What does it take to be called a survivor

I am battling a third reoccurence. My Ct shows nor NED and my CT is 41 and still falling. I am alive. Am I a survivor? Id there a magic number like 5 years with ni reoccurence? Thoughts

Report post

21 replies. Join the discussion

the minute you are diagnosed and you don't shrivel up and die you are a survivor. Each additional insult either our body throws us or we endure and don't give up we are survivors. another chemo, survived it. another doctor's appointment, survived it. another time under the knife, survived it. another lunch with aunt tilly....ok well maybe that one not so much but you get the idea.

Report post

Are you kidding? You are a major survivor right now!! Don't even question it.

The 5 year mark is a nice point to reach, but it really doesn't change things. I've been there and have been fighting my second recurrence since Nov. 08, so there are no guarantees.

Congratulations on being a survivor, and best of luck with this recurrence you are dealing with.

Report post

I say if you're alive, you're a survivor!! ;)

Report post

I choose to think of it as "surviving" more so than survivor. I "survived" the first round. Put on my one year pin. But I don't want to let my guard down and think I've survived "it"... or that the fight is won. I know there may be more battles ahead. So I guess I'm a one-year survivor but still wearing the armor of battle for fear that it will sneak up from the rear in the dark of night.

Report post

I am surviving too. Keep getting up everyday and showing up. You will survive and thrive.
Good luck with your current battle in this ugly war.

Report post

Thnaks for the comments. I think I just needed an affirmation today. Yesterday was chemo day. God bless us all.

Report post

Definitely you are a survivor! According to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (see at http://www.canceradvocacy.org/) that a survivor is anyone who has been told that he or she has cancer. The survivor designation extends from time of diagnosis until time of death. By the way, you can get wonderful, free resources from the above web site. My favorite is a booklet on HOPE that says that a cancer survivor has a "right to hope." In any case, I too am not NED and feel like I am surviving (present tense) not that I've survived (past tense). Such is the way with our beast within.

Report post

you are a survivor and you continue to be. I always liked the phrase "you Can Cer Vive" Pamm

Report post

Surviving! It's a word to live by! :) Every time we take a breath, we are surviving. It may sound simple, but it's the truth. Congratulations - you're surviving. The Lord is good to us. :)

Report post

My thoughts exactly Lifeisgrand.

With a recurrence I'm ALWAYS cautiously optimistic.
Happy for any good news but surviving is more like it for me.

Whether you call yourself a survivor or surviving, every woman with ovca should hold her head high and be recognized for the courage and strength she has to move forward.

Report post

dear kathym, I guess the word you are really looking for is "cured" meaning NED and below 35 CA125. Because those of us on this site, including yourself, that wake up in the morning to face a projection of us in the mirror that we don't recognize without the hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and yet we prepare ourselves for our day whether it be work in home or away from home and clean our houses and make our family meals still trying to carve out a little time for ourselves trying to keep a positive attitude and handling our cancer researches, doc appts, chemo side effects, etc. WE ARE ALL THE SURVIVORS. There are no others like us that try so hard to live through this instead of giving up. We know our statistics and don't focus on them. Congratulations on your low CA and NED, Ellen

Report post

Everyday that you wake up and see the beautiful sky you are a survivor!! I know it is hard to continue this fight, and continue to be brave... but you can do it. We all do it on a daily basis. I am a survivor too, but none the less, everyday I worry that it my come back and hit me again... All we can do is stay positive and continue to pray... Enjoy each day and be grateful for our friends and family.... Just live!!!

Report post

We are all survivors! Every day that we fight this disease, we're survivors.

Report post

Thank you all for your posts. I don't know why I struggle with that word "survivor". I feel the same in that I survived the pain I was enduring between diagnois and surgery, I then survived surgery and still surviving chemos. Yet when I said to someone recently that I am a cancer survivor, their response was "when were you cured" which brought out that nagging feeling that I always get when I question whether or not I am really a survivor. I like to believe like all of you that yes I am surviving, but the concept that most non-cancer people have is that you have survived when you no longer have the disease. I at times feel that Im not really surviving the emotional damages of the disease but generally feel I am a survivor......frustrating.

Report post

Kalo-
I've never been in that situation ( I really don't get out much ;) but in my dreams of being an actualized person who knows what to say in the moment and not 10 minutes or three days later which is usually the case, I would think that moment could be a very "teachable" moment. That is, a time when you a strong brave kick a$$ cancer survivor, could explain to a civilian (non cancer person) that being a survivor means that you've lived through cancer and with some cancers their is always a chance of reoccurance or some variation of that which is true to your life. At least that's what I would do....when I grow up :) ....or if I ever speak to a stranger again ....

Report post

I really do appreciate the opportunity to vent. I would like to think that we all will have the opportunity to hear the word cured. I know that it may not be in our lifetimes, but I certainly want it for my daughters, and for all of your daughters.

After I went into my first remission I tried to be very specific about the fact that I had ovarian cancer, past tense. Once that first reoccurence happened I just can't seem to use the past tense any more. I guess that is okay.........It just is what it is.

I do think we are the strongest bravest group I have ever been a part of.

I also know that Jesus will heal us all either here or in heaven.

Happy Easter!

Report post

LOOK at all your replies !!! Yes, we are survivors. Hope is everywhere I want to find it.

Today I'll go swimming - one lap at a time.

Take care.

Report post

I am going on to my 6th year cancer free but I do not take my life for granted anymore. before my cancer I ate
junk food now I eat whats good for my body I joined a walking group with the running room there is 16 of us.I am a survivor till the day I died.

Report post

I am a 6yr survivor with no recurrence. But I believe that anyone who is fighting this disease at any stage and is here today is a survivor! I read all the individual stories and think just how lucky I am but that these otheres who are going through hell just to stay alive are the ones who truly are the survivors! karen

Report post

You are a survivor and that person is ignorant.

You are currently a survivor and at that point in time that the question was asked "when were you cured" the response could have been that "I am a cancer survivor and I am currently surviving and living life". We will continue to battle this monster and together with my teal sisters we will get through this. We will continue with building awareness to help others too.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support OCNA

Help the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Discussion topics

Support OCNA

Donate to OCNA

Community leaders