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Best of Cancerwise 2012: Surviving Cancer

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Who is a cancer survivor? The American Cancer Society defines a survivor "as any person with cancer from the time of diagnosis on."

Today we celebrate three of our bloggers who have taught us what it means to be a cancer survivor.

Megan__cancer survivor_.JPGLife after cancer: The evidence of my disease

By Megan Silianoff

At the conclusion of my most recent CT scan, my doctor sat across from me and happily told me I had "no evidence of disease." It was news that millions of cancer patients dream of hearing. Yet for some reason, I didn't feel the overwhelming satisfaction you'd imagine.  

I was happy, sure. But I didn't pop any champagne nor did I high-five anyone on my way out of the hospital. (Though I did buy myself a Snickers bar and tip the valet guy an extra dollar.)

I love that phrase, though, "no evidence of disease," and have given it a lot of thought since my doctor used it. I've decided it's just not true.

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Adjusting to the new normal after cancer


By Ed Steger

Ed Steger_cancer survivor.JPGI have a new normal. It's the result of my cancer and the life-saving treatments of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy.

What's important to recognize is that I have lost a part of myself and with loss comes grief.

There's a generally accepted model for grief that includes five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not necessarily chronological or complete. But, understanding this loss/grief model helps me cope and move forward in this transition.

The transition has been difficult. It's a work in progress, which has taken place during six years and is still evolving.

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Cancer survivorship: My paradigm shift


cristina rodriguez cancer survivor.JPGBy Cristina Rodriguez

I shared in a previous blog entry that "I heart MD Anderson." Well, I'm saying it again, but this time with resounding emphasis and fervor: I heart MD Anderson!  

What epic event caused this sudden influx of "that loving" feeling?" The Anderson Network 24th Annual Cancer Survivorship Conference.

This two-day weekend event was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was food for my mind, my body, my soul and my spirit.  

It caused a much-needed paradigm shift in my brain -- an "a-ha moment," if you will. Oprah would be proud.

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