Interview with Anna ~ cancer survivor

Interview with Anna Shialarou

Celebrating Strength and Resilience on Cancer Survivor’s Day

In honor of Cancer Survivor’s Day on June 2nd, we are proud to feature an inspiring interview with Anna Shialarou. Anna is one of the strongest individuals we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

She bravely shares her journey of living with cancer, not only to shed light on the reality of the disease but to offer hope and encouragement to others in similar situations. Anna’s active presence on social media provides a candid look into her life, highlighting both the challenges and triumphs of her ongoing battle with cancer.

Interview with Anna ~ cancer survivor


What has your experience been like living with cancer, and how has it shaped your perspective on life?

I have been living with cancer – and I prefer this term rather than ‘having cancer’ because it’s really important from the early stages of the diagnosis to accept it and how it integrates into the patient’s life – for almost four years now. The sooner you accept it, the easier living with it becomes.

As unorthodox as it may sound, I am part of the cancer patients that see this whole journey as a ‘blessing in disguise’. I like to think I have matured and learned valuable life lessons from it, that life is short and worth living to the fullest, and everything can change in an instant.


Can you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your treatment journey, and how have you managed to overcome them?

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s been a part of my body that hasn’t been affected by chemo and radiation, top to bottom, either long-term or short-term. Whether that be the loss of my hair, which I have managed to handle by wigs initially, then headscarves and beanies, and finally accepting it, walking around completely bald – no shame – and feeling confident, or my skin which is constantly being affected by many conditions, which is why I am grateful for euskin and its incredible range of products.

Luckily, most of my side effects have gone away with the proper treatment and my personal favourite – positivity!


As an active voice on social media, how do you balance sharing the realities of living with cancer while maintaining positivity and hope?

Part of why I was so active and set on sharing my cancer journey online was to show fellow patients (and their relatives!) that they are not alone. When I got diagnosed, I felt hopeless, as I didn’t know anyone who was currently going through treatment. But turns out, you are never alone, even if it feels like it. I have met many survivors and keep receiving messages to this day, and that gives me so much hope on days that I feel like this will never end.

On social media, I try to portray a more positive side of cancer because I firmly believe that once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. Of course, I have days where I break down and say I can’t do this anymore, but I don’t let it affect me for long because I remember all the lovely people I met who’ve survived – and that’s my constant reminder!


What advice would you offer to others who are currently undergoing cancer treatment or supporting a loved one through it? Can you share any insights or advice for maintaining a sense of normalcy and joy in everyday life despite the challenges posed by cancer?

Try to live as normally as you can! I know it sounds obvious and easier said than done, but I truly believe part of why I’m so well mentally and (as much as I can) physically is that I never stopped doing the things I love!

I always loved going out, dressing up and trying new restaurants, going for walks, and as much as my body allows me, I still do it all!

Take it day by day, see how your body feels, and most importantly, listen to it! If you’re tired, then rest it is. If you’re up for it, a walk in the park or beach, somewhere serene, with the people you love, I find, is the perfect thing to feel productive and that you made an effort to get out of bed.

Interview with Anna ~ cancer survivor


On Cancer Survivor’s Day, what message of hope or encouragement would you like to share with others who are currently battling cancer or supporting loved ones through their journey?

A quote my father once told me, that gives me strength on my toughest days is “even the toughest hour lasts only 60 minutes”.

And another wise thing, a doctor of mine once was in my hospital room, pointed at the IV full of medication and said, “no matter how much of that we give you, that’s only 40% of your treatment, the rest is your mindset and mentality”. And that really stuck with me.

I truly believe that having a good support system, whether that is family, friends, a loved one, or a survivor, (even a pet!), plays a really important role in the whole cancer journey.

Listening to your body and not pressuring it, and keeping a sense of normalcy in your everyday life is also extremely important!

In my opinion, every day is Survivor’s Day, even to the patients who are still going through it, as surviving each day while going through cancer is a win in itself!


Anna’s journey is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit. Her courage, resilience, and positivity offer a beacon of hope to all those touched by cancer. As we celebrate Cancer Survivor’s Day, let Anna’s story remind us of the importance of acceptance, the power of positivity, and the profound impact of a supportive community.

Thank you, Anna, for sharing your incredible journey with us.

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  1. Dad June 3, 2024 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Anna is a fighter and gives us will to live lessons from an infant.

    She was born just 620 grams and lived 4 months in an incubator and survived without any significant problems.

    She experienced bullying both in Primary and Secondary Education, but the defense mechanisms she had developed were such that they did not affect her.

    For the last 4 years she has been fighting a rare and very complicated form of cancer.
    She went through and is going through very difficult times but nothing lets her down.

    For us, her family is a beacon of light and a guiding compass on the path of patience, consolidation, faith and optimism until her final treatment, however difficult it may be.
    Because both she and we are sure that this treatment will come.

    It’s “a matter of time” as Mouzourakis says in his song of the same name…