I do/don’t let cancer define me, I let my fight, my life and my faith define me, cancer is just a chronic illness I have.
You have probably read other cancer patients online say that they don’t let their cancer define them. I have cancer friends who are emphatic about cancer not defining them or changing their lives. I embrace the change that cancer has made in my life because I allowed it to be for the better, and I think I was lucky to realize that God had a plan for my cancer.
I guess when I stop and think about it, I do let cancer define me, but in a positive way. I have been very open about my cancer since the beginnings. Having cancer has changed me, my priorities, importance of family, importance of health and wellness and just how short and precious life can be. My goal is to help as many of my survivors as I can. It helps to make my horror story and physical misery worth it. If I were to look at my book of life and write a brief bio on what defines me, cancer would be just one more thing (albeit a big one) that showed off my strength and determination. Another dangerous illness that I survived. (I had an extremely bad case of mono in 1997). My definition of myself is that of a survivor, a fighter, and a warrior.
It may feel like cancer defines you because of how all-encompassing it is, and how it affects those around you. That's ok, feel it for a season and then accept it. For most it changes you, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Some only for the duration of treatment, others for the first few months and years after, but there is a small few of us who it has changed forever. I hope I will never be the same after cancer. I was always a survivor, fighter and warrior before cancer, and I will continue to be those until I am gone.