I really do and always have detested the label “survivor”. Yes, I survived cancer. But, I am not a survivor, I am a more than just a survivor. Cancer was God’s gift to me. I look at it as if He smacked me upside the head with a hardwood 4×4. Cancer made relationships clearer, taught me that it is necessary to love for and care about myself, to sometimes put myself first, taught me to get toxic people out of my life, to have some fun, to laugh, cry, to share. Cancer got my life back on track and straightened me out about what should be priorities in life. Since I “survived” being remolded by the trial by fire that is cancer, life has become much more vibrant and precious.
I am more than a survivor. The survivor label is so limiting. It sounds like such an accomplishment. Yes, it is an goal to accomplish, but it isn’t and should not be a cancer victims end goal. Life can end at any moment. Maybe cancer, maybe a bus, maybe a random stoke of lightening. It would be really sad to only be remembered as a survivor and also ironic. None if us will survive in the end that is one sure thing in life. What matters is how you choose to spend the time you have on earth. Surviving cancer is a rebirth, it is the beginning of the rest of your life, and it means you might have more time left than you thought. Use every moment of it.
I am a vibrant being who moves forward in life, I seize the day! I am not just a survivor. I’m more!
This post was inspired by a quote I saw on an American Cancer Society image from a cancer survivor named Sarah. Sarah also doesn’t like the label survivor. I have felt this way since day 1 of finding out I had cancer, I didn’t want to just survive, I wanted to live.