Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 8, 2020 9:52 am
From the Oxford Dictionary:
a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.
"the sole survivor of the massacre"
- the remainder of a group of people or things.
"a survivor from last year's team"
- a person who copes well with difficulties in their life.
"she is a born survivor"
This could apply to caregivers as well. They are coping with the difficulties that cancer presents to their loved ones.
I look forward to seeing what others think!
Great thoughtful question Lacey!
Posted by Joybell on Jun 8, 2020 11:01 am
Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jun 10, 2020 12:48 am
So I was digging a bit further into the definition on dictionary.com. They have a section of the definition called "Words related to survivor" And they listed the following: residue, debris, leavings, surplus, legacy, trash, remnants, balance, rest, remnant, remainder.
These words aren't so positive. One of my favorite mantras is that "I am more than a cancer diagnosis." I am not a shell of who I formerly was. I'm not leftovers. And I am definitely not "trash." There is this faint ickiness to the word "survivor." that leaves me feeling less than. Like though I have gone through (or in my case am going through) this awful disease and come out the other side some how less than I went in. Changed? No argument. But less than? What's left after? A remnant? A remainder? Nope not me.
Posted by Mammabear on Jun 11, 2020 11:21 am
Posted by Laika57 on Jun 11, 2020 11:37 am
as a caregiver, maybe I don't get a vote. I don't personally know how it feels. I know the struggle is real, and it takes tremendous strength to get through. Slapping a cheesy label on it for fundraising purposes just seems disrespectful to me.
but then again, some people need those terms for motivation, to come up with the strength to plow on. Wouldn't want to take that away from them.
guess I am officially undecided 🤔
Posted by Runner Girl on Jun 11, 2020 11:55 am
I survived the deaths of my sister and my brother, both younger, when I was 20. I survived a non-cancerous breast lump at age 40. I survived an abusive marriage and the 10 year divorce that followed. I survived my dad's psychotic break and then his subsequent death following a lung cancer diagnosis. I work in oil and gas and have survived the numerous downturns, layoffs, etc. I survived my mom's sudden and unexpected death just before I received my own cancer diagnosis. I did my battle, had chemo, radiation, herceptin, now tamoxifen. I worked, ran, did all the usual household chores during my treatment. I survived my fiance deciding to bail on our relationship because he couldn't deal with my cancer.
I guess I just feel like surviving is something I have had to do on a pretty regular basis.
Posted by Whitelilies on Jun 12, 2020 11:10 am
i read and then RE read your last post, what you shared.....I am in AWE of your resilience, your strength. You carried on! You amaze me.
i hope to have HALF of your strength.
We must all carry on. Heads held high.
Marching forward.......not backwards....
Ps ......sharing my "words" of battle:......infertility.....Autism x 2 ....Tumour.....bag.....cancer......gone? who knows?......and have not had a vacation in 21 years.......urgh......what does a plane look like? Still have wings? Still have Stewardess?
Posted by Wendy Tea on Jun 12, 2020 11:11 am
Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jun 12, 2020 7:56 pm
Language matters and we all react differently to terms used. There is no right or wrong way to feel about the term.
The term 'fighter' also has had mixed reviews. I think of my dad as a cancer fighter. I watched him give everything he could to survive. He fought so hard. It felt Iike a battle for our family.
Posted by JustJan on Jun 13, 2020 10:32 am
resilient! When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019, I hated a lot of the acronyms that went along with the diagnosis. I was pretty sure I was going to begin to hate the colour pink. I was not a warrior, I was scared out of my mind and was just trying to get through my cancer experience. I did not want to be seen as a cancer patient but as a person who happened to have cancer. I just wanted to get to the other side. Well the universe had a different plan and when I was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June 2019 I had to become a warrior as I had to face my biggest fear which was having to have chemo. I assembled my army and off we went into battle. I did survive that experience but not because I am a warrior but because I am resilient. Like someone else posted, we survive many things throughout our lives and it seems it is just a part of life that obstacles are put in our path for us to navigate. The secret for me is finding joy in every day and and being grateful for all that I have and even being grateful for what I have endured.
Posted by JacquelineM on Jun 13, 2020 10:40 am
I always think of this word as someone that survives, which so far I am surviving - but this doesn't feel appropriate yet to me. But by definition, it is someone who outlives another. It is also a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks - which so far I have. But none of these feel relevant to me. I am not sure it quite has relevance yet, perhaps because my treatments finished only a few months ago and I am still dealing with some effects and side effects of these treatments.
Do I deserve the title of survivor? When someone battles and recovers from a heart attack, a stroke, COVID-19, we don't refer to them as survivors in the same way, and yet their battles are no less real or worthy. And yet, they too, are survivors.
When will I feel like a survivor of cancer? By definition I should feel like a survivor because I "functioned in spite of the disease". But I don't. Yet. Will it be when my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes grows back, or my toe nails grow in? Will it be when my breast stops itching and tingling? Or when my weight returns to normal. Or will it be when a certain amount of time goes by knowing cancer has not returned? For me, I am not sure.
The terms "journey" and "survivor" I suppose are immensely personal to each individual who have been diagnosed, go or are going through treatment, or even finished it. Neither of these terms I relate to yet. I hope there will come a time, soon, that I do relate and appreciate the fact that I stayed strong, endured, and did survive. But that time has not come to me yet.
Instead, I take each day, grateful for the strength of those who surrounded me with love and support, and grateful for my own strength to battle through this period in my life. I do hope there will be peace in my heart one day to feel confident to call myself a survivor. But today, the battle is too near, the pain still too real, and the fear still very much alive within me.
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