10 ways to celebrate life during and after cancer treatment
Laura Nathan-Garner and Katie Brooks
Did you know that a person is considered a cancer survivor from the day they’re diagnosed throughout his or her life? Here at MD Anderson, we consider family, caregivers and friends survivors, too. That’s why we host Survivorship Week, a week of entertainment and educational activities to celebrate those who are living with, through and beyond cancer.
Survivorship Week kicks off on National Cancer Survivors Day, which is Sunday, June 3, and runs through Saturday, June 9.
But you don’t have to be here at MD Anderson to enjoy yourself. And you certainly shouldn’t limit your celebrations to just a week. Each day is a day to celebrate you and your resilience. We recently asked our Facebook community how they celebrate life during and after cancer treatment. Here’s what they had to say.
Make every day count and appreciate the little things. Enjoy life like you never did before. Take time to engage your senses – smell the flowers, enjoy the flavors of your food if you’re able and take deep breaths.
Say a daily prayer and deepen your faith.
Show gratitude toward your support system. Thank everyone – your doctors, nurses, PAs and everyone else involved in your care, as well as your family and friends. An attitude of gratitude will make you feel even better. Be grateful for time with friends and family and tell them you love them.
Support other cancer patients and caregivers. After all, you understand what they’re going through, so offer help, listen and encourage other cancer patients and caregivers. Become a volunteer with myCancerConnection, MD Anderson’s one-on-one cancer support community of trained patients, survivors and caregivers who have been there. You’ll be matched with other patients and caregivers based with the same or similar disease, type of treatment and experience.
Stay involved and informed with your treatment. You’ll feel like you’re more in control.
Travel. Whether you travel a couple of hours by car or take your dream vacation, seeing new places can give you a mental escape and help keep things in perspective as you see new places.
Embrace joy, love and laughter. No matter how bad you feel, laughter and a zest for life can go a long way in lifting your spirits and easing stress.
Learn something new. Whether you take classes or just find a new hobby, learning something new can help take your mind off cancer and expand your mind.
Take time to relax. Get a massage or pedicure, read a book, take naps and let your body recover.
Choose to be positive. A smile and hope can go a long way.