Throughout the course of our lives, most of us will be touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly. For those who face a diagnosis personally, surviving treatment and making it through recovery can make us more resilient and appreciative of life. While many of us look to milestones to acknowledge our progress – like the day we finish chemo, the moment we ring that radiation bell or the appointment in which we are declared NED -- we believe cancer thrivers should be honored every day. Which is why we love globally recognized holidays such as National Cancer Survivors Day (the first Sunday in June) and its mission to shine a light on those who have faced and fought with grace.
This special day is a reminder for us to celebrate all who have survived cancer, inspire people who have been recently diagnosed, gather support from our tribe and reach out to our community. It’s a time to acknowledge what we or our loved ones have been through and feel special. Following are ten ways to show genuine love and care to cancer survivors (and ourselves!).
- Be present. Sit and truly listen to the stories, woes, concerns and fears.
- Ask questions (but too many!). Take time to learn and take in their experiences.
- Honor where they’re at on the journey. Let them be real. Don’t offer false hope or make situations look pretty when they aren’t.
- Pay attention to their energy levels. See how hard they’re fighting and offer to help.
- Honor where they’re at in the process. Don’t push your feelings on them.
- Show up! In ways they really need.
- Offer compassion and continuous love.
- Simply check in and ask, “How are you doing today?”
- Deliver food, send a note or deliver flowers as a gesture of care.
- Let them feel and share all of their feelings – cry, yell – whatever they need to release.
Whether we’re physically with someone or a phone call away, it is our duty to be present with our loved ones as much as possible -- to honor the struggle, roll up our sleeves and help them fight the battle. Even survivorship carries immense emotional and psychological struggles that endure long after treatment has ended. So, in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, we celebrate the warriors facing illness and continue to show up. We honor individuals thriving after cancer and navigating the fear of recurrence. And we praise those who accept what is and work towards the possibility of what could be.
To connect with other empowered, resilient women, please join our Facebook community, BEAUTY OF CHANGE for resources, support and education on all things female, health and wellness.
"My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life." – Olivia Newton-John