Whether someone is still undergoing treatment or has long since won their battle against cancer, June is an opportunity to celebrate all cancer survivors. Nationally recognized as Cancer Survivor Month, June is an opportunity for survivors across the Cayman Islands to celebrate their milestones and recognize those who have supported them along the way. It is also an opportunity for those who have not been affected by cancer to learn and understand the challenges that accompany survivorship. This year, whether a survivor or not, there are many opportunities to embrace National Cancer Survivor Month.
Celebrating Cancer Survivors
Many people who have not battled cancer are under the misconception that once treatment ends, the difficulties related to cancer come to a screeching stop. The truth is, however, moving forward as a survivor is accompanied by many new struggles. As cancer survivors navigate new challenges, many of the support systems they had throughout treatment waver making adjusting to their new normal exceptionally challenging and isolating.
Along with survivorship often comes physical, emotional, and financial hardship. Though often only the tip of the iceberg, treatment leaves the human body fatigued and weak. It often takes a long time for the body to adjust and adapt to the new normal. Even while understanding this in theory, it can be especially demotivating to survivors. Most feel the urge to jump back into an old routine and pick up where one left off; however, when the body isn’t ready or capable to do so, it can be especially demoralizing. Aside from the frustration of setting new limits on oneself, survivor’s guilt can result in mental health issues.
This month, as survivors are celebrated and honored, it is important to remember that the battle is not necessarily over. Celebrating National Cancer Survivor Month means remembering to check in, offer support, and assist with coping moving forward. Survivorship in and of itself is a milestone to celebrate, but it is not the end of the challenging path.