Friday, May 31, 2013


Sunday, June 2.

National Cancer Survivors Day.

There's even an organization that's behind this ......  event, holiday, commemoration, celebration .... I'm not sure what to call it....

This is the 26th annual observation of a day to honor and celebrate cancer survivors.  There is a page on the site that acknowledges the challenges of life after a cancer diagnosis.

It doesn't matter what language we use.  Some words get one group in an uproar while another group is comforted.  By the same word.  I think it's important to really grasp the concept that we are all different and each one of us has a right to "do cancer" in a way that works best for us.

With my mom's permission, I'm sharing a photo ....

She had just begun chemo.  My guess?  Two rounds in.  November, 1987.  With a scarf covering her head.  The line had just been drawn in the sand.

My mom...... and my dad......

Three times.  Not a charm.  Breast cancer, followed by renal cancer, and then 20 years later, cancer in the other breast.....

And five plus years after that  ......  still a "survivor" except she's back in active treatment.

She is at the top of the list of people I will honor and celebrate on Sunday.

Who am I kidding?  I honor and celebrate her every single day.

Today is the last day of National Cancer Research Month.  If this doesn't drive the point home regarding the need for more research, better research, meaningful research, I don't know what will.


  1. Lovely post, AnneMarie. You and your mom seems to have a very special bond. :)

  2. I'm not sure what is accomplished by this particular day's designation. I can't really get behind it and I'm not even entirely sure why that is. I do love this photo! Your parents are so adorable. I'm so sorry about all the heartache cancer has brought to your family through the years. And yes, research - that's what we need more of. Thanks Ann Marie.

  3. dear annemarie,

    i feel badly sometimes that people can't feel free to call themselves what they want, what feels right for them. and it's likely that it changes from time to time - sometimes we might feel in the kicking cancer's ass mode, at other times people are just glad they are alive, and for people with mets who are going through treatment AGAIN, with no assurance the treatment will be successful - well, there are as many outlooks, labels and attitudes as there are people with cancer. i think you have done a yeoman's task lately about that issue of the politics of labels; so i am glad that on national cancer survivors day, first and foremost you will honor and celebrate your sweet mom. please tell her that i will be aligning with you to do the same. xo, love, to mom!

    i think ending this post with the photo of your wonderful parents, with the reminder that this is the last day of national cancer research month, is very powerful as well as very touching. thanks for sharing those two precious faces.

  4. While it is nice to be honored for being a survivor,I'd like to see the website address challenges of survivorship more specifically, for me that is paying for more frequent medical visits/tests/bills. I'd like more visible, concrete discussion of that reality of life after cancer, rather than the usual stresses on diet and exercise as strategies to prevent recurrence.

  5. AnneMarie I can't get behind another "Special" day commemorating this awful disease. I live every day. I live every day for the past 4 years with Cancer. Seriously I don't need a day to remind me.... I wish there was a Let's forget about Cancer Day that I might celebrate..
    Your parents are lovey..... Alli xx

  6. Beautiful picture. :)