This page is about surviving cancer. Many of the quotes are in other files but a reader suggested I gather them into one location. Also see Health, Emotional Health, and Ouchies.
- Against All Odds
- Angels Watching Over Me
- A Time to Heal
- Count Your Blessings
- Dawn begins at midnight.
- God answers knee-mail.
- God moves in mysterious ways
- His eye is on the sparrow
- Life is fragile...handle with prayer.
- Life is tough, but I'm tougher.
- LPN: Loving Person Near
- My guardian angel has a tough job.
- Nurses are Angels in comfortable shoes.
- Nurses give Intensive Care.
- RN means...real nice!
- Simple pleasures are life's greatest treasures.
- Take Things One Day at a Time
- This Too Shall Pass
- Time heals all wounds
- Adversity introduces a man to himself.
- Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist. (David Ben Gurion)
- As a public official and being so highly visible, I have a responsibility to make it very clear that those people who will have cancer at one point in their lives will be able to function. (Lindy Boggs)
- Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look at the stars. (Henry Van Dyke)
- Being the only person in the world to have ever had both these cancers [Hodgkin's disease and Askin's Sarcoma], I really felt I should share my story to help motivate others and influence lives. On May 16th, 2002 at 9:32am, I became the first cancer survivor to summit Mt. Everest. (Sean Swarner)
- A brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.
- Cancer changes your life, often for the better. You learn what's important, you learn to prioritize, and you learn not to waste your time. You tell people you love them. (Joel Siegel)
- Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment--you just have to be willing to take it. (Emily Hollenberg, cancer survivor)
- Cancer is not a death sentence, but rather it is a life sentence; it pushes one to live. (Marcia Smith)
- Cancer is not for sissies. (Suzanne Somers)
- Comparisons to your old self or to others are counterproductive; look toward building a new you as opposed to recreating the old you.
- Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. (Mary Anne Radmacher)
- Courage is fear that has said its prayers. (Dorothy Bernard)
- Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not a sign of weakness. They are signs of having tried to remain strong for too long.
- Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again. (James R. Cook)
- Donít be afraid to start over again. This time youíre not starting from scratch, youíre starting from experience.
- Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.
- Each day is a precious gift. Take the time to unwrap every one.
- Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
- Face the thing you fear, and you do away with that fear.
- Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be turned from. (Peter McWilliams)
- Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there.
- For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude. (Clarence E. Hodges)
- Getting cancer can become the beginning of living. The search for one's own being, the discovery of the life one needs to live, can be one of the strongest weapons against disease. (Lawrence Leshan)
- Happiness lives for those who cry, those who hurt,
those who have searched, and those who have tried,
for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
- He said come to the edge. I said I can't I'm afraid. He said come to the edge. I said I can't I'll fall off. He said finally, COME TO THE EDGE. And I went to the edge, and He pushed me. And, I flew! (Guilluame Apollinaire)
- Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. (Richard Bach)
- I have been extremely lucky; I am a person who is currently living with a cancer that is under control. (Geraldine A. Ferraro)
- I used the physical scar of my breast cancer operation, the scar that I have across my chest as a metaphor for all kinds of scars. (Carly Simon)
- I'm praying that was my one little dip in the cancer pool. I hope never to have to revisit that, but I learned a lot, I'm cancer free with a bright and hopeful future. (Julie Gold)
- In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer. (Albert Camus)
- In trying times, don't quit trying.
- It's always darkest right before the dawn.
- It's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. (Hubert Humphrey, after cancer surgery in 1978)
- It's trite to say, but it's absolutely true--that adversity strengthens. I could go into a tizzie much easier before (her bout with cancer) than now, though it's too bad you have to learn it the hard way. But then it wouldn't be adversity if you didn't have to learn it the hard way. (Judy Holliday)
- Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. (Helen Keller)
- Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. (Buddha)
- Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.
- Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.
- Life is not a "brief candle." It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. (George Bernard Shaw)
- Living is like licking honey off a thorn. (Louis Adamic)
- Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. (Betty Smith)
- Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature. (St. Augustine)
- My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life. (Olivia Newton-John)
- Odd as it sounds, I would rather have the title of cancer survivor than winner of the Tour, because of what it has done for me as a human being, a man, a husband, a son and a father. (Lance Armstrong)
- Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (M. Kathleen Casey)
- Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you. (Mary Tyler Moore)
- People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved. (Anne Sullivan)
- People should be afraid of the cancer, not the mammogram. (Nancy Reagan)
- Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running.
- Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. (Susan Longacre)
- Reality bites!...and I have the teeth marks to prove it!
- Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would not see the beauty of their carvings. (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross)
- A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
- So if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it's meant to improve us. (Lance Armstrong)
- Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. (Albert Schweitzer)
- Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage...and calms His child!
- Sometimes you have to look reality in the eye and deny it.
- Success is measured not by what you gain, but what you overcome.
- Success is not measured by what you accomplish. It's measured by the opposition you encounter, and the courage with which you maintain your struggle against the odds. (Jerry Frenz)
- That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not. (James K. Feibleman)
- The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing. (Marcus Aurelius)
- The best doctors use both their heart and their mind and blend gentleness with skill.
- The best way out is always through. (Robert Frost)
- There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them. (Werner Heisenberg)
- There could be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm.
- There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
- There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. (Frederick W. Cropp)
- To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. (Bernadette Devlin)
- To win, all you have to do is get up one more time than you fall.
- True faith is believing the possible, but trusting the impossible.
- Turn your face to the sunshine and all shadows fall behind. (Helen Keller)
- Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness. (Ellie Katz)
- We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
- We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
- We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.
- We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. (Kenji Miyazawa)
- What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. (Albert Camus)
- When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. (Corrie Ten Boom)
- When it's dark enough, you can see the stars. (Charles A. Beard)
- When prayers go up...blessings come done.
- When the outlook is bad, try the uplook.
- When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
- When you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. (Joseph Campbell)
- When you get cancer, it's like really time to look at what your life was and is, and I decided that everything I've done so far is not as important as what I'm going to do now. (Herbie Mann)
- When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you're slamming the door in the face of God. (Charles L. Allen)
- You can keep going long after you think you can't.
- You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. (Jon Kabat Zinn)
- You do not have to be completely recovered to be really living or to feel happy.
- You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I've lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- You know, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 I realized I had spent too long arranging my attitude. (Carly Simon)
- You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. (Margaret Thatcher)
CANCER is so limited
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
Life is easier than you think:
All you have to do is accept the impossible,
do without the indispensable,
bear the intolerable,
and be able to smile at anything.
from Excavating Your Authentic Self
(Sarah Ban Breathnach)
I wish I'd known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman.
What a difference it would have made!
I wish I'd known that I was born a courageous woman;
I've spent so much of my life cowering . . .
I wish I'd known that I'd been born to take on the world;
I wouldn't have run from it for so long,
but run to it with open arms.
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw the picture thought it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had her nest. There in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest.
The king chose the second picture as the winner. "Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
back to top of page