Blog written by: Christy Chambers

A survivor is someone who pushes past all odds to discover the strength and power that lies within them. – Keesha Carter 

This Sunday, June 2nd, marks the 37th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day® (NCSD). “NCSD is a poignant, inspiring Celebration of Life led by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. It is also a call to action for further research, more resources, and increased public awareness to improve the lives of cancer survivors.”

I am an Overcomer. There was this thing meant to kill me and by the grace of God, I lived. And I was awakened to a life I wasn’t living. – Shannon Routh

As an advocate I am overjoyed that this day exists! But as a cancer survivor I would like to propose an alternate day of honor – Cancer Thrivers Day.

For me it means knowing what it truly means to treasure every second of this life! – Erin Rydell

I was composing a blog entry and wrote the phrase ‘I was given a second chance at living’. I paused and was going to correct it to ‘a second chance at life’. But then I thought, which do I mean? Are they different? I think they are. We have all been granted a life. It is generally determined by the length of time from life-death; your existence. But that doesn’t really give a full explanation of our time here on Earth does it? 

You see it’s all about the “-“. What looks like a seemingly insignificant line is your legacy. I think when we are faced with the fact that our time is limited, we begin to wonder how will we be remembered? What did we accomplish that will leave a lasting impression? Who were we? And then that leads to the big question: Who are we now?

The good news is the future isn’t written yet, we can still create a lasting legacy.

When we struggle in life it may seem like just coping is a victory. Survival mode is a natural default; there is a certain comfort in staying in that state because it’s familiar. But it’s not living, it’s merely existing. Thriving is facing your fears and moving past them; it’s choosing to be uncomfortable and growing from the experience. Thriving is not about the circumstances (oftentimes you can’t change those) but how you respond. 

My survivorship is a voyage of renewal and hope after a devastating fire. An opportunity to purge, cleanse and retool my perspective. My survivor journey is a phoenix rising from the ashes reminding me that I am resilient. – Christy Chambers

Kerri Grote, who passed from brain cancer, wrote that a shaman asked her, “Are you running towards life or running away from death?” It’s a big question, and one we don’t normally ponder. I have witnessed so many Teal Divas embrace life while facing recurrences, continuous treatment, lingering health issues and/or death. I am in awe of their strength and their faith. These warriors form an amazing sisterhood where support is gifted and received with ease. They live a daily legacy of love that will continue far into the future.

Being a survivor means I get another chance to be here a little longer with the people I love the most…my family. – Lindsay Gullate-Lee

Life’s challenges are merely opportunities in disguise. Cancer can shift your perspective if you let it. It is my hope that it sends you running full tilt towards life. A life you create as you go, fearlessly embracing every moment and gleaning every lesson you can while living your dash!

Honestly there are times that I feel guilty for being a survivor. There are so many people that have crossed my path that have fought cancer and passed. Many times I’ve asked why them and not me. Many of them held important jobs and many of them brought so much light to cancer awareness. But the truth is that we all have an end date and it’s the middle part of life that matters. As a survivor I have to try to bring light and happiness to each and every day. I’m thankful for another day with my family. I live each day trying to be at least 1% better than the day before. Each day is a gift! As a survivor of cancer it reminds me each day that I can face the worst and come out the other side. Phoenix rising from the ashes uplifting others still going through it. Being a survivor is a blessing and a privilege that I’m grateful for. – Amanda Halsey

Being a survivor is knowing I am LIVING with the challenges and keeping a positive mindset, rather than thinking I am dying from this disease. It taught me to LIVE and be grateful, which changed me as a person.🩵🩵🩵 – Kim Huddleston 

Loving, enjoying & being there for my family, by the Grace of God. – Cynthia Goodman 

Being a survivor for me is about taking one day at a time and making that daily choice to do what I need to do for my physical health, my mental health and all of the other. 🩵🤍 – Jane Fitch

We are Teal Divas. We are survivors. We are THRIVERS!