Cancer Survivors Day
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning? How do you look at your current life – with regret or gratitude? Most people are not so happy with where they are; they brood over their unfulfilled dreams and desires, wish for more money, comfort, luxury, promotion or maybe just a better life in general. It doesn’t even matter if a person is rich or poor, humans are stuck in a cycle of constant need. Where they are not grateful for what they have and always keep running behind more. I would like to ask such people to stop for a moment. Have you ever thought that the perfectly normal life that you have right now is what someone else might be wishing for? After being diagnosed with cancer, that person’s life does a full 360 rotation; it never stays the same normal life anymore.
In India, the number of cancer patients have spiked over the last few years, with people from all strata of society and all walks of life getting affected by it. Even though there is late presentation and a lack of awareness, India is moving ahead in the right direction. Slowly, the availability of cancer specialists, advanced treatments and facilities are increasing and improving. That is translating into the increasing number of ‘cancer survivors’. Surviving cancer is like winning a battle – it sure is something to celebrate. But cancer changes a person’s life forever.
Hence, every year on the first Sunday of June, ‘Cancer Survivors Day’ is observed. It is a celebration for all cancer survivors, a source of inspiration to those who were recently diagnosed, a gathering that supports the families of cancer patients and an outreach of the community.
Why is it important to observe this day?
● Acknowledging the struggles of survivors:
Cancer is a life-altering disease, nothing in a cancer patient’s life remains the same, including their relationships, career, daily routine, dreams, etc. Surviving cancer is a big milestone for them, but even after surviving cancer, the hardships do not end there. There are various struggles that come with cancer survivorship.
1. Difficulty finding jobs.
2. Difficulty building new relationships or finding a partner.
3. Economic burdens due to medical expenses and loss of previous job.
4. The fear of recurrence.
5. Strains on personal relationships.
6. Coping with the new normal.
● Building a supportive community:
Cancer Survivor Days are observed all around the world with parades and rallies, which are attended by not just cancer survivors but their friends and families and even patients recently diagnosed with cancer. These events can help survivors meet people they can relate to and share their stories with. Meanwhile, celebrating enables more interactions of existing patients with those who have successfully fought cancer and are now celebrating their fighting spirits. Also, as they say, laughing and smiling faces are always a good therapy for those suffering from an illness.
● Spreading awareness:
The events can help spread awareness and information to the general public as well about how to take care of their bodies and avoid cancer. Though cancer is unavoidable, and it can happen to anyone, there are some steps that can be taken to prevent cancer, such as:
– Refraining from all sorts of tobacco use.
– Eating healthy.
– Maintaining a healthy weight.
– Protecting your skin from the sun.
– Getting regular medical check-ups.
This year, Cancer Survivors Day would be celebrated on 5th June across the world. Do take part in spreading awareness about cancer and share this blog to give the precious gift of hope to a loved one or a friend who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. You can give this precious gift of hope to yourself as well. You can even share your own stories with us to inspire others!