National Cancer Survivors Day

IMG - Copy For the past 22 years, National Cancer Survivors Day has been celebrated the first Sunday in June. According to the official website, this day is “a symbolic event to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.”

I was diagnosed with cancer 27 years ago last month. I was 22 months old, and I quite literally have no memory of not being a cancer survivor. My story is about as ideal as survival stories come: diagnosed at stage I, surgery followed by a few months of chemo, no relapses, a return to health. I was left with one kidney instead of two and a scar neatly slicing my body in half right above my belly button. I did well in school, got married, held some interesting jobs; I’m even able to have my own healthy biological children.

Over the past 27 years, I’ve lost friends and family members to cancer. I’ve met children with scars identical to my own, but with less favorable outcomes. I want to live to see the day when survivors with stories like mine are the majority, not the minority. In the meantime, I try to live my own life in such a way to honor those who’ve gone before: fellow survivors, bereaved friends and family members, and the researchers and medical practitioners who work so hard to fight this disease.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

10 thoughts on “National Cancer Survivors Day”

  1. to you, and all those who have encountered cancer, here and gone, prayers sent up.

    i was going to post on this today in honour of 2 of my friends but the words got stuck in my throat.

    i am encouraged by your post.

    one love.

  2. Wow, your story made me want to cry this morning. Congratulations on your continued good health. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your story, MaryAnne. As someone who has only been able to associate cancer with dying it is inspiring to read a positive experience like yours. Congratulations (is that the right word?) on your health and thanks for bringing the issue to the forefront.

  4. Wow! As a mother of young children, I can't imagine what that must have been like for your parents to go through. Thank goodness for such a wonderful outcome.

    I, too, have had a number of loved ones die from cancer. It's always nice to hear about people who survive.

  5. Wow, that's awesome that you are a survivor! My little sister had cancer and was diagnosed around age 1 and 1/2. She was only given a 5% chance to live and now she's 24 and doing great! I love reading your blog–thanks for the great craft and reading ideas!! I've recommended your site to several friends!

  6. What a moving post. Thanks so much for sharing and raising awareness of cancer survivors and people fighting cancer.

  7. Stephanie Meade Gresham

    A lovely post. I'm celebrating a little for you as I read it. May there be many more stories as triumphant as your own.

  8. Can you tell I'm slowly catching up on posts? What strength you have, MaryAnne. My cousin is a cancer survivor and she's said the one thing in addition to faith in God that has kept her strong, is the love and hope of people around her. I wish I'd done more to be involved in her circles of hope while we lived in the same country. I am so moved, reading your experience, and I am so thankful you are well and continuing to share your indomitable spirit with others.

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