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BY Cynthia DeMarco

During the past year, dozens of our patients and caregivers have shared their stories with us. Some dealt with proving a terminal diagnosis wrong. Others involved struggles with a challenging treatment, or making the best of life after cancer. The one thing they all have in common is hope.

Here are some of our patients’ most inspiring tales from 2019. Our wish is that they will bring you hope, too.

Tongue cancer survivor...

#endcancer bracelets

BY Kate Hutcheson, Ph.D.

The ability to swallow — or to eat and drink what you enjoy most without choking or coughing — is something that many of us take for granted...

BY Jeannie Hopper

I am a strong, athletic, never-been-sick type of person. I am also very career-driven. So when I was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell...

BY Jeannie Hopper

When I was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, a type of oral cancer, my husband and I tried to be as open and honest with our two children as possible.

At the time, Jeremy was 8 and Violet was 5, but we felt like they had a right to know. Besides, we couldn’t have hidden the fact that I was totally incapacitated, bald and tongueless even if we’d wanted to. So we gave them the facts in simple terms. We...

Oral cancer survivor Jeannie Hopper and her family

BY Jeannie Hopper

I’ve had four of my back teeth removed, the floor of my mouth rebuilt and more than half of my tongue replaced with an arm muscle. But other...

BY Kellie Bramlet Blackburn

When Patricia Lines came to MD Anderson for her first appointment in 2012, she was impressed by the way all the different parts of her care...

BY Mark Rolfing

It’s difficult to say that someone is “the best” at something, especially when it comes to sports. How do you determine the No. 1 golfer?...

BY Mena El-Sharkawi

Cancer wasn’t Adel Tawfik’s first medical crisis.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Adel had two open-heart surgeries. In 2015, he had a near-fatal...

BY Kellie Bramlet Blackburn

As a registered nurse, Asha Bhandari was familiar with cancer – even less common cancer types, like oral cancer. But she never believed...

BY Laura Compston

I resisted getting a feeding tube for as long as I could. I knew I’d have to use one eventually, but I didn’t feel ready for a long time....