How wonderful it feels to write that my surgery is now one week in my rear view mirror and my pathology reports were very positive. No cancer in lymph nodes, clean margins, and very little discomfort! Because I had Triple Negative Breast Cancer, I will most probably have chemo, but more on that in the coming weeks.
I am, however, suffering from a semantics confusion. Those of us with cancer are said to “fight” our disease. We “battle” it with surgery, radiation and chemo. And the dictionary defines a fight this way: “To strive vigorously and resolutely; to contend with physically or in battle.” It’s sort of the same as the Army fighting an enemy, or your favorite team fighting to win the game.
Here’s the problem – if you win a battle or win a game, you’re called a winner (defined as achieving success in an effort or venture; finishing first in a competition). But if you defeat cancer, you’re called a survivor. That’s not a very satisfying handle to me. So I’m summoning my courage to change the vernacular. I will not only be a cancer survivor, I will be a cancer winner! I think that’s a much better title – how about you?