What's a Survivor?
By Lynn Durham, July 22, 2014
I have been reluctant to call myself a "survivor" since experiencing thyroid cancer and breast cancer. After all, my cancers were found very early and were not life threatening. In comparison to my friends and acquaintances who had cancer, I felt like I had it relatively easy. I have undergone two forms of radiation, but thankfully, I have never had chemo. I believed others deserved the respected title of "survivor," not me. But through my involvement with Georgia CORE and the advisory board that is helping to design the "Cancer Survivorship Connection", I have learned to embrace the term "survivor". More importantly, I have learned to realize that as a survivor of cancer, I have needs – physical, emotional, financial, etc. – that others do not. The Cancer Survivorship Connection is designed for all of us who have questions and need a source of information to help guide us through the many years of our survivorship.
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when I was 36 years old and breast cancer just five years later. Doctors have told me there is no connection between the two types of cancer, but I have to wonder if I am just predisposed to it. As a mom of teenage twins, I take care of myself and have more "ologists" – oncologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist, etc. – than I want to admit. But even with that, I want to be as proactive as possible to educate myself about what lies ahead. I am grateful to be a survivor and to have the opportunity to educate myself and others through the Cancer Survivorship Connection. I hope you will spend some time here and refer to it often to get the information you need to live a long and healthy life.