Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Have you kissed your cancer survivor today?

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!" matter how "good" I'm feeling.)
Anywho, I actually started writing this entry for a specific reason, and just realized I let myself start 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...
Womens shirt's
Mens shirt's
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!!


  1. After weeks of trying to pick colors, I have purchased my tee!

  2. Regarding the title of survivor, I prefer colon cancer ass-kicker. It's my title. Will be looking at getting a tee-shirt made. :-)

  3. Alrighty, fellow Gemini ;) I am so buying one of these... once I can make up my mind on the colors. So many choices. Do I want bright and flashy? Dark and moody? Oh the choices!

    Also I on Cancer-ass kicker day, I'll put a link to the shirts on my blog. If just one person buys one it will help some, right?!

  4. pppssttt...steph...just buy one for each of your gemini-personalities! ;) ;)
    either way, you know you MUST send me a pic of you rockin' it!

  5. Don't label me with the S-word. I am not a survivor. All I have survived is way too many doctor appointments. I am a person living with cancer.

  6. Open invitation to you and your readers to participate in the Being Cancer Book Club. This month we are discussing “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. “...the lecture he gave ... was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.”
    Monday is Book Club day; Tuesday Guest Blog and Friday Cancer News Roundup.
    Also check out Cancer Blog Links containing almost 200 blog links and Cancer Resources with 230 referenced sites, both divided into disease categories.
    Please accept this invitation to join our growing cancer blogging community at
    Take care, Dennis

  7. Cool Dennis! I'll definitely check it out. I actually got the opportunity to watch Randy give his "last lecture" live as a guest on the Oprah show before he passed. I had no knowledge of his story before going (and actually didn't even know why I was asked to be in the audience of Oprah that day) so I was riveted. Kris Carr (maker of "Crazy Sexy Cancer" documentary) was also a guest.
    Good stuff.

  8. Everyone with cancer should know about the latest data on vitamin D in cancer. Take a look at for good summaries of the data. The site also offers a good newsletter and recently launched a micro pill formulation of vitamin D and is providing customers children with a free supply.