Jul 28, 2012 - 1:37 am
I don't want the designation of "Cancer Survivor". I've survived MUCH worse and yes, there are some things that are MUCH worse than a cancer diagnosis (think Holocaust for one).
As I come to the end of my first, initial and hopefully only round of treatment for lung cancer, I'm seeking suggestions on how to respond to those who want to refer to me as a "Cancer Survivor"; to those who want to give me a new "Birthday"; and to those who want to treat me as a 'hero' of some sort. To those who want to forever 'brand' me with my former illness.
I had a disease; I treated it; I was successful(hopefully) in overcoming it. Yes, it may (and probably will) come back, but until it does, it doesn't define who I am and it won't govern how I live my life.
I have 4 days of radiation left from this first/initial cycle and then 4 weeks of agonizing wait for re-assessment. I was actually quite fortunate in that I was able to continue working the last 7 weeks while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy with only 10% of my co-workers knowing what was going on - and that only because I told them. I was extremely fortunate that I suffered NO side effects from chemo and only minimal from radiation.
Any and all suggestions gratefully welcome.