Surviving Cancer: A Personal Journey
In this 5-part blog series, Amber Havekost traces her cancer journey from diagnosis to her life post-treatment. As she shares her story, Amber also explores what she has lost and gained along the way. "Cancer isn’t just a detour. It’s a whole new way. It’s a whole new me," she writes. She also offers a message for other cancer survivors: "You matter. Your cancer matters. The changes you experience matter — big or small, many or few, and everything in between."
A Brave August
“August, you get me every time. It’s that time of year…when my trauma triggers fire nonstop.” In the final installment of her blog series, Amber Havekost reflects on the difficult August, 5 years ago, when an advanced-stage cancer diagnosis changed her life. “Anniversary dates are complex,” she writes. “Some are amazing but now also tainted by pain. Some we wish to forget but then, if we do, what else would have to be forgotten?”
Grief & Loss. Gratitude & Gain.
“Grief isn’t shameful and it isn’t cause for panic. It isn’t taboo, it isn’t unnecessary, it isn’t weak, and it isn’t wrong or dangerous. Rather, to grieve is to be authentic. To grieve is to be honest. To grieve is to be grateful. And to grieve is to be human.” In the latest installment of her 5-part blog series, Amber Havekost continues to trace her cancer journey, honoring both her losses and her gains along the way.
The Elusive Wonder of Foreverland
“Survivorship is in the whole cancer experience. It’s getting up and going to the next appointment, whether it’s appointment No. 2 or No. 282. It’s treatment. It’s surgeries. It’s putting one foot in front of the other even when the direction you’re going is unknown.” Amber Havekost reflects on the meaning of survivorship and the ways it has touched every step of her journey with cancer.
Cancer Defined. Me, Redefined.
In part 2 of a 5-part series that traces her cancer journey, blog writer Amber Havekost unpacks the word cancer, stripping the term of its vague meanings and abstractions and laying bare the difficult, sometimes painful realities it has unleashed in her own life. In the process, Amber also reflects on what she has gained because of it all.
The Enormity of 3 Small Words
When Amber Havekost learned she had breast cancer, her world turned upside down. “Time stopped,” she writes. “The picture of my life in my head suddenly turned blurry and void of color, now with the word ‘cancer’ in bright red, etched onto my mind’s eye.” Read on to learn more about Amber’s story and how she confronted the enormity of 3 words, “I have cancer,” with the belief that hope can permeate hardship.