Saturday, December 1, 2012

Once a survivor, always a survivor

When I was 26 I had cancer. I'm fine now, so please don't worry; next year I plan to celebrate 20 years cancer-free (don't worry, you'll all be invited to the party).

When I was first diagnosed I went through all the stuff you hear about cancer patients going through - I contemplated my mortality, I cried, I fought and so on. And I was lucky, I survived with remarkably few aftereffects. But I didn't think of myself as a survivor for a long time. I remember, about a year after it was all over, talking about it with a friend and she said, "You will always be someone who had cancer." Almost 20 years later I am still understanding what that means.

So when I saw the xkcd strip below, I surprised myself by bursting into tears.

I am reminded that we are always survivors. I will always be a cancer survivor. You will always be a survivor of whatever it is that has honed and shaped you. And that survival is worth celebrating.

My biopsy-versary is April 19th. I mark it every year, my reminder that I am still here.

Find your survivor-versary and mark it. You are worth celebrating.

courtesy under this creative commons license. Thanks.

(c)2012 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're a survivor!

    When mom was sick she was given a lucky bamboo (on my window sill above the sink) on national cancer survivor day. When I questioned this I was told that the American cancer society defines survivor as someone from moment of diagnosis to moment of death...


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