Felicia Mitchell

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:

Crying Over a Movie, Cancer and Lost Innocence

August 11, 2022

“Love Story,” the story about a young woman who falls in love and then dies of cancer, affects me differently now than it did when I was a teenager and no experience with either love or cancer.

Torn Between Looking ‘Normal’ and Being Myself: A Cancer Survivor’s Newfound Breast Envy

January 31, 2022

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.

Don’t Let Cancer Keep You From Hiking This Summer

June 16, 2021

“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.”

Why My ‘Normal’ Breast Now Feels Like a Liability

March 08, 2021

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.

5 Holiday Tips for Families with Cancer

December 07, 2020

Cancer is something that impacts the entire family and changes how you and your own family may approach the holidays. Here are 5 tips for families with cancer to use during the holiday season.

A Survivor Reflects on Cancer’s Toll

September 11, 2020

Cancer survivors sometimes wonder about their purpose on earth as time passes and so many others pass away before us with cancer. We need to be gentle with ourselves and not stress to much.

The Elephant in the Room: Cancer Treatment Made Me Clumsier

August 21, 2020

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.

A Cancer Survivor's Anxiety Soars After Losing Health Insurance

August 05, 2020

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.

A Cancer Survivor Contemplates Retirement

June 30, 2020

A cancer journey influences how a person contemplates retirement. In my case, it inspired me to retire from teaching earlier than I had originally planned.

Old Bras Teaching a Survivor A New Lesson

June 09, 2020

Even those who have undergone mastectomies can enjoy a vintage bralette. And maybe being more comfortable with who I am, a survivor who did not opt for reconstruction, can be a lesson to others.

Cancer and Its Gift of Emotional Resilience

May 03, 2020

Surviving cancer teaches us emotional resilience, making even a frightening pandemic something we can decide we can navigate.

Dealing with Lymphedema in the Home Office

April 23, 2020

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.