About Life as a Cancer Survivor

My name is Jelena, and my world was turned upside-down in May 2016 when at age 34, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colorectal Cancer, turning me into a cancer survivor. I was the mom of a 5-year-old daughter. I was a runner. I seemed healthy. But my body had other plans.



Who is this site for?

Are you or a loved one a cancer survivor? Have you been diagnosed with cancer and are wondering what to expect? Just interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a survivor?

I created this site to talk about all things Colorectal Cancer, and sometimes just cancer in general. Follow me on my journey from diagnosis, through cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, having an ileostomy, and more chemotherapy) then adjusting to life post-treatment. I currently have No Evidence of Disease (what we in the cancer world like to call NED).

Why Are You Sharing Your Story?

As someone with no family history of Colorectal Cancer and not knowing anyone else that had it, I felt pretty alone.  I struggled to find information about what treatment would actually be like, without being scared by the statistics of the grim side of cancer.

My hope is that this site plus my YouTube channel “Life as a Cancer Survivor” will be a helpful resource not only for those that are just starting their life as a cancer survivor (and their loved ones) but also to those that have been a part of the cancer world for a while.


My Latest Blog Posts

How to Talk to a Cancer Patient

Do’s and Don’ts - Talking to a Cancer Patient What do you say when a friend or someone that you love has been diagnosed with cancer? You want to be there for them and comfort them but you also want to make sure that you're not saying something that's going ...
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Chemo Side Effects

FOLFOX Chemo Side Effects and Tips to Deal With Them Hi everyone! In this video, I'm gonna dive deeper into the side effects that I experienced while on the IV chemotherapy FOLFOX and some tips and tricks that I either learned or figured out to help manage them. In case ...
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Prefer Watching Videos?

I also have a YouTube channel where you can watch me talk about the posts on this site. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Korean, and French on all videos.  Want them translated to another language?  Just let me know!  I’ll see what I can do.