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: www.feliciamitchell.net


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.

When the New Normal After Cancer Means New Hair

February 17, 2020

Hair loss, a common side effect of some chemo drugs, affects us all in different ways. Yet when hair grows back differently, it becomes a reminder of the changes that come with a diagnosis of cancer.

Letting The Water Under The Bridge

January 09, 2020

Cancer survivors need to keep up with the news. However, reading about a new study or risk factor might make us worry about past choices and/or current options, in a way we can't quite control.

Celebrating a Life Lost to Cancer

December 12, 2019

When we lose a family member to cancer, grief may seem interminable. With time, though, the memories become golden, and there is no reason to forget the good because of the bad.

What if Cancer is in the Cards?

December 03, 2019

Living life means living with the risk of cancer. It is interesting to contemplate how the cards are dealt even as we try to outwit fate.

Waiting for My Mammogram

November 14, 2019

One breast cancer survivor shares the whirlwind of emotions that accompanied her while sitting in the waiting room.

What I Did Wrong: Advice for Future Cancer Survivors

October 11, 2019

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.

Keeping Track of Your Medical Records

September 16, 2019

Keeping copies of both official and personal health records for cancer and other health concerns can be empowering, and practical, for the cancer survivor.

Musing About the Opioid Crisis and Cancer Survivorship

August 12, 2019

As patients with cancer are among those who are prescribed opioids for pain management, being mindful of news and of shifting policies during the opioid crisis goes along with survival.

How Hamsters (Among Others) Helped to Save My Life After a Cancer Diagnosis

July 16, 2019

Biological drugs, as well as animal testing, concern both consumers and researchers. But, as these drugs can save or extend lives, they provide important advances in medicine.