Laurence, 64, is an architect, an artist, and also a prostate cancer survivor. The diagnosis at age 61 came as a huge surprise. “The news came via telephone, which was sort of a shock. I picked up the phone and was told by my doctor, ‘you have cancer’.”
In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, CancerCare encouraged anyone affected by cancer to recognize caregivers by sharing a photo that represents this important role. We received a collection of inspiring and creative photos from across the nation.
Rasheen noticed a suspicious lump after having difficulties breastfeeding her youngest son, Abraham. In 2009, the mother of five was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. “I was only 38 and didn’t think it was anything at first. It turned into an ultrasound, a biopsy, then an MRI and then a mastectomy,” remembers Rasheen.
Advocating for the well-being of others has always been a priority for Vera, who is the founder of a career advancement firm specializing in diversity recruiting. But she quickly began to realize the importance of advocating for oneself after being diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014.
After Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009, she turned to her reiki practice, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing, to help make sense of it all. “When I was initially told I that have cancer, of course, I was shocked. I turned white in the doctor’s office,” remembers Lisa, a certified reiki master and holistic practitioner. “I immediately went into survivor mode. It was surreal, bizarre.”
For many people who want to continue to work during and after treatment, the issue of disclosure looms large in their minds. Some may worry that they will be seen as a liability to their employer and perhaps be terminated from their position if they open up about their diagnosis. Others may fear that they will encounter subtle discrimination.