People call me a survivor and they do so for all the wrong reasons.
It drives me crazy. Bat-shit crazy.
No one ever called me a survivor until I got a brain tumor. Suddenly, I have a brain tumor, crappy pathology, an undesirable diagnosis, I’m still alive and BOOM!… Now I’m a survivor!
Ding, Ding, Ding!!! You’ve been awarded a label that makes everyone else feel good about your shit luck diagnosis!
No one ever asked me how I felt about that label.
No one asked what my perspective was.
No one took an interest how I viewed myself.
I’m a patient. It’s not that complicated.
There’s no shame and no failure in being a patient. I can still fight my brain tumor, have a great outlook on life, advocate for the cause and kick some tumor ass as a patient. I don’t need or want to be called a survivor to do any of that.
I’m living and surviving under adverse and unusual circumstances, which by definition, deems me a survivor. By definition it also defines un un-quantifiable number of people on this planet.
Aside from my brain tumor, I’m living and have lived through a half-dozen or so life circumstances that are adverse and unusual . Yet, no one thought those significant enough to label me a survivor.
I’ve always been and will always be, a survivor. I’m a survivor of LIFE.
My brain tumor just happened to join the 37 year-old survival adventure a few years ago. Maybe to keep it interesting and add to the varied levels of adversity and unusual circumstances, but for whatever reason the piece of shit joined our adventure, it’s here to stay for the ride.
I believe everyone is a survivor. All of us. Not just cancer patients and those fighting disease. We all live, fight and face adversity and unusual circumstances at some point, if not daily, in our lives and some of us face more than others.
Life is a crock pot adventure. Good, bad and ugly, it’s a pot filled with life experiences and we’re swimming, treading water, living and surviving what the pot dishes out to us daily. We may not like it and it may be tough to swallow, but it is what it is. It’s life and we’re surviving it daily.
I’m more than my tumor and greater than my diagnosis. I’m a patient who is surviving life and a part of that life is my brain tumor.
As far as I’m concerned, if you’re looking to label me, call me mother, daughter, friend, volunteer, advocate, writer or pain-in-the ass.
If you need to label me because I have a brain tumor, label me appropriately and please respect my perspective.
I’m a patient who is a survivor of life.