Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is a Survivor?

I always, and will always, call my mother a survivor of Breast Cancer.  She survived!  She is a survivor.  However that is personal to me and I am not offended by other interpretations of labels.  I call myself a previvor for example although there is some resistance within the community that the term is offensive.  I find that any attitude that promotes competition among members of this community, whether the memeber a care-giver, previvor, patient, or survivor, only promotes mutiny.  Competing over who is more or less a survivor, or deserving of support only internally weakens the group.  We need to come together under the common characteristic of passion to prevent and find a cure for cancer.  And internal mutiny means cancer has won because the fosuc is then on labels and attention rather than research and education.  I try not to get to concerned over labels.  If you use them or not, I don't care.  

This article is a great article and I love the perspective.  I think calling yourself something, whether a care-giver, co-survivor, previvor or survivor is just another step in the journey.  There are steps many of us take, but sometimes we take them in different orders, or we skip them all together.  I think the "label" (whichever it might be) is just this kind of step.  Some people take it before other in their journey and some never take it at all.  And that's okay!  It doesn't change their memebership to the community.

Please take a moment to read: "Life, Interrupted: Am I a Cancer Survivor?" by SULEIKA JAOUAD

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