Doris Cardwell

Doris Cardwell received a life-changing diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer in 2007. While undergoing treatment, she co-founded a mentor program for the cancer center treating her. She also created community events to educate, encourage and empower people regarding cancer. Doris was the first Survivorship Community Outreach Liaison for her local cancer center. She is an advocate, educator and encourager on issues facing cancer survivors. Doris is a wife, mother, empty nester, survivor of life and lover of all things coffee. An avid speaker and blogger, she is available at

Please Don't Tell Cancer Survivors Not To Worry

August 08, 2020

That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is familiar to those who have heard the words "you have cancer". Telling someone not to worry post treatment can be like telling them to not breathe. Listening is more productive than telling survivors not to worry.

Welcome to My World

May 19, 2020

Do parts of being in a pandemic feel familiar to you? Yet you have never been in one before? One cancer survivor suggests that's because those who have been on the cancer journey have experienced this before.

Treasures, Time Outs and Testimonies

February 25, 2020

One survivor shares three things that helped her find a sense of control in the chaos that a cancer diagnosis can bring.

An Unwelcome Moment in Time

February 12, 2020

Cancer, like many things in history, can be an unexpected landmark in our lives. With it can come crushing fear. If you feel that, even years after that moment in time, you are not alone.

Pink is Not the Only Color That Matters

October 17, 2019

"All cancers deserve the attention that breast cancer gets in October. To my brothers and sisters with 'non-pink' cancer and other diseases: it does not mean we don't care."

Life Lessons From My Phone

October 07, 2019

Cancer can bring others to love into our lives. This can be costly, but I choose to believe it is worth it.

How I Learned to Think Before I Spend Money on Pink

September 24, 2019

October is upon us. That means much of our world can turn pink. Pink shirts, shoes, bags, jewelry, hair... I could go on. Many people buy items to support breast cancer education and research. Educating yourself as to where your money goes can be important.

Seeking Help and Encouragement Takes Strength

September 17, 2019

We all have stress in our lives that takes many different shapes and forms. Giving space to each other to feel, to grieve and to vent is part of community. It's part of friendship, family and faith that we are all in this thing called life together.

'Houston, We Have a Problem'... Or Not

June 20, 2019

Many survivors face times of worry and anxiety. An upcoming appointment, a scan, a new lump, bump or spot can all be triggers for feeling intense anxiety. Here are three simple tools from a fellow survivor to help cope in those times.

Sharing Information and Support Can Bring Peace and Preparedness

June 05, 2019

There is value in information being shared from survivor to survivor. Many health issues may be common, but you can feel alone if you are not aware of them. A well-moderated online support group may be a great place to gain knowledge and comfort.

Cancer Creates Space in Our Lives

May 30, 2019

Cancer can both open and close doors. It can make life feel crowded and foreign. It can bring out both the best and the worst in people, much like being on a crowded elevator can. As it creates space in our life it can also push us out of our comfort zones but it doesn't change who we are.

Noticing Those Around the Patient

March 26, 2019

Family and friends receive the cancer diagnosis right along with the patient. People change, relationships change and life as you know it may never be the same.

Supporting Others Who Are Dealing With Cancer

March 14, 2019

Every person handles a cancer diagnosis differently. The most important thing is that you say or do something. Here are three suggestions you may find helpful based on my experience.

The Gift of Presence in Times of Pain

February 05, 2019

I had no idea learning to sit with people in their pain would help me learn how to deal with my own.

Sometimes Just Living Life is Enough

November 07, 2018

While I am and will always be a survivor, there are times in life that it should, and will take a back seat.

Scanxiety, Fear of Recurrence: Whatever You Call It, It's Real

October 09, 2018

Scanxiety, fear of recurrence, whatever you choose to call it, it is real. A sleepless night or hard time here and there doesn't mean you aren't dealing with it well, it means you are human.

But I Don't Even Like Pink, Says a Breast Cancer Survivor

August 19, 2018

I certainly was not used to people talking about my body all the time. "Are they taking your breast off?" several women asked. What? Who asks that question? If you do, you shouldn't.

Balancing Reality and Fear After Cancer

August 14, 2018

Life as a cancer survivor can feel like a balancing act. One day you may be dancing with joy, and the next you might be struggling with fear. Support and understanding can come as we help people around us understand the struggle.

Supporting Others Well Requires Self Care

August 08, 2018

Supporting people with cancer can have an added dimension when you are a survivor yourself. Here are three ways a survivor and caregiver can practice self care.

Finding Fireflies and Facing Fear After Cancer

June 26, 2018

Fear of cancer recurrence is a common issues survivors face. The struggle is real to keep it in its proper place. Read how one survivor sees the struggle.

Life Lessons from Hummingbirds and Cancer

April 26, 2018

I have not always been good at respecting others differences. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of those times we may all handle life in a different way. My experience taught me a deeper respect for how we process challenges.

Choosing to Feed Faith Over Fear

April 25, 2018

Sometimes every little bump or bruise can make me feel terrified of what it might be. Understanding how my brain is wired helps me to fight being overcome with the fear of recurrence.

Symbols of Strength

April 11, 2018

Losing my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes didn't change who I was. It didn't change they people who loved me. Thanks to bright colors and make up, people told me all the time that I looked great.

The Wonderful and Weird World of Cancer

April 02, 2018

My experience with inflammatory breast cancer has been both wonderful and weird, even at the same time.

Post-Cancer Pain Affects Many Survivors, Emotionally and Physically

February 08, 2018

In my mind, I believed the "new normal" I heard people speak of to be something I would just walk right into after treatment. I was not prepared for post treatment pain issues.