Not all survivors are comfortable with the term “survivor”. Dan R. discusses his interpretation of the term and how it might apply to him.
“The term survivor is a fair term when it’s applied to the right situation.”
“It can be a life or death situation for the vast majority of people who are going through treatment, it can be physically debilitating to go through it, it can be emotionally draining. And can last years and it takes a huge toll on people’s families. It’s shades of grey and in my case. Having to go through treatment for two months when I knew there was an extremely low probability that I would have lasting effects. It doesn’t fall in the definition that I apply to myself. But the courage and strength that I see other people having to show, and to get through the situations that other people have faced. That absolutely give them the right to take the term survivorship. Maybe that’s why I struggle so much with applying it to myself. Because I really do see a distinction between those types of experiences.
When I was going through treatment and shortly after I finished treatment things were very raw. I think it helped my family to recognize me as a survivor and to celebrate the fact that I was over that hump. Even though my personal experience had been different, I wasn’t so concerned, and I didn’t associate with the term survivor but to a certain extent I embraced it. I embraced it because I recognized that the journey of going through cancer treatment was a journey that I didn’t go through alone. To share this journey with those around me. It was important for them to associate me being a survivor. It was also important with being able to let go of some of the concerns that they felt for me. For my health and wellbeing going forward.”