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It’s Time to Stare Down the Bully Called Cancer

Today's blog post comes to us in honor of Breast Cancer Month by Dan Zadra, Compendium founder and cancer survivor.

Here’s a cancer success story that will warm the hearts of cancer patients and their friends and family everywhere. It’s the story of Vickie Girard, a courageous young woman who not only survived terminal cancer, but went on to write one of Compendium’s most beloved gift books: There’s No Place Like Hope: A Guide to Beating Cancer in Mind-sized Bites.

In 1992, Vickie was diagnosed with end-stage metastatic breast-to-bone cancer. It was devastating news. Statistically, there was no hope, no cure. Doctors at three different cancer centers advised her to get her affairs in order. Instead she chose to fight.

Vickie Girard not only survived her cancer, she went on to become a tireless patient advocate. For nearly twenty years she crisscrossed the country, informing cancer patients and their families how to better prepare to fight, win, and recover from this disease.

One day she called Compendium, and here’s what she told us: “In all my years of counseling cancer patients, I have never found the one book that patients and their families are always requesting… so, I’ve decided to write it myself. Will you publish it?”

And so began an amazing journey for all of us at Compendium. Currently in its eleventh printing, There’s No Place Like Hope is now known affectionately as “the little blue book” in cancer circles and support groups throughout the country. More than 100,000 patients (including myself) have relied on Vickie’s book to calm our fears and light the way on our journey to wellness.

“I have come to tell you that we can and must stand up to this bully called cancer,” she writes in the introduction. “We must stop speaking of cancer in whispers. We may have cancer, but cancer does not have us. Cancer is a beatable, treatable, survivable disease—and we should yell our success stories from the rooftops, so that others will take hope and fight too.”

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mark 10.15.2013 | 12:47 AM

    When I had throat cancer five years ago I felt scared, vulnerable and alone with the thought, "this is it". As time went by, it dawned on me that I had underestimated my body's ability to rally and heal itself. Today I have a new respect for the power of hope and belief. My advice to anyone dealing with a diagnosis is to channel every available ounce of energy and conviction into fanning that spark of hope and never, ever turn your back on the prospect that, someday, you'll be watching the whole nasty chapter receding in the rearview mirror. We are stronger than we think. It may seem like a long shot but long shots can hit the target too if we steady our aim and don't get rattled by the products of our overheated imagination.

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