In some situations, your best choice is one that still involves some hardship, loss and/or pain. Perceiving such difficulties as a sacrifice can help patients on the road to Healthy Survivorship.
In general, when you sacrifice something you are losing it, surrendering it, giving it up or destroying it for a higher good. A dramatic example is the young, healthy soldier who fights for his or her country, willingly putting himself or herself in harm's way that may lead to their making the ultimate sacrifice. A mundane example is a patient who takes the time and effort to go for a medical check-up.
In the context of Healthy Survivorship, sacrifices may be temporary, such as when patients receive chemotherapy that causes baldness. Or they may be permanent, such as when patients lose a body part (e.g., a limb) or a function (e.g., fertility). Their sacrifice may be obvious, such as when I closed my medical practice, or subtle, such as my tiring easily.
For me, the notion of sacrificing helps me live as fully as possible. It suggests I made a choice -- even if my choice was not the option I really wanted but knew was impossible. As I see it, cancer didn't destroy my practice and steal my energy. Rather, I willingly sacrificed my clinical work and my go-go-go lifestyle to enable my remarkable survival.
Healthy Survivors often make great sacrifices for a higher good. And they find peace in their sacrifices.