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The Cancer Center’s Story Project is an effort to capture stories from our community of patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. The hope is that these stories provide insight into a person’s cancer experience, while also offering inspiration and support to others.
The Story Project is our effort to capture the stories from the people in our Mass General Cancer Center community: patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. Our hope is that people will benefit from sharing their stories and from reading other’s stories.
"Cancer has opened up a whole new door to something I was never open with in the past - sharing my personal life." Read Jerry's Story
"Diana is always the first one to the party and the last one to leave. She doesn’t stop going. Even now." Read their story
"I push myself because I don’t want to be that person who’s just going to fold." Read Laura's Story
"With both of us having cancer, there comes a deeper relationship. It’s different. It’s not ideal, but it’s all good in a way…in ways you’d never expect." Read Robbie and John's Story
"I decided it was time to do something, so I decided I wanted to be a volunteer…I’m the snack dude."
"I am more resilient than even I thought that I was. And I always considered myself as someone who is resilient, but I’ve never been through an experience like this before."
“Facing your mortality when you’re 20 years old is not something that most people have to do.”
“I see so many patients who freak out and I try to let them know it’s okay.”
William and Kathy Blake
"Never has either one of us said 'why me?'"
"Very often I think, I did everything I could, this is in the hands of the universe now."
Lauren Corduck and Bob Cooperstein
"The Cancer Center helped me make meaning out of this nightmare that happened and helped me find purpose around it through Oneinforty."
Amy Corveleyn, MSW
"Don’t suffer in silence. If you think that someone you love who has mental illness may also have cancer, or if they’ve been diagnosed with cancer and you feel like mental illness is preventing them from getting the treatment that they need, then reach out."
"I like that they [MGH] look at it as we’re not just treating the cancer, we’re treating the whole person with cancer."
"People who go through similar experiences, you sort of bond. You understand each other."
"My advice would be to…allow yourself to be real."
Linda and John Grosslein
“It’s going to take something way more than this to take me down. We’re going to beat this thing.”
"I already know that tomorrow is not promised… just approach it with as much positive energy as you can."
"My cancer is the green ribbon in cancer so I have green hair to raise awareness. I am a green warrior."
Stefanie London and Jonathan Reich
"When I feel like I can’t do something, when my depressive thoughts come, I remember that I had chemo and I got through that. I kept going."
"We’re lucky enough we get to do the fun stuff."
"I’ve learned that life is too short and there’s so much we can offer one another."
"[My grandchildren] will remember that a person with COPD for 8 years, multiple myeloma for 2, can still climb ladders, lift weight, anticipate and avoid danger and help them learn every facet of building a home for themselves someday."
“Well, okay I have cancer. Alright. I don’t worry about it at all because if anything’s wrong, I know where to go and it’ll get fixed.”
“I have the best job in the world.”
"I don’t have a choice in this diagnosis, my choice is my attitude."
"If I see someone who isn’t smiling, I try and find the problem. Is she sad? I want to help."
“I’ve never run into a grumpy patient.”
Esther O’Dette, RN
"It’s no longer just chemo, radiation, surgery; it’s also mind, body, and soul."
"We all know what is probable, but think about what is possible."
Allison and Rich Orpen
"She has a lot of inner strength and I think that has a lot to do with why we are where we are."
"I consider the people at Mass General family."
Walter Richard Ristow
“About a year into my prostate cancer diagnosis, I didn’t want to be too defined by that.”
"At first I didn’t know whether or not I was going to be able to do it… Sometimes you’re tired, and you say 'I don’t want to go through this anymore' but I managed to do it."
Anthony and Nina Schifone
"I’ve had quite a few experiences here and I am grateful."
"Since the beginning I have had this overwhelming feeling that no matter what, I’m not going to lose this battle."
"More than any place I’ve ever went to, more than college, this place really colored my world a lot."
"If you’re still and you listen, there’s this innate wisdom within every cell of your body and your entire being that supports you and holds you up."
"You appreciate people; you appreciate how you want to spend your time: spending it with your family, your friends, your kids."
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