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I hate the term "cancer survivor!"

lps954
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi - I'm new here; dxed with Stage 2 BC 2 1/2 years ago. Pretty easy ride. I hate the term "cancer survivor" and would like to start using another term. Cancer fighter; Cancer soldier; Cancer winner; Cancer victor; Cancer winner; Cancer standout - something - anything but survivor. What do you all think?

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

Maybe it looks different when you're told you're terminal, but "survivor" right now sounds pretty good. But I don't care what they call it, I just want to get there. ;-)

lps954
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2012

Yes indeed. My situation was very different. Thanks for sharing your perspective and stay strong!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

What it boils down to is whatever helps one get through this "party" called cancer is great.
I'm not a big fan of Survivor, Victim, Patient.
I'm a person with cancer but that works for me. I can see the appeal of Survivor because its a hell of a thing to go through and when you do get through it, it is a survival journey. I'm really not a fan of the word HATE. It's overused (IMO) and has lost its impact. "I hate brocolli", "I hate Mondays".
Too much hate in the world.
Just my opinion, I'm sure someone would like to press

:-)

z's picture
z
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

Did you know when you click on the hate button your sent to an expressions page with food on it. lol

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

That's weird!
It's not supposed to do anything.

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I sounded a little cranky...sorry about that. You make a good point!

quadgrandma8's picture
quadgrandma8
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2011

I think you make a good point! The word terminal changes things---and maybe makes a person want to fight harder and yes "Survive"

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Someone here once said "you haven't survived cancer until you die from something else".
I've always liked that way of looking at it.
I've been "Living with cancer" for over eight years. What's in a name?
I tend to not really care about labels but I can understand your point...
-p

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

keep looking for the "like" button as though this is facebook!

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I'm okay with survivor. Maybe it's the military in me..., or maybe it's because of our friends that didn't survive; I'd like to think that they are rooting for more survivors! God Bless!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

z's picture
z
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

The like button takes you to the same place as the hate button.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

When I post in the wrong spot!

quadgrandma8's picture
quadgrandma8
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2011

You are funny!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Oh, I've used cancer warrior, cancer fighter...after 8-years of this, I'm now a Cancer General in the War Against Cancer:)

"Survivor" does not connotate the image of a 4-letter word to me...as time has passed, I now embrace the term and understand that everyday that I get up, that is exactly what I am. I'm a "Cancer Fighter/Cancer Survivor."

I'm an 8-year survivor, which is already about 5-years more than what they gave me...I see it as an honorary badge that I wear on the inside that I look to draw strength from when I need to. It is a notable accomplishment in my life and it bears no negative stigma or stereotype for me.

I don't hide from it - I revel in it.

It just signifies to me that I've been able to do something that I thought I would never see. So I appreciate it what it took to get this far - and the high price that I have paid along the way. I've had cancer 3x in 8-years and have walked away 3x so far.

I'm also an F3 Tornado Survivor - having walked about from a devastating twister that turned many lives on their axis that evening.

And I guess when I add up those two events - that would also make me a Life Survivor.

Survivor is a good thing after all - "Outwit, Outlast, Outplay."

Take care.

-Craig

quadgrandma8's picture
quadgrandma8
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2011

there really does need to be a "like" button on this website

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Just my opinion but I dont think anything associated w/my cancer diagnosis in 08-Stage I and now Stage IV has been an easy ride. I have often thought about what it means to different people in our disease community. Maybe it pushes us to be vigilant and knowledgeable about our disease to get us through each test, treatment and uncertainty we can feel at different stages of our journey.
Now that's a term I am not sure I like......journey?
Anyone else have new names for our battle or fighting for hope and the best cancer wellness we can be?
We are all winners being able to endure this sneaky, unpredictable disease!
Prayers and good health to all.
Barb

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

That often fits. There are certainly ups and downs and twists and turns.... NOT FUN fits pretty well too.
I like journey because that's what it's been for me. Highs and lows, good times and bad times, and it's been lengthy.

It really is unique to us all isn't it? Some terms are offensive (in a way) while the same term gives other people strength.
Strange isn't it? Like cancer treatments, there's no one size fits all in treatments or how we view ourselves.
Most of us feel VERY strongly about it too don't we?

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Yes.

lps954
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2012

I've used "adventure" to describe this thing. It's amazing when you tell people that you've had cancer, their voice and body language both sort of slump into a - "oh I'm sorry." And I want to tell them that for me it was not terrible. It was a medical emergency that had to be dealt with. Some days are harder than others, sure - and I was grateful every step of the way to be in the best medical hands and to be able to have some say in how I was - and wasn't treated. I'd had dreams for a period of time and my first thought upon awakening was "cancer." When I saw "it" on the digital mammogram, I knew right away that I had it - and the horror and fear that used to well up inside me seeing pink ribbons - simply didn't appear. I went to work asking questions, researching, finding the best care when a few doctors proved to me that I didn't want what they had. Today, yes - I call myself "a breast cancer survivor" but I wish there was a better, more uplifting - that's it - another more inspiring term to describe our strength, our hope, our courage and yes - our aliveness!

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Interesting. There are definitely some terms I like better than others. I tend to say I am "living with cancer". Also, I'm not sure I have ever said "I have cancer" -- instead, I say "I was diagnosed with cancer". Just a different mind-set, I guess.

Tara

lps954
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2012

Bingo. That's it. That pretty much says it all. Thanks.

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

I definitely like BEING a survivor of cancer, but like Tara, if it somehow comes up in a conversation I too will say I was treated for cancer.

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

I've heard that people also get annoyed by the term "battle," especially if someone passed on because of the disease....like in an obit that states that a loved one lost his or her battle with cancer. For some, it sounds like if they didn't "fight" hard enough.

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

How do you know when you "survived" it? 5, 10, 20 yrs till you die of another cause?

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3366
Joined: Jan 2010

I consider having survived everyday I am still on this earth and not in it.

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am ok with survivor. That is what I tell people that I am a cancer survivor. Every day I get out of bed I am a survivor of cancer. It is my way of slapping cancer in the face.

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

I like survivor, it took me a while until I felt like one. I often wondered when I first started the cancer journey, when do you become a survivor? For me it was not the 1st day of diagnosis, but rather getting to that 1st 3 month checkup and being told I was still fine. I feel like I had to earn survivor and I am fine with that, it feels pretty damn good.

lps954
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2012

I have them now - I am a cancer champion or I am a cancer victor or I won against cancer or heck - I'm happy to be alive after dancing with cancer. Hmmmmm - cancer dancer. Interesting. Guess I will use lots of terms to express where I've been and more importantly - who I am today!

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I hate the term, but only because it has the word "cancer", which well, is a whole story in itself. But I am a survivor...so far. And survivor fits, I survived being told I had cancer without having a heart attack at the fear of the word. I survived being divorced so that my ex wouldn't lose everything he worked so hard for in his life, I'm surviving his alcoholism, (well so far, it's crying time again, 1:00 pm and he's out of it on a daily basis, I spend a lot of time picking him up off the ground where ever he lands, and it ain't easy), I've survived surgery that I thought would kill me. So, yeah, to heck with it, I'll take survivor, because so far, that's what I've been doing, surviving, with a little bit of living tossed in (grandchildren, school, children) so I'll take what I can get and be happy for the sunshine tossing a kiss on my face every morning, or even the sound of rain pounding on the roof, all letting me know I made it another day.
Winter Marie

Vickilg's picture
Vickilg
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

Fighting cancer is one of the hardest things to do in the world. You are taking hits from the fear, the disease, the side effects, the surgeries. No other word for me quite says it like survivor because this is a war, a battle... I have the scars to prove it.

I AM A SURVIVOR and very proud of it.

Definition of SURVIVE
intransitive verb
1: to remain alive or in existence : live on
2: to continue to function or prosper

abackhou
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2012

I am just a normal human being who happens to have a terminal illness and doing the best to make the most of my limited life.

Cheers Andrew

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I do not mind the term survivor at all. The term that I dislike is The big C.

Now this is just a personal dislike....no reflection on anyone else here. to me the BIG C sounds more powerful than saying the word cancer. It feels coy to me as if my friend could not say....soooooo she has cancer.....
but I also believe in the power some words have. When my daughter was small I would deliberately slip in a four letter word now and then....just to demystify them and take away their potential power to shock.

just sayin

maggie

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

We all have limited time here, cancer or no cancer.
Life is terminal...we should make the best of it for sure!
-p

danker
Posts: 1281
Joined: Apr 2012

All people have a terminal illness. It is called life! We survivors prove cancer is not a death sentence. Yea make the most of whatever time we have before going to heaven!!!

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

I too do not like "survior". I am at chem 5 of 12 for stage 3 colon cancer, had the surgery in Jan. I am truely blessed that I had no mets. My pet-peeve is I do not capitalize the word cancer. I feel if it is capital it is given more strenth. I know I am stronger. I know it is a tiny thing but it really bothers me.
You'll find what you like and use it - it continues to give you strenth.
It's nice to see other csn people have the same pet-peeves I do. Thought I was the only one.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

And that's a survivor. Sure I survived stage3c cancer but since then I have survived lots of serious illnes all of which tried to kill me.At 14 years I am happy to embrace the term survivor or at least what's left of me is. Ron.

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

ACS considers you a survivor from the day you are diagnosed..

Survivor makes be feel like I should be consided cured.. but that is not true and in reality may never be the case for many.

I was recently going thru a friends site and she had hodgkins lymphoma and they have an organization that calls their survivors Warriors,,

I have adopted Warrior,,, I feel like I am constant at war.. so Warrior is fitting,,

We are Warriors.. Hear us Roar!!!

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