be so amazingly supportive.

Today, I wear my key with the pink ribbon proudly, not as a reminder of the pain I went through, but as a testimonial to the power of love and courage. My cancerversary date is October 4th 2007. If there is one thing I can say to others is to not be silent. Share what you are going through, let the love your friends and relatives feel for you shine through to help you heal.

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Ziona F.

Breast Cancer
Agoura Hills, CA

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 19, 2006, 2-1/2 weeks before my son's bar-mitzvah. I was 46 years old.

After nine months of treatments, including three lumpectomies, four months of chemotheraphy, and seven weeks of radiation, I was finished with my treatments on May 22, 2007. I am now less than one year away from the 5-year mark. My cancer ordeal seems like a distant memory, but I am eternally grateful for having that experience. Having cancer gave me an opportunity to see my life and my world in an enhanced way. Talk about not sweating the small stuff!

I was blessed in many ways. I had terrific medical care. I had the unconditional love and support of my family and friends, and a community of caring people that came out just because they heard that someone in their midst needed help.

I look forward to my Cancerversary because it will confirm for me that "I had cancer; it did not have me." It will affirm that cancer can be overcome and can be turned into a positive experience. Having cancer allowed me to see the blessings that are in my life and that have always been there. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for having had and surviving cancer.

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