Stories of Cancer
Giving Voice to Real Experiences


This section describes the fear and shock that can come with a diagnosis of cancer. Patience’s story of her cold and grey December day shows how fear can settle like a shroud around those hearing the news. Another story of hers describes how she decided what to tell loved ones – and which loved ones to tell.

Francesca’s story, in diary form, shows how a diagnosis can burst into your life, interrupting normal plans, moving along in its own time frame. Francesca is a psychotherapist and trainer and was about to run a workshop on the inner child on the day she heard the news. She is also the founder of Cancer Self Care, a website and support group for people with cancer.

Mitzi’s stories are excerpts from her book, ‘Nothing Personal, Disturbing undercurrents in cancer care’ by Mitzi Blennerhassett. Mitzi’s poem in her first piece is a particularly painful indictment of the lack of care she experienced at diagnosis, and her second story is a brief description of the horror of biopsy with no reassurance.