AnnMarie Giannino, 51, Cancer
How would you explain Cancer to a child?
Cancer is a disease that stops the good cells in your body from doing their job. It can affect many parts of your body including your mental wellness. Doctors do not have all the answers but try their best to use the research they have to find the best treatments which may make me really sick. We will have a lot of questions and while we may get some answers we will have more as we go along.
What would you want the world to know about Cancer?
People die every day from cancer, even the "easy" cancers. There is no getting over cancer fully because the worry never stops especially for those living with stage 4 terminal cancer. Cancer affects your loved ones in a different but very real way. Just because you "look healthy" does not mean you are. Cancer is stereotyped as bald, thin, sickly looking but many live thriving lives during their cancer and look pretty good.
What does it feel like to live with cancer?
This is the hard part because you do not see cancer and some days are pain free physically yet the mental aspect hardly leaves. I try hard to focus on "cancer free" moments. Those are the fleeting moments where cancer does not invade your space and you just live.
What brings you joy?
Oh JOY?? There are so many but the first that comes to mind is Sunday dinners with my family. It starts my week with delicious food, loud love and family. I would miss Sunday dinners more than anything in my life.