“Surviving is living beyond cancer and enjoying life again.”
Survivorship means different things to different people. Its personal, its reflective of where you’ve been and where you’re going. It’s understanding that you’re a survivor because of luck and not because of your socioeconomic background or because you’re a better person or because you’re more deserving. It’s a luck of the draw. It’s knowing that you’re no more special than the person in the next room who did not survive. For me, being a survivor means overcoming adversity, beating the odds. It means to savor your victory and relish in your triumph. As a cancer survivor I believe survivorship is a unique experience that transcends cultural, social and economic norms. It’s power, knowledge, confidence and perspective. It’s recognizing life will never be the same as it once was and acknowledging the impact treatment had on you, your family & friends.
Treatment touches every aspect of your life. It affects you physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and socially. Many survivors try so hard to get back to the person they were before diagnosis, but unfortunately, too often you realize you can never go back because you’ve experienced too much. Surviving makes you more aware of how precious life is and it’s being grateful for a second chance. It makes you more aware of limitations because during treatment you were often limited in where you could go, how long you could stand, who came to visit. Survivorship makes you more spiritually aware because, if you were like me, you begged, prayed, cried and sometimes screamed to God hoping you would live.
To me surviving means perseverance in the face of adversity. Pushing through even when you’re having a bad day and you’re ready to give up and throw in the towel. It’s being strong when your too weak to care. It means falling down and finding the strength and courage to get back up again. It’s being scared and knowing that its ok feel that way. Survivorship is being thankful for a second chance, but also recognizing that many people don’t survive. Surviving is living beyond cancer and enjoying life again. Most importantly, survivorship means remembrance. It’s remembering those who lost their fight and it’s continuing the fight in their honor by being an advocate to others who are just beginning their cancer journey.
If you would like to help Brianna and other children battling cancer, donate today!