Cancer Truth Note: #41
Survivor: One who remains alive and continues to function during and after overcoming a serious hardship or life-threatening disease. National Cancer Institute
Cancer treatment is different for different types of cancers, so to keep it simple, you are a cancer survivor from the moment you are diagnosed. I often hear survivors say they don’t like the word survivor. This is the National Cancer Institute’s definition.
Again perspective comes into play. Are you comfortable identifying as a person who survived cancer? If not that might be something to explore. Or is it simply that the word took on a larger meaning that doesn’t apply.
I was doing an interview with a breast cancer survivor one day and she said I don’t really subscribe to that word; I don’t know what word to use, but I try not to use that one because it bothers people. So, I defined the word as being a person who lived through a challenging time. Suddenly the word survivor fit, it was more acceptable. It is also the common nomenclature the medical industry uses to describe us. Tell me, do you embrace the term or use an alternative?
What small step can you take to start to normalize these types of conversations in your world? Let’s learn from each other’s ideas and experiences.
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