May 29, 2015
Celebrate yourself during Survivorship Week
BY Amanda Swennes
At MD Anderson, we define cancer patients as cancer survivors on the day they're diagnosed. We consider family, caregivers and friends survivors, too. To celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 7, we're hosting a week of entertainment and educational activities to honor those who are living with, through and beyond cancer.
Join us June 1-7, 2015
Patients, survivors and caregivers can join myCancerConnection for a Day Away to a Houston Astros game or an evening with the Houston Grand Opera. We'll have daily OncWalks on the skybridge, two resource fairs, a Couples Coping with Cancer Together panel and several educational workshops on topics dedicated specifically to issues surrounding survivorship. You can even get a free massage. Special events are also happening at our locations in Katy, Sugar Land, Bay Area and The Woodlands.
How survivors benefit from Survivorship Week
Here's what previous participants had to say about Survivorship Week:
"I went to the Day Away at the Houston Astros baseball game last year and had a great time. I went by myself because my husband was out of town, so I wasn't sure how much fun it would be. But I ended up watching the game and talking with a wonderful breast cancer survivor and her delightful children.
For me, that's the fun of these events. I love meeting others who have their own MD Anderson experience to share. I always learn something, and, in this case, the lady I met was vibrant, had such a positive outlook on life (something that she says was a byproduct of her experience with breast cancer), and just a lovely person to get to know. I wish we'd stayed in touch!"
-- Rachel Cruz, melanoma survivor
"I told a class I taught at MD Anderson, 'You can't be a loving caregiver unless you first take care of yourself.' They made simple wooden bead bracelets as reminders of how important it is for them to stay anchored in positive self-care practices. I watched a caregiver make a bracelet first for her husband, a cancer survivor who sat reading a newspaper. When she finished the bracelet, she put it on his wrist. With watery eyes, he gave her a kiss, and then helped her make a bracelet for herself. As they started to leave, he came back and said to me, 'Thanks, I hadn't realized how much she'd lost herself in my care. When we finished her bracelet I saw and felt her old smile coming back.' "
--Bill Baun, prostate cancer survivor and leader of several sessions during this year's Survivorship Week, including two "Healing Bracelet" workshops
"The activities during Survivorship Week increase your ability to learn how to cope with life with cancer, even after you've gone through the acute treatment phase. I appreciated the resources, learning about ways to improve my health and, perhaps most importantly, made connections with other survivors."
-- Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., male breast cancer survivor and MD Anderson employee
Celebrate survivorship no matter where you are
Even if you're not in Houston, here are a few ways you can celebrate during Survivorship Week:
- Show your pride on social media. We encourage you to swap out your social media profile photo this week with our special lavender strikethrough C. Visit MD Anderson's Facebook page to get started.
- Volunteer for myCancerConnection. Share your wisdom through our one-on-one support program that matches survivors with patients and caregivers who have the same or similar diagnosis. Learn more.
TopicsSupport Survivorship Treatment
I love meeting others who have their own MD Anderson experience to share.