#6

Well today marks the day I used to celebrate being a cancer survivor.  To be honest, I don’t know that I should celebrate anymore. I mean I haven’t had a recurrence or anything but it just seems like it’s wrong to celebrate.  Apologize…this may be a little dark…I blame what seems to be the never ending days of rain.

So six years ago I told myself it (November 30th) was the first day of the rest of my life.  I survived the worst thing I thought could happen besides losing my parents or my husband.  I survived surgery, chemo, and more surgery.  I thought my life would change forever and I’d have a different outlook, a more positive outlook. I thought I would finally know my purpose and what I was supposed to do with my life.  Spoiler alert – I don’t. I thought the chemo would not only take my hair but it would give me the magic I needed to figure out the meaning of my life.  I figured if I could survive cancer, I could survive anything.  I also figured it would change my attitude.  Another spoiler alert – it hasn’t. I think I’m the same person I was before cancer.

Recently, I was in a group of folks where we were asked to share ‘our story’.  As I’ve done in the past, I started by saying I was a cancer survivor and I try to live my life to the fullest by staying active, healthy and trying to do my best at everything.  One of the other ladies was also a cancer survivor too but she clearly pointed out that she doesn’t like to call herself a survivor.  She said she didn’t like that terminology and doesn’t think of herself as a survivor. At that moment, I don’t know that I thought of myself any other way for the last six years. Her comments and views made me think about the word ‘survivor.’ I’ll admit, I probably use it as an excuse or crutch so that people will understand a little bit more about me and why I’m have a tendency to be direct and lack patience.  I figure as soon as I say I survived cancer they’ll understand that I’m just trying to get the most out of life and I don’t have time to get caught up in all the emotions that come with communicating.  But I think I’ve finally realized, people don’t get that.  Not. at. all.

After I heard that other woman, I was curious what others thought of me so I asked my hubby if he considered me a survivor.  He responded that he sees me as me…not someone who went through cancer that one time.  Interesting.  He sees me as me.  I think it was probably the best thing he’s ever said to me. I know some folks think I’m stronger because I went through it but it doesn’t make me a super hero or anything special really.  Just like the hubby said, I’m still me.  I still struggle with stuff just like everyone else. I’m human and I make mistakes, a lot of them. I guess what I’m getting at is cancer didn’t make me better so why should I celebrate surviving it.

On my way into work, I listen to a podcast occasionally. This particular podcast was about ‘Who are you?  and  Where are you going?’ I was caught off guard, I wasn’t expecting to hear questions like that or to even contemplate those questions.  But I thought about them all day and how I would answer.  Who am I exactly?   Well first of all, I’m like and do a lot of things but doesn’t mean I need to give myself a new title. For now, I  want to focus on just being me and not worrying  about any title that I give myself or that others give me.  Trying to keep it simple.  I’m me.  I’m Becca or Rebecca (but never Becky).  Where am I going?  I haven’t a clue but I hope the sun is shining. I do know I’ve been a lot of places and I still have places to see.

 

 

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