National Cancer Survivor Day, Sunday June 2, 2013
Every year on the first Sunday of June, cancer survivors and their families have an official day to celebrate survivorship. If you or your loved one survived the disease or still living with cancer or in the middle of treatments, you are survivors. If you had the word cancer associated with your health and well being, that makes you a survivor too.
So you are a survivor but have you survived all those well-meaning comments?
“You look great!” as opposed to dead?
“Did you lose weight?” the chemo weight loss diet?
“I love your hair!” fuzz or it is a wig or it is kinky chemo curls!
“I thought cancer made you lose weight?” was I just called fat and questioned if I am lying about my cancer?
You may have survived some not so well intended comments:
“Did you ever smoke?”
“Is it in your family”
“Keep a positive attitude that really helps!”
“My (some relative, friend or acquaintance) had the most dreadful cancer all through out their body, much worse than you, and three months later he/she was climbing Mount Everest” or some such nonsense!
“My (some relative, friend, acquaintance) had the same cancer as you and he/she has been cancer free for 30 years. You will be just fine I know it!”
“You have to think positive thoughts!”
“I will pray for you!”
Cancer survivors’ families also survive the well and not so well intended comments and advise.
“Are you affairs in order?”
“I’ve always admired…. (A possession like a ring or watch or piano)
“You will have to really stay on him/her about diet and exercise!”
“I think you should go for another opinion!”
“I’m not a doctor but I don’t think this course of treatment is right!”
“As soon as he/she is well enough, you should travel, downsize, move, buy a new car, etc., before it is too late!”
“Now is the time to get closer to God!”
To all the well intended and the not well intended, I say not today, not this week. To all cancer survivors I say celebrate!