The last time I checked for the definition of survivor in the dictionary, I was really amazed to know that it signifies left-over, remainder or residue. Did you just raise your eye brows in surprise like I did? That is rather crude, right? How can? After that rough journey, that’s it? ‘Someone is labeled a residue? Hmmm.
According to www.thesaurus.com the term survivor means “one who outlives another,” from survive. Meaning “one who has a knack for pulling through adversity” Okay, now I like this better!
I remember the year after my cancer surgery, I was not very comfortable when Susan G Komen sent me the 3 day walk participation paperwork and addressed me as Survivor Yinka! I had to go back memory lane to reconnect the link to the date of the diagnosis and then, oooh! That’s true – I did survive the 12-hour-marathon-cancer surgery. Oh, yes, I am actually a survivor, and then a certain kind of boldness, calmness and grace empowered me to be an advocate for the cause! – I then eased into the program and was ready to carry on proudly with my survival-ship story. Yes! I did survive Medullary Thyroid Cancer!
So, for every one of us that knows someone who’s overcome or still battling one kind of challenge in life (not necessarily cancer) either a fatal accident, relationship breakdown, a certain illness, the loss of a loved one, an addiction, a broken heart, job loss, divorce, rejection or depression. The moment we are able to acknowledge that there is a problem, face the solution boldly, we are able to move on into another sphere of productive lifestyle – we have automatically also become Survivors! Even embracing someone close to you and helping them deal with the situation qualifies you as a survivor. Why? Because you connected one-on-one to help ease the much needed transition. Yes, you did!
As we approach National Cancer Awareness month,’hoping someone will look at the term “survivor” in a more approachable way as opposed to seeing it as “residue or remnants’. To embrace the term like a soldier at the war front with one thing in mind: Victory by all means! To connect with a cause that celebrates survivorship and be a blessing unto others. Only those deeply and personally touched can understand the impact of a tragedy, which I think can classify anyone with a close encounter to be nominated as a survivor. I see survivorship as a legacy to behold, a surplus in life, beauty for ashes and finally – a proof that there’s really a God that works miracles in us and changes our tests into testimonies! I am a living example!
May God help us all.
American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk event on OCT 17th.