Survivor! (by Judy)

This is what the face of a cancer survivor looks like.

According to the article “Cancer Survivor” in Wikipedia:

A cancer survivor is an individual with cancer of any type, current or past, who is still living. About 11 million Americans alive today—one in 30 people–are either currently undergoing treatment for cancer or have done so in the past.”[1]

I have to stop thinking of myself as a cancer patient and start thinking of myself as a cancer survivor.

I AM surviving. I’m living my life, though it’s a different life than I would have if I didn’t have cancer. I’m still working except for “treatment days” or days I don’t feel well enough to work. Thankfully, since my chemo changed to Navelbine and Herceptin mid-Feb., I feel better than I did with the previous chemotherapy cocktail (Taxol, Carboplatin, and Herceptin). Tomorrow I have a CT Scan which will show if/how much the new protocol is working. I’m nervous, yes, but I hope and pray the Navelbine and Herceptin are doing their jobs and shrinking the tumors in my liver.

But I’m surviving. I’m went on a wonderful vacation with my family. I get up and bathe every day. I’m not typically depressed. Sometimes the ongoing treatments wear me down physically, emotionally, and mentally . . . but I tend to pick myself up at some point.

I go to church whenever I can. I keep touch with friends whether via FaceBook, email, text, phone, or in-person. I still have thank you cards to write from my April 16 fundraiser. I don’t get much housework done because I’m exhausted from my days at work, but that can wait. That will always be there . . . unfortunately. 😉

I laugh. I cry. I think, ponder. I do what I can do with the energy that I have.

I’m a Survivor. I’m Surviving with cancer. I’m Living with cancer. It’s still there, but I’m trying to Live with it in my life as well as I can. Sometimes I feel like I fall short, but that could be because I just can’t do as much as I used to. Cancer is certainly a way of stripping out the extraneous stuff in your life and getting down to basics.

But I’m surviving, and I’ll be surviving until I’m no longer here.

That’s the face of a Survivor, folks. 🙂


Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


5 Responses to Survivor! (by Judy)

  1. Here’s to a long, long survivorship for you! Go girl!!!!

  2. Yes, you are a survivor.

    In my mind you are more than just a survivor. You are a “Healthy Survivor.”

    I was…I am…and I will forever be grateful for the term, survivor, that has kept me from ever feeling like a victim (the term used most often for a person with cancer when I was diagnosed in 1990.)

    But I was a survivor no matter what I did, said, thought or felt. I was a survivor if I was embracing life each day or curled up in bed all day. I was a survivor if I was getting efficacious treatment from expert doctors or swigging snake oil.

    So in 1992 I introduced a 2-criteria term for a subset of survivors: Healthy Survivors.

    A survivor who (1) gets good care and (2) lives as fully as possible is a HEALTHY SURVIVOR.

    “Health” implies a wholeness of body, mind and spirit. Healthy implies taking steps to facilitate health and wholeness (e.g. healthy diet, healthy parenting, healthy financial planning).

    You can be a Healthy Survivor no matter how sick you are or how bad the prognosis, because Healthy Surivvorship is not defined by biology or medical outcome.

    Healthy Survivorship is about making life the best it can be, and accepting what is.

    Healthy Survivorship is about embracing life — whatever the circumstances — and finding some happiness today while hoping for a better tomorrow.

    I repeat: As I read your words, I think to myself, “This woman is a Healthy Survivor.”

    With hope,

  3. Lahdeedah says:

    This made me really happy! Lots of honesty, lots of realism, lots of hope and gratitude. You’re a babe-a-liscious survivor (with hip shades to boot).



  4. Sandy says:


    We are huge fans of Mothers with Cancer over at Glam Media! We’re one of the top 10 online media companies in the US and would love for you to help pilot our new Health & Wellness Community at, slated to launch in the coming weeks.

    If you’re interested, please contact me about joining our community for the launch!


    Sandy Hayashi
    Community Partners Editor
    Glam Media

  5. Nice words from a true survivor. This got into me “I laugh. I cry. I think, ponder. I do what I can do with the energy that I have.”~~ this defines life and not just living but surviving. Everyone of us needs to read this post, because in so many ways we are all struggling to survive.

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