May 22, 2024
Survivor Voices

Survivor Voices: Janine, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor

We are honored to share today’s "Survivor Voices" feature with bits and pieces taken from an interview with Janine Jones,  cancer survivor, mother, and wife. 

Janine is a few years out from active treatment, and her powerful words express her wish for the healthcare system to better prepare survivors for life after treatment. 

“Survivorship means everything. It changed my life for the better as it gave me a perspective I wouldn’t have had without that life-threatening diagnosis. Unfortunately (but also fortunately), I joined an elite group of survivors that gained an appreciation for the brief gift of life that I don’t know I would have been able to see otherwise.”

“I was completely unprepared for life after cancer. During treatment I was the most positive cancer patient you’ve ever met. I was empowered. I was doing something every day to save my life. After completing treatment I felt lost. I didn’t know how to re-enter my life as I was forever changed from the experience. Everyone around me expected me to pick right up where I left off before cancer, but I didn’t know how to do that. No one mentioned this could happen so I was sorely unprepared. I wish healthcare personnel were educated about how to talk to cancer survivors about the possibilities of how I might feel and what I might experience. After treatment was completed I felt 'dropped' from the healthcare system.”

“It is imperative as more people survive cancer for the healthcare system to prepare them for what they may encounter as survivors, and how to get help. It’s important for them to know what they may feel is normal, and not to be hard on themselves. Of course we survivors are thrilled to be alive, to have beaten a dangerous disease. That feeling doesn’t waiver, but the way we navigate life changes. We have to be prepared that life, as we knew it, changes. We need to be made aware of resources available to help us navigate that new territory.” 

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