Who is a Cancer Survivor?
Did you know that someone is considered a “cancer survivor” from the moment they receive their diagnosis and that the designation remains with them for the rest of their life? Many cancer centers also consider patients’ family, friends, and caregivers to be cancer survivors.
They, too, are deeply affected by cancer and face a real battle supporting the individual patient and their immediate family while also dealing with their own emotions of sadness and worry.
If you are –
- a daily and direct caregiver
- a chemo-buddy
- a friend who shops
- cooks meals
- or drives the kids
- a friend who sends thoughtful gifts and cards
- or one who makes sure to text and call regularly
You, too, are a cancer survivor.
Cancer Survivors Share Ways to Celebrate Life
Celebrating cancer survivors is important. Why?
It is important because a cancer diagnosis can take serious physical and emotional tolls on everyone touched by this dreadful disease.
Finding ways to bring levity and appreciation into your lives can be an essential part of not just staying physically healthy but coping with grief and anxiety. Cancer survivors embody resilience and should be proud.
MD Anderson Cancer Center discussed with their Facebook community the topic of how cancer survivors celebrate life and self during their journeys. Here are some of the ways in which cancer survivors (Don’t forget this includes non-patients!) can celebrate life during cancer treatment and beyond:
- Stay involved and informed of your treatment and protocols. Be an active participant. It can help you feel more in control.
- Say a daily prayer or meditation to deepen or find your faith, affirm your strength, or express appreciation.
- Support other cancer patients and caregivers. You understand what they are going through, and your support can be critical to someone else.
- Learn something new. Finding a new hobby or taking a class about something you always wanted to learn about can take your mind off cancer and give you a much-needed dose of “me” time. Expanding your horizons can actually make you feel more hopeful about the future.
- Express gratitude toward the extended team of support in your lives. Thank the doctors and nurses, and others involved in the medical care. Tell your families and friends you appreciate them. Let those you lean on for support know how grateful you are to have them in your lives. Expressing gratitude does as much for the person showing it as it does for those on the receiving end.
- Go somewhere. It does not have to be far. You can drive to a destination by car or plan a dream vacation escape. Traveling tends to help people “escape” both physically and mentally. Traveling can also provide perspective and elicit feelings of gratitude and appreciation.
- Make every moment count and appreciate the little things. You can literally stop and smell the flowers. Be mindful of beauty in ordinary things like the visual landscape and sounds that surround you. Really listen closely to the music you love. If you can, savor the taste of your favorite food or consider how good it feels to take a deep breath of fresh air.
- Laugh. Find moments of joy or create them yourself. Laughing truly is one of the best medicines for anything that ails you. No matter how bad or sad you feel, try hard to find things to laugh about. Laughing is a proven way to ease stress and improve your mood.
- Let yourself relax. Treat your body to the relief it might need – have a spa day, take a nap, or grab a book and curl up in a lounge chair. Allow yourself to decompress physically and emotionally.
- Choose happiness. It might be hard some days but choose to smile, be positive, and encourage others to do the same.
Millions of people have cancer. Millions more are providing physical and emotional support to someone. All of these people are surviving cancer in their own ways.
Show a Cancer Survivor You Care
When a cancer survivor is getting treatments like chemo or radiation, sending a cancer gift box from Rock the Treatment is a great way to show your love and support.
If someone you love has cancer, send them a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.