Everywhere I look, everybody is celebrating survivorship. There’s the media promoting cancer survivor stats, and supportive comments from non-cancer friends you know the “you will beat it, if anyone can you can” comments.
When I considered myself a survivor I was shouting from the roof tops and there’s nothing wrong with people celebrating surviving cancer, in fact I wholeheartedly encourage it. Of course sometimes I feel sad, angry, bitter even, and being the most independent and strongest woman I know, I feel like I should have beaten it too, but I didn’t, which is why that comment that I’m sure is meant so well has no truth in it.
When I read that more people are surviving cancer I automatically think about the thousands that don’t. Lots of people who survive cancer are much older because cancer mostly affects older people. Younger people often fare worse, particularly with breast cancer, but I feel like that is not well known because nobody wants to talk about that. The focus always seems to always be on surviving which makes people like me feel left out and isolated. It’s not because I’m not happy for the people who “beat cancer” I’m just unhappy that I and thousands of others didn’t.
Perhaps in the future whilst the media celebrate survivors, the thousands that are stage 4 and won’t make it could get a mention too because whilst we’ve come a long way, there’s still lots of work to be done…