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Survivor Stories
00000178-749c-ddab-a97a-7ebce8d40000 Join WNPR as we explore stories of cancer survival. Intimate interviews capture personal experiences that provide inspiration, hope, and support to those diagnosed with cancer and to their loved ones.Generous support comes from Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

Neva Caldwell On Facing Cancer Without Fear

Visual Appeal Studios
Neva Caldwell of Hamden, Connecticut is a 15-year (and counting) lymphoma survivor.

"It made me become fearless, I would say, because I feel like I've been through more than what I could ever go through, and so what could be worse? "
Neva Caldwell

Neva Caldwell is a 15-year lymphoma survivor who found that positive thinking  decreased her stress and lessened her fears.

“Every day I wake up, it’s a new life for me. I don’t take life for granted. I just enjoy the days that I’m able to be here and do things with my children and spend time with my family. If any challenges come my way, I just always try to reinvent and think positive and not let things bother me, and it seems to work. I seem to stay stress free when I do that.

"It hasn’t always been that way. I think when I was going through cancer, I had a lot of worries, like days that I worried I put a lot of stress on me – I never talked about it. I think talking about it helps, and like I said I learned to not keep so much inside. All the negative things that you can think of to not hold it inside, ya know, and I do what I can, and when I can’t I just don’t worry about it because of what I went through. It made me become fearless, I would say, because I feel like I’ve been through, ya know, more than what I could ever go through, and so what could be worse?

"So now I have the chance to still be here and live and enjoy life. And that’s how I try to keep my mind frame that, ya know, I can do this, I can do that and not worry about what’s gonna happen. I just live fearless.”

Neva Caldwell is a 15-year (and counting) lymphoma survivor. She credits her children for helping her get through her illness and treatment because she knew they needed her. During this time, her children's father and her mom were closest to her, while some family and friends stayed away, not knowing how to deal with her illness.

Neva believes that it is important to always think positive because everything you feel will be inside you and that stress affects your insides too. She reminds others to not live in fear.  Neva says people are always wondering if her cancer will come back, but she does her best to not think about that. She says, “I’m just going to live life to the fullest…and do everything that I can.” 

For more stories on cancer survival, visit WNPR's Survivor Stories.

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