Laura York: Cancer Survivor

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Laura York shows cancer who's boss

“Cancer can suck it,” that’s Laura York’s motto. A year and a half ago, Laura was diagnosed with stage IV cholangiocarcinoma (the same kind of cancer John had). Unfortunately, Laura wasn’t a candidate for liver transplantation because her tumors had grown outside the bile ducts. The prognosis was grim. Her doctors gave her nine months.

But Laura didn’t believe them.

Laura never believed the cancer would kill her. Instead, she fought hard, telling cancer to “suck it”. Her healthy living habits and positive attitude, plus the work of her doctors and oncologists, proved that prognosis wrong.

Last week Laura heard the news. The cancer is dead! She’s officially in remission, and her doctors are shocked and amazed.

For anyone who knows much about bile duct cancer, you’ll know why this is so big. No one goes from stage IV cholangiocarcinoma to remission, and especially not in just 17 months.

What I love about Laura’s story is her attitude. No matter what news came her way, she always found the best angle from which to view it. She exemplifies personal strength, gratitude and integrity.

We become more ourselves during a crisis. Our carefully constructed facade comes tumbling down when the doctor touches our wrist (or our loved one’s wrist) and says, “it’s cancer.”

That’s when you know who you really are. I found solace in the moment, telling myself to get through the ordeal just 15 minutes at a time. Laura had her own way. She turned toward uber-healthy eating and living, found strength in herself and utilized her support network. And it worked.

Laura York is a survivor. She’s officially a survivor.

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17 responses »

  1. Oh Kim, you make me cry every time you write about CC, John and me. I just LOVE you!
    Unfortunately, my oncologist (Shao) is in disbelief (not surprising huh). He is not convinced that all the cells are dead and I am still doing chemotherapy every other week for at least the next 3 months…until the next CT scan….The PET scan however (the one that the radiological onc read) said NO cellular activity at all in my tumor areas…..and even said on the paper in the official report for the PET scan “In remission”….
    Oh well, it has already been such a roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs that this one really didn’t even phase me…They just don’t understand how bad ass and determined I am yet 🙂
    They are all in disbelief and shock because as you said NO ONE just cures themselves from extensive and aggressive CC, and most definitely never in 1.5 years! I will show them!

  2. Laura,
    This is the best possible course of action. I say, kill any of the leftover bastards. We know there isn’t anything left, but just in case there’s one dormant little cell in there, it’s best to nuke it now. I know the roller coaster ride. I’ve been on it too. It’s sickening. But this news is so wonderful, don’t let the oncologist’s disbelief affect you. This is the best possible news you could have asked for. It’s a miracle.

  3. How inspiring! This story shows how important a healthy attitude is in working toward any goal. It also reminds me of a simple saying among people who eat macrobiotically (not that I do, though I utilize some of the concepts): “Let your food be your medicine.” Thanks for sharing Laura’s story.

  4. There are so many amazing stories like Laura’s that give hope and encouragement to so many who get diagnosed with cancer. The good news is there is good reason for hope today because of all the medical advancements that have been made in recent years. That, along with a strong will, faith, and a positive attitude like Laura’s, in case after case, can change a negative diagnosis into an outcome like hers and your husband John.

    It has been ten years since I lost my cousin, Judith Aaron, to breast cancer. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer 8 years prior to that but she was a fighter to her last days. She was Executive Director and Artistic Director at Carnegie Hall, a job she loved. She never quit her job and continued to work and do all the things that made her life complete. During her last weeks, on a private jet from New York to a cancer treatment facility in Denver, she had invited many of her closest friends to accompany her on that flight. She was involved in all the conversations, completely interested in her guests lives, and even garnered a $10,000 donation from one of her friends for Carnegie Hall. Bottom line, she left nothing on the table.

    The memory of her life and the impact she made on all of us who knew her has made a penetrating impact on how I live my life today.

    Thank you for sharing Laura’s story – a true inspiration for all of us.

  5. BTW if Laura comes back and reads these comments, I tried for like 20 minutes to leave a comment on your blog, but Blogger kept on saying my account didn’t have rights to view the page??? So here’s my comment to you: you’re awesome. can feel your strength and determination. Cheering for you and another friend dealing with a stage IV glioma (brain tumor). She’s still here too. take good care. Jill from Pacific Northwest Seasons,

  6. Congratulations, Laura!! There is no sound better than the words from your oncologist: “You’re officially in remission.” Thank you for being living proof that we can, in fact, tell cancer to Suck It.

  7. hola laura he leeido su historia y realmente me parece un milagro, felcicidades, espero que en estos momento se encuentre muy bien!!!

  8. mi padre le diagnosticaron colangiocarcinoma hace 2 años aproximadamente, se lo dificil que este tipo de cancer, quizas usted podria ayudarme y orientarme un poco sabado en su experinecia.. gracias!!

  9. How is Laura doing today? Is she still cancer free? My 81-year-old mother has recurrent cholangiocarcinoma. She had surgery 2.5 yrs ago to remove klatskin tumor, followed by 28 days of chemo/radiation. We just found out last week that it is back – grapefruit sized inoperable tumor in pelvis. They drained almost 2 liters of cancerous fluid from her stomach on Friday. We r not too hopeful, but Laura’s story might be an inspiration if she is still cancer-free.

  10. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger
    if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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