health: National Cancer Survivors Day
I’m not normally one for arbitrary holidays-that-aren’t-holidays, but I suppose I can get behind this one. I recently got a card in the mail from the hospital about National Cancer Survivors Day and an event they’re holding. Honestly, the event didn’t sound all that fun to me, but it made me look up NCSD to see if it was a real thing or not:
It is a day for everyone, whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional. This day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer – including America’s more than 14 million cancer survivors – to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
I still feel weird using the word survivor–though I suppose it’s better than sufferer? This past May 1st was five years since I was diagnosed. My first round of radiation therapy ended June 24, 2010, my second round of radiation therapy ended on August 30, 2013 with the added “fun” of the chemotherapy ending on October 7, 2013. I officially have too many cancer-versaries.1 And even though there’s always the lingering thought that it might return, I still have a lot of reasons to celebrate. Hell, as my instagram feed can attest, most of the time I celebrate–via the medium of food and booze–just because I can. I still have ongoing fatigue, sometimes physical, sometimes probably mental/psychosomatic, either way it makes me cranky and impatient and not really wanting to deal with the world at large. But I’m not the type of introvert that likes building a nest and staying at home, so I go out anyway, usually to predictable results.2 I still have horrible mood swings and my mouth (and also my pride) has gotten me in hot water more than once. Yay!
And even with all the crap I’ve been through, I still have friends being diagnosed with and treated for various types of cancer. Thankfully, people come through it all right and prognoses are good, but it’s still ridiculously fucked up. We’re all survivors though, and as weird as this periodic reflection is, it still feels kinda good to think that I’m still here, they’re still here.
So I guess I can enjoy a corporate-sponsored day reflecting that, have some brunch, have some drinks… then perhaps have some more drinks. Hell, even take Monday off and then proceed to get hammered.
…or not, we’ll just see, won’t we? But mostly I’ll raise a glass to another year of health and the perpetual hope that the last time was the last time. Because, quite sincerely, fuck cancer. 🙄
1 Thank goodness for social media. I just had to crawl through various sources to get all those dates right. I really should add them to a calendar.
2 People suck and are awful, etc.