So this is a word that i have massively and continue to struggle with, survivor to me has always been someone that has overcome something or beaten something… so i struggled with seeing myself as a survivor now (something that really frustrates some). I haven’t beaten anything, in fact i may never win so how can i be a survivor? However i have come to appreciate the word with a very different out look and meaning and explored many definitions of what the word is…
A person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.
A person who is able to continue living their life successfully despite experiencing difficulties:
To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere
A person who perseveres despite hardship or danger.
The whole debate came up when Kate asked me to attend Relay for life as a survivor and i shot her down. I think this is when she realised how stubborn i can be and I’m sure Bridgeman agrees. Part of me didn’t wan to be a fraud, plenty of people have fought this battle and for me i was only a month into this crazy journey, i hadn’t survived anything. To me at this stage surviving meant:
Beating the prognosis time
Being able to operate
Biggest one: beating it
So i promised Kate that i would go at least for a bit, a big part of this change for me was being able to share my story and see the reaction of other peoples views to such a powerful word!! For that i cant thank Kate enough for supporting me to have the confidence to open up about the experience, share and view things a little differently.
I’m glad my opinion has changed. Surviving isn’t about competing or winning its about being presented with something terrible, awful and life changing and still living. And by that i don’t mean just breathing, i mean really living and showing that no matter what, through this I’m going to live my life how i want (just maybe with extra planning and a lot more medical trips) but not stopping living and enjoying life and all the amazing things i can achieve, experience and feel!!
Really everyone should consider themselves a survivor, we all go through hardships in our lives and we grow and continue to live life to the fullest… something i will never stop diong!! I don’t want to be surviving, i want to be LIVING!!!
People may have differing opinions to me on this topic (all views are welcome), I have always found labels hard and maybe that is where i struggle with this term, yes i am surviving, yes i have cancer but i also have amazing family and friends, love football, love my job and love to travel but not one of these things can define me. Im ME!!!