June 3, 2017 - Today is the Day
I didn't know there was such a day, but today is it. I don't love that survivor term, so I don't have much desire to celebrate it. But my friend, Terri enlightened me. We met up for an event on Friday.
Healing Through Art
Meeting at the Hosptial
We slapped on our name tags and Terri turned to greet me, with only a hint of smile. "Hi, my name is Survivor." We sat at a round table and introduced ourselves to 2 others, before using our gift pens to write our real names.
I sobered myself by studying the table decoration. A paint can with flowers and paint brushes. That was cute.
Speakers, Food and Lots of Celebration
Was this emotionally hard for some? Embarrassing? No one looked ill or new to cancer. Where were the people with chemo curls, like mine? Am I not really a survivor yet? It's only been a year since diagnosis. But we were told, you are a survivor the day you're diagnosed. Whatever. This survivor label is odd and I don't quite want to be in this club.
Am I a Cancer Snob? I sound like it. But really, I'm just uncomfortable. The term survivor sounds like I've fought a huge battle and survived. My battle was small compared to most. Yes, I'm worthy to be in the club with those who fought harder than me. But the survivor group is a huge one that I'm supposed to feel bonded with. I've always had a hard time cheering with a group of people I don't know well. Whether it's in a church or a concert arena, I feel silly throwing my hands up along with the crowds. I just don't know if I'm comfortable in this Club of Survivors.
After the 2-hour program we were invited to take Survivor photos with the frame. They also wanted a group photo of all the survivors. Terri and I were close to sneaking out the door. It felt like we were the bad Girl Scouts... too cool for school. But we headed over and stood up tall and smiled through the big white frame. I'm glad to have a picture of me with my buddy, who paved the way in this breast cancer thing. We clicked years ago, before cancer. We connected through art programs and now we connect even more because of our common experience.
Before rushing out, Terri and I did join in with the group photo. We left, chuckling and shaking our heads. Our meet up with other Cancer Survivors shouldn't have been a hard thing to process. But we both drove home through rain, feeling a little confused. I got a text later saying, "I think we're just closet survivors." I think we are. I'm not sure how much of my reluctance is with the word survivor and how much is about being labeled anything at all. But we're planning to work on this together. We'll see if these Closet Survivors come out.
Cancer to Covid
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 17, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me.
Coronavirus and Cancer! Both are evil, but neither can totally get me down... if I vent! I hope with Covid, I run out of complaints before 200!