Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Cancerversary to ME!

Yikes! it's been nearly a month since I have posted anything! This is a busy time of year for me, but things will be slowing back down again soon, I hope. I've made most of my posts on here running-related, but this weekend marks a milestone for me, so I am going in a different direction with this one.

What annual event is possibly more meaningful than a birthday, wedding anniversary, or holiday? Ask a cancer survivor, and they'll probably tell you that their cancerversary is at the top of their list of days to celebrate. So what is a cancerversary? While I am annoyed that as I write this, 'cancerversary' is underlined with a red squiggly line, Urban Dictionary does recognize the term, and suggests it is "a reason for a really, really big party." A cancerversary is a day a survivor celebrates the fact that they are still alive. Some survivors I know celebrate their cancerversary as the day they were diagnosed, or the last day of chemo, others commemorate the date of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, I think that it is important to commemorate the milestone of continuing to live after a cancer diagnosis. This weekend will mark my fourth cancerversary- I mark mine with the date I was diagnosed. I celebrate this specific day for two reasons- first, I believe every day is mine to enjoy. Although I think about cancer everyday, it isn't going to ruin any days for me. However, on the day I was diagnosed, cancer ruined my day. Celebrating that day is like taking it back. Instead of being the worst day of my life, it's a celebration. Because I say it is. The other reason to celebrate this day is because each year means I am 365 days closer to the magical five-year mark, which is the irrelevant point at which my doctors will finally say that it is unlikely my cancer will recur, so that means next year will be reason to have a really, really, really big party. Watch out.

So on the eve of my cancerversary- the thought of which makes me as excited as I used to get the night before Christmas- I am filled with a sense of pride, because I have not only survived, I have learned to live beyond the words and stigma that come with hearing the words "You have cancer."

So if you are a survivor, throw yourself a really big party. Pick a day and celebrate. If you know someone who isn't celebrating their cancerversary, tell them they should start. Hopefully, they'll invite you to their really, really big party.

Hope.Love.Run (x4)

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