Celebrating life during Survivorship Week and year-round
During Survivorship Week, June 5-11, MD Anderson is hosting entertainment and educational activities to honor those who are living with cancer, through cancer and beyond cancer.
While we plan fun activities in honor of Survivorship Week each June, it’s important to celebrate life all year. Whether you’re celebrating the little victories or spending more time with family and friends doing things that make you happy, there are ways to make each day special.
Here’s what helps some of our patients and caregivers live life to the fullest each day.
“Live big and love big. Look for the joys amongst the sadness. While caring for my terminally ill daughter Caroline, I watched how she pushed through each day with such determination, zest for life and love for God. Little did I realize at the time, she was preparing me for a life without her. Caroline’s fighting spirit, limitless kindness, passion for making others happy and immense love for life carries me though each day on this earth until we are reunited.” --Lauren Richards, caregiver
“Do something active that you couldn't do during treatment. Celebrate being able to do these things again. It puts a smile on my face every time I go sailing or hiking. I also like spending time visiting others who are going through cancer treatment. Show up with a basket of goods -- tea, lotion, a soft blanket, a funny book, a playlist or CD of relaxing music -- that might help them feel better physically or emotionally. It may be as simple as just offering a listening ear. Remember what helped you and pay it forward.” --Ivanna Kern, survivor
“Having a positive attitude makes such a huge difference. My doctors, care team and family all helped me stay positive during my treatment, and that’s something I continue today. I’m grateful for each day. I’m thankful I’m alive and that I got to walk both of my daughters down the aisle and now I’m very thankful to spend time with my two wonderful grandchildren.” --Gary Bentz, survivor
“I decided early on to make the best of a bad situation. After I was diagnosed, I started a blog that helped keep all my friends and family informed and was an emotional outlet. I decided that I would use my recovery period to learn how to knit, crochet, bake bread and cook. Now I am finishing my graduate degree. Having all of these projects helped keep my mind moving forward so I wouldn’t dwell on the negatives.” --Elle Crofton, survivor
“I focus on mindfulness, or living in the present moment, making peace with my imperfections, embracing my vulnerability, and being grateful for the moments I have. Mindfulness spreads an inside joy smile even on those days I feel like I am too weak to be happy. It ensures I celebrate life every day with those I love and myself.” --Bill Baun, survivor
“We must live life to the fullest for our loved ones who have gone before us. I see the joy in my granddaughter's eyes and wish my late husband Tom could see her. But he does. He has a better view than the rest of us.” --Judy Overton, caregiver