When I learn about a woman in my church who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I like to take her two items - a spray of pink roses and a bouquet of pink balloons to welcome her into our ministry. But although the gifts are appreciated, some women have shared they don't feel like a breast cancer survivor just yet. Instead, they feel frightened about their diagnosis, and confused over the dearth of information they're receiving from doctors, friends and loved ones about their diagnoses. Maybe they'll eventually feel like a breast cancer survivor, but for now, they feel overwhelmed.
Their responses caused me to raise a question in this month's reflection: When does a woman actually become a breast cancer survivor? Is it the day she's
diagnosed? Is it after she's gone through her first round of radiation or chemo, or finished her treatment plan? Is it after she's had one or both of her breasts removed? Or is it after she's survived a year of being cancer-free?
Dr. Melanie Bone, MD, PA, offers an insightful article to help answer the question of when survivor status begins, which I am including in this month's reflection. However you choose to define or redefine yourself as a survivor after reading this article, I'm just glad to know you are here.
Sharing the journey,
Survivor to Survivor: When did you first define yourself as a breast cancer survivor? Let me hear from you!