Cancer puts life in perspective. Daily inconveniences become insignificant in comparison to the things that truly matter. For Alexis, it's having the chance to experience life as a normal teenager. For David, it's strengthening the bond with his family. For Mercedes, it's continuing to be the same mom to her children.
"There is not a single aspect of who I am that has not been affected by my diagnosis. I was a happy 17-year-old girl who lost all my hair and, basically, my identity and had my life pulled right from under me. It forced a severe perspective change. It was difficult to say the least, but all I could focus on was getting better and doing what my medical team said to get me healthy…to live."
"My cancer journey began in the fall of 2003 when my voice became hoarse. After a week on medication for laryngitis, my patient care provider referred me to an outside specialist. They diagnosed me with larynx cancer and suggested I see Andrew Heller, M.D., at VCU Medical Center. He started me on radiation immediately."
"My perspective on life has changed greatly since being diagnosed. I’ve learned that life is short and you must live every day to the fullest. I now realize that I can’t control everything and that patience is a virtue. My friends and family are my life, and surrounding myself with them has made this journey easier to navigate."