my cancer survivor friends

I’ve never felt like a cancer survivor. Maybe it’s because I never underwent chemotherapy or radiation. Anyone who hasn’t earned her stripes with those heavy hitters, I figure, can’t really count, right? You almost don’t feel you deserve the title if you haven ‘t endured the triumvirate of nausea, exhaustion, and new hairstyle.

Or, I think, it’s because I still don’t quite believe it happened. See, I knew the chance of kidney disease eventually getting me was pretty positive (100 percent), and the fact that all of my dad’s side died of emphysema offered pretty good chances on that front as well, though I have failed miserably at the smoking like a chimney thing they all did so well. With those champions vying to bump me off early, who even considered cancer as a contender?

Honestly, when the doctor told me after surgery ten years ago that she had found thyroid cancer, my first reaction was more of surprise than fear. It was like having some lady jump in front of you in the deli line at the grocery store–I just looked at it and politely said, “Excuse me, I think this other thing was in line first to get me. You cut.”

Regardless of whether or not I feel like a survivor, I am a ten-year cancer survivor, and Sunday was Cancer Survivor Day. If you are one as well, God bless you. You’ve fought hard, and I know you’re grateful for every one of your days. I know a number of you, and you are blessings in my life. May others be a blessing to you today, and please, tell us your story if you wish.

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