Living As A Cancer Survivor - Our Pets

Mark Everett Kelly is a 29-year survivor of Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma. His dog Sammy has been by his side since 2005. He is 16.

Mark Everett Kelly is a 29-year survivor of Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma. His dog Sammy has been by his side since 2005. He is 16.

I always get emotional when thinking about how animals love us, especially dogs.

I've had my dog Sammy since October of 2005 when I was asked to take him due to my Aunt's inability to care for him. She was dying of cancer, and I agreed to watch him.

Before long, Sammy and I were inseparable. I had him trained as a service dog once my conditions became dire enough to put me on disability. Sammy was with me everywhere I traveled from 2005-2018. He no longer accompanies me due to his arthritis and I miss him being with me.

Sammy has a fantastic ability to adapt quickly to new surroundings. Due to my inconsistent and changing financial situations, Sammy has moved 11 times with me since 2005.

When he was younger, he could run very fast and would get so excited when certain people came to visit. He thought everyone was there to see him. He was the best therapy for me during times of stress. He still is, although his body cannot take the position of hugging that he did when his legs were healthy.

Sammy has struggled with arthritis since 2012. It has limited his ability to walk, but he still struts around like he owns whatever home he finds himself in. Now, at age 16, I get despondent knowing his time is coming to an end. If I think about it too long, I will break down into tears and hysterically cry.

I think therapy animals should be available at every cancer hospital. The love an animal gives you is much different than a human. They understand a side to us that humans never will. They accept us, and their entire day can be made just from our being in their presence.

Soldiers that come home from war suffering from PTSD benefit from an animal sleeping on their bed. They provide unconditional love. I highly recommend anyone going through cancer treatment to invest in a dog. Others enjoy cats more, but I am a dog person.

Purchase “My Scars Tell A Story” by clicking on photo.

Purchase “My Scars Tell A Story” by clicking on photo.

While I will never find another dog like Sammy, I hope I can provide a home for another dog that I connect with just as much. I pray that when he goes, I will see my Sammy in heaven. In my understanding of what heaven is, I can't imagine me not having the animals I dearly loved here on earth being there.

For those of you interested, please reach out to your local shelter and give an animal a home, especially if you are suffering from sickness. They will provide a massive lift to your psyche.


On Monday, October 7, True North Community Church in Bohemia, NY, will host a Cancer Support Group from 7-9 PM in the old auditorium. I encourage anyone who wants to help make a difference against cancer to attend.

The only way we can deal with our scars is to share them with others. Cancer will lie to you and make you feel you are alone. You are not. You never know how your story can change the life of someone else unless you reach out.

My prayers and thoughts are with you all.


I can always be reached by email (CKMagicSports@gmail or LivingAsACancerSurvivor@gmail). Please see the links below to follow me or contact me on social sites. I welcome (need) more followers and supporters. Please don't be shy about sharing your thoughts.


Please reach out to me or anyone in the beautiful support groups on Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, or other social sites.

NEXT BLOG DATE: October 7, 2019