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Quotations for Cancer Patients,
Survivors, and Loved Ones



Welcome to the internet's first page of quotes dedicated to those who are fighting cancer or who have survived it, and for loved ones of those dealing with cancer. No matter which category describes you, whether the difficulties lie ahead or behind, I hope you find comfort, inspiration, and strength — and maybe even a few healing laughs — from this lovingly compiled collection. Be well in this world of love, hope, and supporting togetherness. —tεᖇᖇ¡ღg


If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell. ~Lance Armstrong


Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~Author unknown


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, as quoted by the Chicken Soup for the Soul series


Cancer changes your life. You learn what's important, you learn to prioritize, you learn not to waste your time. My friend Gilda Radner used to say, "If it weren't for the downside, everyone would want to have it." ~Joel Siegel, 2003


My veins are filled, once a week with a Neapolitan carpet cleaner distilled from the Adriatic and I am as bald as an egg. ~John Cheever, 1982


      During chemo, you're more tired than you've ever been. It's like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you're out. You don't know how you'll answer the door when your groceries are delivered.
      But you also find that you're stronger than you've ever been. You're clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it's instantaneous. ~Melissa Bank


Cancer don't respect nothing. ~The Sopranos, "Mergers and Acquisitions," 2002, teleplay by Lawrence Konner  [S4, E8, Furio]


During National Cancer Control Month, let us remember those who lost their battle with cancer, and let us renew our efforts to save lives and spare heartbreak by reaching a future without this devastating disease. ~Barack Obama, 2016


We 'need' cancer because, by the very fact of its incurability, it makes all other diseases, however virulent, not cancer. ~Gilbert Adair, "Under the Sign of Cancer," Myths & Memories, 1986


To be American, male, in one's fifties, a compulsive worker — as who of them is not? — worried about cholesterol and unpaid bills, working under stress and watching old friends succumb, one by one, to that crisis of the heart… I do not suppose women can fully understand that fear. Not that particular one. We agonize instead over cancer; we take as a personal threat the lump in every friend's breast. ~Martha Weinman Lear, Heartsounds, 1980


The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart. ~Mr. Lenin


Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~Author unknown


Know then, whatever cheerful and serene
Supports the mind supports the body too...
~John Armstrong, M.D., The Art of Preserving Health, 1744


We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill


If you're going through hell, keep on going. ~Author unknown, modification of an anonymous quotation from around the 1940s  [quoteinvestigator.com/2014/09/14/keep-going]


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one's fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon (James Neil Hollingworth) (1933–1996), "No Peaceful Warriors!," 1991


We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Miyazawa Kenji, unverified


If you have your why for life, you can get by with almost any how. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Richard Polt


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 Way of a Man: An Autobiography, 1969


I know I'll have troubles.
I'll, maybe, get stung.
I'll always have troubles.
I'll, maybe, get bit...
But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965


[D]rag your thoughts away from your troubles—by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you manage it; it's the healthiest thing a body can do... ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1891


Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin, unverified


The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. ~Captain C. C. Scott, as quoted in Forbes, 1932


The frost which kills the harvest of a year, saves the harvests of a century, by destroying the weevil or the locust. Wars, fires, plagues, break up immovable routine... There is a tendency in things to right themselves... The sharpest evils are bent into that periodicity which makes the errors of planets, and the fevers and distempers of men, self-limiting. Nature is upheld by antagonism. Passions, resistance, danger, are educators. We acquire the strength we have overcome. Without war, no soldier; without enemies, no hero... All the glory of character is in affronting the horrors of depravity, to draw thence new nobilities of power... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Considerations By the Way," The Conduct of Life, 1860


I don't think then of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. ~Anne Frank, March 1944


This is the lesson:  never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill, 1941


Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there. ~Author unknown


The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before... You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. ~Eleanor Roosevelt, "Fear — The Great Enemy," You Learn By Living, 1960


For this is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body. ~Plato (c.428–348 BCE), Charmides, translated by B. Jowett, 1871


Man performs, engenders, so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything. ~William Faulkner


Only one must not forget that recovery is brought about not by the physician, but by the sick man himself. He heals himself, by his own power, exactly as he walks by means of his own power, or eats, or thinks, breathes or sleeps. ~Georg Groddeck, M.D. (1866–1934)


Once you choose hope, anything's possible. ~Christopher Reeve, ChristopherReeve.org


Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all...
~Emily Dickinson


Hope is the physician of each misery. ~Irish proverb


Hope is grief's best music. ~Proverb


[T]here is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope. ~Benedict de Spinoza


Hope never abandons you; you abandon it. ~George Weinberg, as quoted in Forbes, 1990


Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope. ~Author unknown


...that word which GOD... has written on the brow of every man: hope!  ~Victor Hugo


A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1995


Physical strength is measured by what we can carry, spiritual by what we can bear. ~Author unknown


The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around... Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing. ~Larry Dossey, M.D.


How sickness enlarges the dimensions of a man's self to himself!... ~Charles Lamb


But to fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved, 1980


He who fears something gives it power over him. ~Moorish proverb


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on! ~Author unknown


Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995, collegiate-empowerment.org


Disease is war with the laws of our being, and all war, as a great general has said, is hell. ~Lewis G. Janes, "The Unity of Life," Health and a Day, 1901





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