• What does it mean to be a survivor? What are the benefits we reap? (Besides the obvious) We all have "I am a survivor moments".

    Asked by GregP_WN on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    What does it mean to be a survivor? What are the benefits we reap? (Besides the obvious) We all have "I am a survivor moments".

    That means all of a sudden it will hit you when you are outside in the sunshine, petting your dog, or sitting on the couch with your love, that you have made it, you are a survivor!

    This is from a friend of mine who beat head and neck cancer, only to have a stroke later, and now is back home enjoying being a survivor. As cancer survivors, we take these little moments in and savor them. Lots of people take them for granted.

    "After several months and many weeks in clinics and hospitals, I’m on my end of the loveseat and my lovely wife is on the end of the couch, legs stretched out on the ottoman playing footsie!! , tv on, reading, ahhhhh, prayers work, cold sweet tea next to me!"

    Have you had an "I am a survivor moment"?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      There isn't just one survivor moment; there are many. Many are pleasant but some are not. There are survivor guilt moments when I friend passes away and you ask the question "Why me?" Then you resolve to live your life to honor that person. One survivor moment came in September of 16 I went to the ER with an obstructed bowel. I reacted badly to treatment and had to have surgery. It was sort of touch and go. On the way home my son asked "Well mom, you dodged the bullet. Was it worth it?" As and answer, I asked him "How go the polls" At that time Hillary had a substantial lead. So I said yes. Then came November 9. I have canceled my cable. I get local news on the internet. However, sometimes news stories pop-up on my screen that make me doubt my survival.
      That being said every day I strive to be a better person. Today I am striving to be there for my friend who is terminal,
      Also I have a new feline friend. She is only 4 years old. Kitties can live to be 20 years old, I want to survive to take care of her,

      9 months ago
    • WoodsRLovely's Avatar

      I think being a survivor offers you a unique perspective and a chance to help others. When I was diagnosed last year, I truly understood what it meant to be a "patient" for the first time - and how important it is to keep your sense of self and humanity. And for the first time, I also experienced true fear of what was to come - chemo, surgery, stem cell transplant. I am still undergoing treatment and stem cell is in a month - but that fear has dissipated. Today I just take it one day at a time and try to have fun while I can. When people ask me what I need - I just tell them, make me laugh. I try to stay focused - loving the little things like taking my son to the movies or walking my dog. How does this help others? I think with this type of experience, strange as it is, you become wiser - so that when family and friends need your help (whether they become sick, or sad or whatever) you can be a comfort to them having known some hard times yourself. A friend of mine was just told she might have breast cancer and needs a biopsy and she was quite upset naturally, but I felt like I was in a good position to offer her guidance. And when I say guidance - I do not mean the "it will be okay - you are strong" type of statement - but rather real-life experience and "next steps." In addition, we can bring our experience to others - last month I spoke about my treatments and how to handle some of the side effects to a group of 150 women for a Women and Cancer forum. I think a lot people know about "cancer and chemo" but many are not really sure how it actually " feels" so I tried to offer some perspective and comfort. I think being a survivor is a great responsibility and I have to say, while cancer and treatments are certainly awful - the wisdom and ability to help others is awesome! So that part - and only that part - I gravitate to...and tell my tale to as many people as possible...

      9 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Mine I remember was holding my newborn granddaughter three years after DX. Life goes on. Looking in her little face, thanking God that I had made it through to see this little miracle who is such joy. That is my best survivor moment. And that in June we will be blessed again with another granddaughter. Another survivor moment on the way.

      9 months ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      In a way, I've had "survivor moments" for most of my life. A car accident when I was 7 left me in critical condition for 2 weeks and in the hospital for 10 weeks. Cancer survivorship is one layer of several.

      When I was diagnosed and all through treatment I called cancer a "perilous adventure." I tried to learn as much as I could and then blogged what I learned and experienced in case others found it useful (got feedback that they did). Volunteering at my radiation center and attending last month's survivorship symposium is part of that. I write about the symposium here:

      Otherwise, most of the way I live is defined by my caregiving. That and the "collateral damage" from treatment, along with plain old aging, has called for repeated adjustments. Survivor moments don't register with me as strongly as moments of respite do. My focus these past 16 months has also turned toward revived political activism and I do what I can there. Underlying all is the daily question, "How can I best use this day?"

      9 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I'll be doing something that I sort of take for granted - out with friends, running my dogs (haven't been able to do that since radiation, but working on getting back to it), just enjoying a quiet moment ... and it will hit me ... "you have late-stage cancer and you're not even supposed to be here ... and look at you, still here, still laughing, still having a great time, not even thinking about cancer at all!"

      When I was first diagnosed, every little thing touched me deeply, but I have to admit that after 5 years, I am back to taking things for granted even though I still go for treatments every 2 weeks (which SHOULD keep the fact that I have cancer real to me but doesn't).

      9 months ago
    • merpreb's Avatar

      There are a multitude of benefits. The benefits that I have felt over my 20+ years are many. I am both physically and mentally stronger. I am more self- assured and nicer and wiser. I am a better person. I care more about things that matter. I also have felt a strong sense of responsibility to counsel others and to advocate for better treatments, research and money. I am most proud of my blog as it shares real emotions during my lung cancer journey for over 20 years.

      9 months ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar

      I don't know how to answer this one after being a survivor There has to be a purpose,but I'm not sure of what it could be.I've only been told that I'm strong, by others.And a couple told me that no one could have survived what I've survived.

      9 months ago
    • cards7up's Avatar

      Being a survivor has helped me to help others and this is what I enjoy doing. Each day I wake up, I'm thankful. I'm a two time LC survivor and this year is my five year mark. I won't feel I've beat cancer, but will enjoy each day I don't have it!!!

      9 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I do sometimes feel very grateful that I'm still alive and doing well (from what I know), almost 19 years after my breast cancer diagnosis and treatments. For my survival I credit the excellent care I got at MSKCC. I was so lucky that I lived only a short subway ride away from one of the best cancer hospitals in the country - and that they accepted my health insurance.

      And that brings me to something I don't like about MSKCC: They do not accept many (most?) health insurance plans, from what I know. This angers me.

      9 months ago
    • SandiA's Avatar

      Just had one yesterday. I recently joined a chronic illness group with my church. One of our members invited us over for lunch and to play with her baby goats. I was sitting in the sun in her back yard holding a baby goat thinking this feels good. 4 years ago I thought I would not have moments like this. Really it is just the simple little things that make me so happy now. Of course baby goats can make anyone happy. Haha!

      9 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      SandiA, I so agree, though I've never held a baby goat.

      9 months ago
    • lh25's Avatar

      Now I want to hold a baby goat SandiA!

      We are getting ready to go on a cruise in April to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, and 2 years since my diagnosis. So one of my moments is being here and able to go on this trip!

      9 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Donna, her Sister, and I had an afternoon that was a "survivor moment" yesterday. Our great Niece is here staying with my Sister-in-law/secretary. She is 4 and we had a fire down at our creek and cooked hot dogs and made smores. Take it in, breath it in, times like these are limited in quantity!

      My dad has always had goats, I grew up hearding them, shearing the long-haired ones, and chasing the ones that got out. That was most of them!

      9 months ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      I've been told I'm a survivor from the moment I was diagnosed until the moment the disease kills me.
      I haven't had any big survivor moments. I mostly just try to guess how much time I have because my doctor wants me to guess, and I try to appreciate seeing my husband and kids.

      I try to visualize getting in a study and getting a cure and being able to have my own home again on a little bit of land with chickens and a garden, with time and room for my kids to enjoy life and get to know me as a well person.

      9 months ago

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