Suleika Jaouad wrote a piece for the NYTimes titled, "Life Interrupted: Fighting Cancer, and Myself." She wrote," I am realizing that “beating” cancer isn’t about winning or losing...my challenge will be to develop a new brand of acceptance."
Triumph over cancer is measured by HOW you live, and not how long.
As a physician in and out of cancer treatment since 1990 (currently in remission), battle imagery has never worked well for me. I've seen it create problems for many survivors and their caregivers who embraced it after being diagnosed.
War is a misguided metaphor, as I explain to professionals in oncology in an article for Oncology Times: http://tinyurl.com/misgmet
For me to find peace, courage and fortitude, I have shifted my focus away from "cure" to "heal," a term that connotes renewed wholeness.
And how do I pursue healing? By striving to be a "Healthy Survivor" -- namely, a survivor who (1) gets good care and (2) lives as fully as possible.
In any context, "healthy" means conducive to the desired outcome. Healthy diet. Healthy relationships. Healthy parenting. Healthy survivorship.
The crux of Healthy Survivorship is that people make life the best it can be, and then they accept what is. They embrace life -- whatever the circumstances -- and find some happiness today while hoping for a better tomorrow.
With hope, Wendy