Who is a cancer survivor? The American Cancer Society defines a survivor "as any person with cancer from the time of diagnosis on."
Today we celebrate three of our bloggers who have taught us what it means to be a cancer survivor.
Life after cancer: The evidence of my disease
By Megan Silianoff
At the conclusion of my most recent CT scan, my doctor sat across from me and happily told me I had "no evidence of disease." It was news that millions of cancer patients dream of hearing. Yet for some reason, I didn't feel the overwhelming satisfaction you'd imagine.
I was happy, sure. But I didn't pop any champagne nor did I high-five anyone on my way out of the hospital. (Though I did buy myself a Snickers bar and tip the valet guy an extra dollar.)
I love that phrase, though, "no evidence of disease," and have given it a lot of thought since my doctor used it. I've decided it's just not true.
What's important to recognize is that I have lost a part of myself and with loss comes grief.
There's a generally accepted model for grief that includes five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not necessarily chronological or complete. But, understanding this loss/grief model helps me cope and move forward in this transition.
The transition has been difficult. It's a work in progress, which has taken place during six years and is still evolving.