After Cancer Comes Joy

The New York Times has invited readers to submit photographs and brief stories that “Picture Your Life After Cancer”.

The invitation reads simply, “For the estimated 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S., some of life’s biggest challenges and successes begin after treatment ends. Here are your photos and insights about life after cancer.”

Hands clutching

View on black, from mescon's Flickr Photostream

The photos in the collage show women and men, young and old. Click on the photo of Adrienne Rathert, and you read of her hike down the Grand Canyon, her completion of a half marathon, and her work toward a Masters in Public Health.

Diane Hosey writes about the art show she has created, “Tell Her Story”. For Rene Simon, “some day is here, now.” Ajay Malghan sees turning thirty as a “starting line” rather than the downer others experience at that age.

There are heart-stopping images, such as a newly diagnosed young man nuzzling his cat, sharing his fear, not sure who to talk to. But for the most part these vignettes are a loud “Yes” to life.

Looking for a photograph to accompany this entry, I came across not only the above shot but also the photographer’s story about his mother’s cancer diagnosis, her hospital journey, and her recovery. He writes from the heart. Although brief, the story is a glimpse into the trauma families face but also the grace of loving care.

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