Felicia Mitchell, retired from college teaching, is a poet and writer who makes her home in southwestern Virginia. She is a survivor of stage 2b HER2-positive breast cancer diagnosed in 2010. Website: www.feliciamitchell.net
A breast cancer survivor describes how preparing an outfit for her son’s upcoming wedding and seeing social media photos of other women sparked body envy within her for those who have not been affected by breast cancer surgeries.
A cancer survivor describes the emotional rollercoaster of learning her tumor marker levels have risen. "I had decided that this would be the year I would bid farewell to my cancer journey. So much for my big plan," she writes.
“Hiking is a great activity for all of us, including cancer survivors,” writes a breast cancer survivor. “As long as we can put one foot in front of the other, being out on a trail is inspirational and health-affirming.”
A breast cancer survivor who opted for a unilateral mastectomy advises people to look at all treatment and risk reduction options when first diagnosed with breast cancer so they can avoid any regrets years later.
For a long time, I refused to acknowledge the lingering effects of neuropathy. I found a way to joke about it and told everybody I was clumsy. To acknowledge the elephant in the room, I had to admit I needed to explore balance further.
Even though I knew I was eligible for COBRA and that it would come into effect soon, my anxiety soared and grew as the days progressed. I told anybody who would listen that a cancer survivor in the time of COVID cannot be without insurance for even a second.
With so many cancer survivors working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we may need to assess how our shift to computer-based work affects limbs with lymphedema and make a few adjustments to the new routines to help ourselves out.
It is hard for me to have regrets, especially when it comes to cancer treatment. I am thankful for every step of my journey. At the same time, voicing a few of my regrets after all this time might help others. A cancer patient needs as much information as possible to make the journey work.