Yes, we are awesome survivors! Are you a 1-year survivor? 5-year? 10-year? I am almost a 3-year survivor! WooHoo! We are all living proof at what is possible. I honor you for the journey you have been on. I am sending you a big hug and a kiss! Your survivorship has been challenging, to say the least. You have been through the most difficult thing in your life. As a fellow survivor, I know we all feel that around the corner is our cancer enemy. Every follow up, MRI, medication, and ongoing treatment as a survivor feels like the cancer enemy lurks around every turn. Our fight never really ends. But for me, I refuse to let that take control of me and my life.
Survivorship also means that I appreciate my life every step of the way. I am in awe of being a survivor. I marvel at the impact it has made on me. I say have a good day to the store clerk and I really mean it. I take pictures of the beauty in nature to save and share it with my parents. I use multiple colors of pens and markers when filling out greeting cards to a loved one. I eat healthy delicious foods most of the time and completely enjoy the unhealthy lip-smacking foods gloriously. I make different life choices than I would have before cancer. Believe it or not, I have chosen many roads that are less traveled in my young life.
What does survivorship mean to you? How are you doing “survivorship”? If you had cancer, you will always be assigned to that cancer label. But survivorship is how you want it to be. You get to fashion your own survivor label. So, I say sail across the survivorship sea and navigate it the way you want. From here on out, you do it your way. I have met survivors that have made huge life altering transformations. I have met survivors that made tiny life changes. Some survivors become the passionate cancer campaigner extraordinaire that speak at conferences, run races, and attend survivorship groups. Some survivors have utterly no aspiration of doing any of that. Some just want to put their cancer in the past and will never discuss it again. Some even write about it. There is no correct way to do cancer and there is no correct way to do survivorship either. There is only one way and that must be your way and your way only.
Happy cancerversary you awesome survivors!