The word survivor conveys so much in the cancer world. Technically speaking, in our clinics, from the moment you are diagnosed with cancer, you are considered a survivor and we have a range of services to support patients. There are three main stages of survivorship,…
diagnoses, post treatment and generally five years post treatment. Sometimes patients don’t feel quite like survivors when they have months of treatment in front of them and frequently when they “graduate” from treatment they seek the security blanket of the cancer center and treatment team.
While the word survivor is incredibly empowering for some people, we also know that it totally rubs others the wrong way. What we hear is that cancer patients just want their lives back and want to go back to being “normal”. However, one of the secrets of being a cancer survivor is that there is no going back and that you have to create a “new normal”, even if it comes along with a little chemo brain and fatigue.
In my view, anyone who figures out how to achieve a “new normal” should wear the badge of survivor proudly!