Read the stories submitted

Surviving one day at a time

Garry shares his experience of living with Melanoma

An ongoing fight

Sharon shares her story of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer

Still going strong

Graham shares his story of surviving childhoold leukaemia

Gallbladder Cancer

Trina writes about the shock of being diagnosed with a rare cancer.

A never ending battle

Josephine talks about her journey thus far with Melanoma

For Mum

Leanne shares her mother's experience of cancer

A tribute to my Mum...

Laura shares her thoughts on her courageous Mum

Facing the unbearable

Donna shares her experience of being told her cancer has returned.

To Dear Mum...

A letter to my Mum, nearly 3 years on.

A shock diagnosis

Lori originally thought she had gastro, so was not expecting to be told she had cancer.

An update to my story

Kathy shares her experience of grieving the loss of a loved one...


June shares her experience of a very unexpected diagnosis

It's been a long haul

Angela shares her husband's experience with Stomach Cancer

I know I will never smoke again

Dan shares his experience of quitting smoking after a tumour was found on his liver.

My diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

There aren't too many stories out there about Testicular cancer...

Sometimes the most beautiful things, come in the scariest packages

Caroline tells the story of her little cousin Hera's experience with cancer.

The Univited Guest

Cancer came to my door one day and challenged me to a battle, and something wonderful happened...I won

An Imperfect Storm

I would like to share my journey in the hope that it might help a patient, or their family who will have to travel a somewhat similar journey. I am only too aware that I am not the only person to get cancer and unfortunately I will not be the last. The experience and opinions I share with you are mine and mine alone. I am very conscious that prognosis for every patient diagnosed with cancer depends on so many variables such as the type of cancer and at what stage it is at when diagnosed. In my opinion, medical science, early diagnosis, expert medical teams and luck all together are the big players. It all depends on the type of cancer one gets. Better still if you never get it at all.

Healthy & (hopefully) happy

I will require ongoing follow-up visits with my surgeon and and to radiation oncologist but, apart from those, I expect to live a healthy and (hopefully) happy number of years yet.

Trials beat the alternative

I do love life, and at 43 years of age hope that I have many years to come. I am amazed at how far trials have come and after being hesitant to try one, I realise it was the best decision I have ever made, as I cringe to think of the alternative.

My husband Darryl

He had his 60th birthday in July - his birthday party was on a Saturday and he passed away on the Monday. He was the love of my life, my best friend and my soul mate, and I miss him dearly. We were married for almost 37 years.

The Club

I'm a new member. Today I'm lying in a hospital bed all alone and scared. I don't want to acknowledge cancer today, I want to hug my wife instead. She's not here right now, so I wrote this poem.

Male breast cancer

My surgeon said that two male mastectomies was a case for the record books!

The new normal: living with thyroid cancer

I was diagnosed with stage 3C thyroid cancer in September 2012. It came as a complete surprise to me. The timing couldn't have been any worse – there was so much going on in my life at the time that when I was given the diagnosis, I had no immediate reaction.

Sam the pet bird

He was so happy that Sam came out of his cage and sat on his finger. I took a photo of them both together and the smile on his face was priceless.

I was and am very proud of John

He fought the battle with everything he had. We talked of our love, and how much he wanted to stay here with me, but he said he was tiring fast.

Like a rabbit in the spotlight

A teeny tiny 17mm spot on a screen that couldn't be found during a breast examination has changed my life.

Cancer strikes fear in most people's minds

Cancer doesn't need to strike the fear it did generations ago. Most of us can be survivors and that majority of survival is only set to increase as we support cancer research and treatments.

My headaches weren't going away

They told me I had five brain tumours in my brain stem, and one big brain tumour on the top of my head. And I needed to be sent to a children's hospital.

Maitake Mushrooms

My wife, who had already been researching since my initial diagnosis, and lucky for me she had been retraining to become a pharmacist, stumbled across Japanese Mushroom Extracts (also called Maitake Mushroom Extracts).

Ethmoid Sinus Adenocarcinoma

Thanks to the wonderful devoted doctors, nurses and support staff my cancer is nothing but a memory. The only lasting legacy is a complete loss of smell, but looking at what could have been, this is such a small price to pay.


Is there anyone else out there in my situation? If so, I feel for you and your loved ones.

Living with advanced breast cancer

I would love people to know that being diagnosed with advanced cancer doesn't always mean the immediate end. I would also love people to realise that people with advanced cancer are still people, and still love to be able to socialise.

A tower of strength

To have my 24-year-old daughter tell me she has Adreanal Cortical Carsinoma sent my head into a spin. I had never heard of such a thing. From that day 3 years ago our lives have been an emotional rollercoaster.

A mother's passing

I guess why I'm writing this is I would really like to help raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of regular pap smears. Losing someone you love, especially your mother, is the hardest.

Every day I miss him

So that was it. Our only option was just what we did; we took him home and watched him die.

What do you want me to do? Get depressed?

During my recovery and treatment, the doctors told me that if it wasn't for my attitude I wouldn't have got through it as well as I did.

Fingers & toes crossed

I've been to Emergency plenty of times and what happened next had never happened before. A man came in and asked if he could say a prayer for me. I was clueless at the time, closed my eyes and listened. He left and the doctor came in...

You both have cancer?

How do you cope?!' That's the question I hate the most. You see, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2010. I was having trouble myself but I chose to ignore it, which was a big mistake, as I was diagnosed with advanced rectal cancer in December 2010.

Healthy living - it's never too late

Don't wait until you're stricken with a disease to start thinking about prevention and healthy eating.

Journey of Hope

Several years ago, I went through a period in my life where I thought I would only have weeks to live. I had been diagnosed with cancer, and had to go through four months of chemotherapy, doing all the scans, blood tests, transfusions, injections, hospital appointments and so on.

A survivor & volunteer

Meet Bill. A cancer survivor who helps support others through his connections to various volunteer groups.

My husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma

It was a long journey and Geoff and I became very close. It's been a long time but it feels like yesterday.

Got to five years then 'BANG'

I was just starting to feel proud of myself for keeping it at bay. Off to my oncologist for the results and he tells me we have a lot to talk about!

To live in a heart you leave behind is not to die

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my mum's death, and still not a day goes by that I don't think of her.

My life...

I am a 35 year old woman. My second pap smear at 21 came back abnormal. For the past 14 years, I've gone through aggressive amount of surgeries, doctors, specialist visits and invasive tests.

Cancer has changed my life

I had a grade 3 aggressive invasive ductal carcinoma. I am another person that is proof we can survive cancer. I am high-risk for secondary but I don't dwell on that, I just live life to the full and take nothing for granted.

It Started with a Tooth Ache

I was scared and remember it being late. I asked my parents not to take me in there, for the Doctors would find something terribly wrong with me and I wouldnt be able to come home.

A Colon Cancer Diary

A summary of Elena's journey from September 2009 to January 2011 as she dealt with a colon cancer diagnosis.

I got lucky

Cancer wasn't over for me though - it's always there. A part of me that I continually have to acknowledge and accept. I have quite angry feelings about cancer still, but I also have other feelings about it.

My best friend

My best friend Luci died in January of cancer. She was 18 and two months. I think about her all the time and poetry is a really good way to try to get across how it really feels for me.

Being there

This poem shows what it was like for me to be with my bubbly, stubborn, beautiful best friend as I watched her die.

The funny side of lung cancer

Thomas Palfy, writer-photographer, creator of several Australian travel-photo books contracted lung cancer. He decided not to despair but to create a light-hearted, witty account.

My dilemma

What can be done? The doctor and oncologist advise against any surgery, including minor and radical. Does that mean I have no possibility of a cure? What do I do now?

My mum has always been the type of person to never give up

She does crosswords and puzzles and always wants to find the solution before finishing. Unfortunately, in this particular situation the solution wasn't that easy to work out.

Cancer - a springboard

I was a single parent caring for a disabled 16 year old, the only one of my three children still living at home, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994.

In less than a minute my life stopped

All I could say to the doctor was ‘Am I going to die?’ I have 5 boys and my youngest is only 3 - I want to see them grow up.

How lucky am I?

We all go around with a big smile and say how lucky we are, but the scars are embedded forever, and only fellow sufferers, survivors, family and friends, will ever know just what we've been through.

My cancer journey

I developed bipolar disorder directly due to the loss of my thyroid and I live on a constant regime of hormone pills and doctors visits... but I'm alive... and for that, I am very grateful.

Pastor's wife gets a preventative mastectomy

I haven't told many people yet - I can imagine the headlines 'Pastor's wife gets implants!'

You've got a month to live!

Like many people with cancer, Paul was shocked when he was diagnosed. He shares his story about how meditation gave him strength.

A lump in my testicle

I thought of George Costanza from Seinfeld when he was worried about having cancer and was expecting the doctor to say 'Get out of here! Cancer! Are you kidding?!'

A mum's story

My children were both 4 years of age when they were diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

My mum's story

My mum was about 38 when she got her first breast cancer...

Our beautiful Mum!

...has been a long year without our best friend to confide in, but have taken Mum's advice - you just have to move on.

Here's hoping!

All the results indicated the possibility of endometrial carcenoma (Cancer of the Uterus).

The Leaves of Life

I'd like to share with you a story and poem about my mother's fight with breast cancer.

After the gastrectomy

A stomach cancer survivor shares the story of her survival and coping with ongoing complications.

Angels, do your best

It's been 3 and a half years and I still cry when I hear the word 'cancer', for you see I had 3rd stage bowel cancer and had nearly all my large bowel removed.

Staying strong (continued)

Lynne had stayed awake to speak with her children and for them to hug her and say they loved her...

Bowel cancer & the misery room

Six years on, I'm constantly in the misery room that's my loo. I've tried changing my diet so many times - nothing seems to work.

When reality stepped in

I had absolutely no fears when it came to the subject of cancer. I didn't have time to be dealing with or thinking about mid to old age issues.

Mum, I'll always love you and miss you

My mum always wanted me to go to Australia and study Biotechnoloy, to help those who are sufferring from cancer.

He would be so proud of her

It started with a lousy pain in the kidney area and turned out to be lymphatic cancer.

Taking my chances

I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma about 16 months ago. The doctors gave me a life expectancy of between 12 to 18 months but I dont listen to that.

Stick to short stories - don't buy novels

That was my doctor's idea of humour. As I'm just about to turn 62 and still alive and very well it just proves that cancer can be beaten.

Life is good

I was 28 and in good health. A lovely wife, new house and a 2-and-a-half-year-old son. I awoke from the operation to be told that my right testical had been removed and I had to have follow up ray treatment.

Always get a second opinion

I asked how much time I had and they said, on average, 6 months to 2 years. At the time I had been going to a support group... I was advised to go get another second opinion once again!

Almost 4 Years On & Still Here!

Prior to all this, I would have seen a diagnosis of cancer as the end of my life. I'm proof this isn't always so, and my understanding is that there are a lot of people out there just like me.

Demanding something be done

Well, it all started in January 2008 when I noticed my period hadn't stopped. This continued and I decided to see my GP in February just to get it checked out.

Staying strong

She says she looks ugly but to me she still looks like the lady I fell in love with 14 years ago.

A difficult recovery

One quote that was especially helpful - "Your body will cope with the treatment and recovery in its own way."

A rare small cell cancer

I was diagnosed with what they then thought was Cervical Cancer but after a major hysterectomy the pathology showed something much more sinister...

Facing our demons

Just over 2 years ago I was at home on a Saturday night getting ready to go out. In a matter of minutes I went from feeling a bit 'off' to a screaming heap on the floor.

A Carer's story

Mum seems to accept she is going to pass, but finds it difficult to accept how. Gasping for breath, her children watching her, changes in her appearance.

A poem about tongue cancer

I've been fitted with a 'tongue' using the muscle of my calf ... From on now I will only be able to eat pureed food and my speech will be slurred. I wrote this poem and would like to share it with you.

4-year-old ovarian cancer survivor

When I was just 4 years old I had cancer in my overies, I had both of them taken out and I survived. I tell you now I am very lucky.

I'm 27, healthy & fit! Or so I thought...

They'd advised me I'd need to have part of my cervix removed, I took it all in, and asked questions that came to mind. Next day I get a call back advising they were now looking into removing my whole cervix!

Connecting with other young survivors

I am young, But I PROMISE I CAN make a difference! My name is Kasie. I'm 16 years old and a survivor of cancer.

A trying time

It can't be totally removed as it involves the cavernous sinus, carotid artery, numerous important nerves, facial muscles and sphenoid bone. I've already lost most sight in the right eye and total hearing on the right side.

Smile Love & Hold on

At the age of 16 I lost my younger brother to Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was 10 years of age when he had passed. Six months later a school friend who was 16 had passed to from suffering with a brain tumour.

If grandma could have anything she wanted

Ever since I can remember my grandma has been affected by cancer. When I was about 4 years old she came back from Florida complaining she couldn't breathe.

How to survive without a carer

As a confirmed workaholic I had few friends and no functioning family - could I do this without support? ... I was being put into hospital later that week ... as I lived in rural Victoria I'd need someone to take me home.

What a blessing in disguise!

Each morning I greet the day at the break of dawn, and ponder at the miracle, of the sky's colour as I walk along the foreshore watching the sun rise to its many splendid changes.

Fight of & for My Life

I couldn't for the life of me work out how to unlock the car. I thought this was strange and went inside straight past the wife to my computer to shut it down. I couldn't remember to click on start ...

A cruel joke

The Doctor, a tall, warm, brilliant man who I came to admire greatly over the course of my treatment, took a lock of my hair in his hand and said, "I'm sorry, but all this lovely hair is going to go."

I've got what?

Less than 9 months ago I was working, going to the gym most days, playing tennis and planning all the things one does. Life as usual.

Turning the corner

Have you ever turned the corner and been surprised by what was there? Well that is what happened with me when I was diagnosed with secondary cancer.

Lucky Lady's story of survival

Despite 3 brushes with cancer - of the endometrium, bowel and breast - for the past 5 years all has been well for 'Lucky Lady'.

Scars worn with pride

I wear my scars with pride. They are a reminder that I fought and won a battle for my life ... I'm an avid believer in mammograms. I know early detection is the key to a good prognosis.

Trish faces surgery

"We both stopped work that day and spent the rest of the week doing things together like horseriding and going for drives. It was a strange week - I felt like a warrior going to battle!"

The most proud mum in the world

I am the most proud mum in the world, knowing what we've all been through. I only wish they could have some recognition, as they were the trailblazers for the wonderful success rate achieved with Leukaemia.

The start of an Australian Hodgkin's Lymphoma Network

Being diagnosed with cancer at just 23 came as a big shock to me since I thought I had years ahead of me to achieve my life goals...

Paul's experience with prostate cancer

It was certainly a shock but, believe it or not, I was quite pragmatic about it. I didn't have a lot of time to play with and I made some fairly quick decisions.

Rose's uterine cancer experience

My husband just didn't understand domesticity and didn't quite know what to do with me. I heard him call my daughter after he'd brought me home and say, ‘Well, I've given Mum a cup of tea. What do I do now?'

A prostate survivor on support groups

'Leroy' is a 67-year-old man who was treated for prostate cancer 3 years ago.

The reality of a breast cancer experience

‘Moira' is a 68-year-old woman treated for breast cancer in 2002. "I didn't have any sense of mortality, I just had a sense that I had to get ready for something."

A young woman faces breast cancer

Meet ‘Maria', a 36-year-old woman who was treated for breast cancer 3 ago. "The hardest feeling for me was the feeling of isolation; I was constantly reminded that breast cancer is an older women's disease."

Updated: 23 Jan, 2017