Friday, June 22, 2012

More Than A Survivor

Survivor is defined as “a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died”.  The theme of the week for me has been survivorship with a follow-up appointment to the breast center, the one year anniversary date of diagnosis for a dear friend that I have made because of walking similar journeys, and running into my oncologist, Dr. Garg while out to eat in Annapolis the other night. I have to admit that I have been struggling with the term, survivor.  There are many positive reasons to be referred to in this way.  First of all, I do appreciate and do not take for granted that others have died from the event that I just went through. And secondly, I become a part of a very special group of women (and men) as a breast cancer survivor.  But if I am a “survivor” does it mean that breast cancer is just a thing of my past?  I can never be certain there will not be a recurrence.  I can also never deny that it changed so much of who I am and how I plan to live out my days.  I have come to realize the trouble with the term for me is that to survive this disease is not going to be enough. This “Bend in the Road” was for a reason and I want to make a difference because of it.  With the help of my husband who is a huge of fan of all Braveheart-type movies as well as an alumnus of the University of Hawaii, I think I have finally settled on a term that I can live with.  Warrior is “one who is engaged energetically and aggressively in an activity, a cause or a conflict”. I like to think of myself as a breast cancer warrior.

Although I fully intend to participate in events that raise awareness for breast cancer and have become a bit of an addict of all things pink, the way I hope to be energetically and aggressively engaged is by supporting other young women that are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  I think back to that first week when the ton of bricks fell on us, and I want to be a part (even if it is a small part) of the Hope that other ladies experience as they begin to navigate the uncharted territory that is breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.  I have mentioned the kits that I have been able to share with a few ladies who were about to go through surgery, as well as my intention to become involved with the SOS (Survivors Offering Support) mentorship program. However, I have also recently decided to create a blog.  "Pinked Perspective"will hopefully be a place of encouragement for other young ladies that are diagnosed or maybe anyone that is experiencing a “Land Between” or a “Bend in the Road”.  It will also be a diary of sorts that gives glimpses into life at the Hamilton household.  I am going to be wrapping up my CaringBridge page soon and hope that you would consider following our family on the blog.

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