So I hear that June 7th is "National Cancer Survivor Day". While I'm not entirely sure I'm buying into the cause...far be it from me to deny a little recognition of the absolute bullshit that I (or we, as survivors) are going through. Although, I honestly don't know if I really am all that comfortable in the role of "survivor". Its kind of an age old debate amongst people with cancer. Do you call yourself a Survivor? A fighter? A patient? Do you define your status, or avoid mentioning any "status" at all? I've heard arguments for and against all of the above. And they're all pretty valid. Some people can get rreeeaaaaallly touchy with the wording. Right down to how someone who's passed away from cancer is sometimes stated as John Doe "lost his battle with cancer yesterday..." b/c it makes them sound like they lost in the end instead of focusing on the strength and fight that they gave.
I dont think I ever got entirely comfortable with saying I was a "Cancer Survivor". The general public sure does love to push it on you though. And Just like other forms of labeling, you may not necessarily like them, but sometimes it's just easier to be able to classify yourself for certain situations. I've been in situations where I didn't really want the conversation to begin to focus on my cancer-journey, but I saw it heading that way, and it's just easier to say "oh, well y yes, I'm a cancer-survivor". Some people are so uncomfortable with the C-word they are grateful to be able to just nod admiringly and carry on the conversation in other directions. There sometimes happen those folks who will want to probe you further, but I usually have a set of generic answers for those situations.
(i.e. "yes, its very hard, but I have a great support system and medical team." and "How am I now? Well, I'm here and good at the moment, and that's all I can ask for!"...no matter how "good" I'm feeling.)
Anywho, I actually started writing this entry for a specific reason, and just realized I let myself start rambling...so I'm going to hijack it back to my original intent. Although I would love to hear your thoughts on labeling, the 'survivor' role, etc etc. I am sure I will be retouching on this in the near future. Considering I debate it to myself pretty much daily.
BBUUUTTT, Last night my buddy Jonny Imerman and his organization Imerman Angels held a "Survivors Celebration" at swanky "Martini Park" in downtown Chicago. It was an awesome event, with free cocktail reception, lots of well-connected individuals within the cancer community speaking, and networking galore. And, I got to showcase *drumroll please* My new Cancer Sucks shirts!!!!!
Yes Yes YES! You can now get on, completely customize the color of the shirt and the words of your shirt, making it your very very own. A very good friend of mine makes them right here locally and independently. He's graciously offered to donate proceeds to my Fund to help with all the ongoing medical bills. Go ahead and click below to get started customizing your very own...
Please please please spread the word on these shirts, they're great quality, and I don't think many would argue that it DOESN'T suck. Support your cancer survivor/fighter/patient/warrior/bitch/or badass. They make perfect outfit for a lovely visit to the doctors office, or your local infusion center, or even (as I so nicely model above) at swanky downtown clubs. Order and wear on June 7th!!