Talking about survivorship is a good thing – it means not everyone is dying from cancer; talking about survivorship allows us to talk about how people are living.

Survivorship issues depend a lot on what stage the cancer is at when it’s discovered. In 1987 I felt as if my body had given itself up to cancer, and I had to figure out a whole new way to live; I was convinced I would die if I didn’t change the “soup” or the “terrain” of my body.

Unfortunately we all know people who appear to do everything right and still die of cancer; there are no easy answers and there is no single answer. Cancer works in mysterious ways and it’s no wonder there’s so much fear surrounding the big “C”. I believe this fear is a huge part of the problem. When I was living in fear, I felt helpless and hopeless; the emotional roller coaster flung me around on a 24/7 basis, and my brain was too paralyzed to make sense of what was happening.

My health didn’t improve until I allowed other people to help me focus on the present moment. I began to accept the idea that the past was over, nothing could be changed, and not to think about the future because it was too scary. Focusing on the present day seemed to be all that I could cope with, but that felt good once I got used to it.

Working on one day at a time, my health became my number one priority and the fear of cancer diminished. My survivorship skills have kept me well, and those single days have added up to 22 years post cancer now.

I believe there must be a way to beat cancer; we can each do our part if we put good health high on our list of priorities. We can make smart choices about nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management which will help us to reach our best possible state of wellness.

If we all stand up to cancer we can win!


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