Cancer Survivorship Forum: Survivors discuss surviving

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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Hearing the words, "you have cancer," is life altering.  Hearing the words, "You are a cancer survivor," is life affirming.  Smart Talk and Facing Cancer Together  explore what it means to survive a cancer diagnosis and how survivorship presents new challenges and opportunities to patients.


joanne-ovarian-cancer-survivorWe brought together and taped a conversation among a group of cancer survivors who are in different stages of recovery.  They shared their reflections on the disease and the medical and emotional struggles they endured in overcoming it.  We will air highlights of their conversation.  They encompass survivors of brain, breast, endocrine, kidney, ovarian and prostate cancer.  One of those survivors, Joanne Cassaro, is a gifted graphic designer, artist, jewelry-maker and colleague at witf.  She overcame ovarian cancer. 

"Sitting down and talking to the other survivors about their cancers was truly the therapy that I so needed over the years. Long time coming for sure. They are some remarkable people who started the show as strangers and have now become friends. Different cancers but similar stories of hope, lessons learned and love for life," Joanne remarks.  "It's the silver linings that cancer brings to those diagnosed that can change a person for the better. That's what happened to me over the past 11 years.  Ovarian cancer changed my life, leaving me unable to have children of my own.  So given that card - I made the choice to live life the way I always dreamed of. No time for dreaming.  Just doing what I have always wanted to do. Create -- the best therapy in the world for recovery and the depression that followed."

Watch their conversation in the video below.

Click here to watch entire survivorship forum, including their advice at the end of the program.

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Watch Surviving Cancer on PBS. See more from SMART TALK.

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