On the first Sunday in June each year, cancer survivors around the world unite to show the world how life after cancer looks!
June 5 marks the 29th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) which provides survivors a wonderful opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones, and recognize family and friends for their support.
I was diagnosed with melanoma just a few months before Alan passed away from mesothelioma. Who ever wants to hear that awful 5 letter word—cancer! I have to confess, I was terrified, but cancer has changed my life for the better. My top five cancer life lessons are below. And YES, I feel great about kicking the $*#! out of cancer!
A cancer survivor is defined as “anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the balance of his or her life.” As the NCSD Foundation stated, “There are nearly 14.5 million people living with and beyond cancer in the U.S. today, and more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide.” With the advancement of research and technology, patients are living longer and better lives. Studies indicate that fewer cancer patients are succumbing to their diagnoses, thanks to early detection and cancer prevention techniques.
National Cancer Survivors Day aims to remind people that “life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring.” One of the most rewarding parts about connecting with a community of cancer survivors is sharing the ways in which we make this happen for ourselves. To honor this special day, ADAO is be sharing stories of mesothelioma victims who have become the definition of inspiration through their response to being diagnosed with cancer, like comedian Quincy Jones and real-life Wonder Woman Janelle Bedel.
My top five cancer life lessons are:
- Believe in yourself: Hope and trust are very powerful.”
- Live life without regrets: “Live your life, not your cancer.”
- Help others: As Maya Angelou said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
- Let people into your life: Family and friends want to give, help, share, and listen.
- Embrace gratitude: Each day is a gift. Live in the moment; find your joy.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross beautifully wrote: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Join the conversation with other cancer survivors on Twitter with #NCSD2016.
Enjoy your day and make memories to last a lifetime.