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Cancer Survivorship. The very phrase stirs mixed emotions for so many, equally positive and negative; and, just like a cancer diagnosis itself, the reaction to the word “survivorship” is as varied and unique as each individual’s perspective.   From victim to victorious the word itself can be a dichotomy.  So I thought it would be interesting to look up survivor on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Cancer survivorship) it tells me that “a cancer survivor is a person with cancer of any type who is still living. Whether a person becomes a survivor at the time of diagnosis or after completing treatment, whether people who are actively dying are considered survivors, and whether healthy friends and family members of the cancer patient are also considered survivors, varies from group to group. Some people who have been diagnosed with cancer reject the term survivor or disagree with some definitions of it.”  Then, when I check out The Princess Margaret Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Program it refers to being a part of PMH's ongoing commitment to excellent patient-centered care for both patients and their families. It says that survivorship is about living, surviving and having the best quality of life possible and that their Survivorship Program provides individuals with courage, confidence and control with, through and beyond the cancer experience.  I like that definition a lot. 

I’ve always been proud to call myself a survivor.  Years ago while in hospital for my cancer treatment I asked my nurse, Leslee Thompson, how long it would be for me to be a survivor.  When she told me that I was a survivor from the day I was diagnosed, I felt empowered and that I was already standing up to cancer and facing it head on.  I understand other people’s reactions to the word as I have heard and discussed it with countless others.  I’d love to hear what you think.  And, for the record, I am officially changing the word Survivor to SurThrivor as of this very minute!  What do you think of that??

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Member since
Sep 14, 2010

As a long-term ovarian cancer survivor, I am thrilled that cancer that once threatened my life is gone from my body.  Even now, two decades after my diagnosis, I am reminded daily of the impact of cancer on my life.  I know without a doubt, that because of the positive support I received, my spirit rallied to see me through the most challenging of times.  As the Executive Director of the CCTFA Foundation, I couldn’t be more proud of the opportunity to support women with cancer through Look Good Feel Better and Facing Cancer Together.

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