Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy National Cancer Survivors Day (yes, this means you!)

Today is National Cancer Survivors Day. What's that you say? You didn't get your Cancer Cards out on time? You don't know any Cancer Carols? You didn't hang your Cancer Stocking last night or find gifts under your Cancer Tree this morning? 

'Fess up. You didn't know it was National Cancer Survivors Day. Neither did I. You probably don't think it applies to you, either. Neither did I. 

We were both wrong.

"The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a 'survivor' as anyone living with a history of cancer -- from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life."
If you are one of the millions of people who has ever heard the "C" word as a label for anything growing on or in your body, I hate to burst your bubble, but it needs to be done: You. Are. A. Cancer. Survivor.

And if you're someone who actually uses the phrase the "C" word, you probably also think there's cancer and cancer. Cancer is cancer is cancer. Stick with me, please. Because while it is simple, I am not naive enough to think it is that simple. Cancer is a complex animal with many levels of invasion, treatment and survival. Hell, why else do all those terms stage, grade, spread, size and myriad other qualifiers exist? The depths of that, though, are a topic for another day.

Today, cancer is cancer is cancer. Cancer is learning about that funky mole you just had scooped out. Cancer is learning that those funky cells somewhere inside you need to be removed before they grow. Cancer is learning that the funky pain that won't go away isn't going to go away. 

A survivor starts paying attention and isn't scared to have tests. A survivor isn't afraid to have surgery that removes vulnerable tissues or organs. A survivor accepts that life as it once was will never be again, but there is still life.

Survivors talk about cancer. And that's how we live with it.


  1. That is so true, thanks for sharing.

  2. Yikes. Two time survivor and I didn't know it was National Cancer Survivors Day. Off for a PET in the morning. I'll count that as my celebration.

  3. You & me both, Easy. Good for you & good luck!

  4. I didn't know either, where's Hallmark when you really need them. Found you thru the blog trail and glad I did. I'm a 2 year survivor. Just to let you know, at least for me, it gets better. The time between scans gets longer and being normal lasts longer too. I go every 6 months now, altough I do have to go back for a CT of the chest at 3mo. this time, to check on a tiny spot the Radiologist hadn't remarked about before.
    We have our own new language too, don't we. Who else would know what "scanxiety" means.

    I'll check back often. My prayers are with you friend.

  5. Scanxiety -- LOVE IT! Glad you found me, SJN. Please do come back. Thanks for your prayers; you just found a place in mine, as well.

  6. My daughter just had a big mole biopsied and it has turned out to be okay. My family has absolutely NO cancer in its history. Unfortunately, hubby's family has huge amounts of cancer running rampant through it. I worry for my kids, but have them at least convinced to keep an eye on their skin...


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