National Cancer Survivors Day 2021: Motivation During Our Darkest Days with Cancer
On National Cancer Survivors Day, observed each year on the first Sunday in June, we honor and celebrate all of those who have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Every cancer experience is unique, from types and symptoms to treatments and side effects. We want to say thank you to all of the supportive caregivers, loved ones, and healthcare teams out there for uplifting our community members during their darkest days with cancer.
The day patients receive a cancer diagnosis is often one of the scariest days of their lives. Since then, feelings of loneliness and isolation may begin to creep in, but we want to highlight all the different motivators in the lives of those in our community.
Whether you find support from family and friends, online communities, special events, or hobbies, you are not alone. There is so much to live for, even on the days when you might feel like there is not.
This year for National Cancer Survivors Day, we asked members of our 7 oncology communities what keeps them motivated during their experiences with cancer.
Support from loved ones and our healthcare team
Relying on the support of your loved ones, including furry friends, can make a huge impact and motivate our members during the times they need it most. Even healthcare teams can be your biggest supporters!
Although cancer affects our members on an individual level, it impacts those closest to them as well. For several of our community members, family, friends, nurses, and doctors are there to lift them up, cheer them on, and listen.
“My motivation comes from my 48 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, our children, and grandchildren.” –Blood-Cancer.com Community Member
“Caring for my 3 cats.” –LungCancer.net Community Member
“My family and friends are my greatest inspiration. Their love for me keeps me going.” –AdvancedBreastCancer.net Community Member
“My medical team, who never let me walk my darkest moments alone.” –SkinCancer.net Community Member
Looking forward to special events
Creating a list of all the special future events you want to be part of is a great way to keep us motivated. Thinking of the more positive days that lie ahead has empowered several of our community members in the moments they began to lose motivation.
“Travel and, most importantly, having a pint legally with my grandsons. They are 3, 2, and 1.” –ProstateCancer.net Community Member
“Seeing my boys finding love and getting married.” –LungCancer.net Community Member
“The thought of one day rocking grandbabies and seeing my young boys grow into men and have families of their own.” –Blood-Cancer.com Community Member
Receiving and giving support to others in the community
At certain points, living with cancer can be lonely, but being part of a community that understands can make a world of difference. Having a place to turn to, learn from others, ask questions, and share struggles allow the community to be stronger together.
Our members have said they found comfort in knowing there are others out there who know what it is like to have their type of cancer. A community, whether online or in-person, can provide the strength and motivation needed to push forward.
“The tremendous sense of spiritual uplifting in giving encouragement and support to others even while dealing with cancer.” –SkinCancer.net Community Member
“Wanting to help other men and their loved ones navigate this mess is a huge motivator.” –ProstateCancer.net Community Member
“Pages like this also keep me motivated. Knowing I am not alone helps.” –Blood-Cancer.com Member
“My purpose, to love and serve others, keeps me motivated to make it another day and fight for a life worth living after cancer." –AdvancedOvarianCancer.net Community Member
Enjoying hobbies and work
Loving your job or participating in the hobbies you enjoy most is a great way to distract yourself from the rollercoaster of cancer. Hobbies can also be a huge boost to your mental and physical health by relieving stress and allowing momentary escape from a world of cancer. They do not need to be elaborate, difficult, or expensive, but should at least be something that can put a smile on your face.
Depending on your treatment side effects or type of cancer, you may have to adjust the hobbies you enjoy or the work you do in order to fit your current abilities. However, you can often still find something that brings you joy, even on your most difficult days.
“Work (I love my job).” –BladderCancer.net Community Member
“Music ... mostly metal.” –Blood-Cancer.com Community Member
“Photography, drawing, cooking, gardening, reading, enjoying the outdoors, and small trips.” –AdvancedBreastCancer.net Community Member
"Daily walks ... That act of movement every day was the best therapy (mentally and physically)." –AdvancedOvarianCancer.net Community Member
Faith and spirituality
Many of our community members turn to their faith or spirituality as a source of strength to get them through their hardest moments with cancer. Some also expressed that their diagnosis brought them closer to their faith and that they are motivated by others who share similar beliefs. Faith and spirituality for many members helped them cope, remain positive, and make sense of their diagnoses.
“GOD. I was so at peace with having GOD overseeing my care. I was at peace with having cancer.” –LungCancer.net Community Member
“Faith, my husband, and hearing and receiving messages of support and prayers from family and friends.” –BladderCancer.net Community Member
“My church family.” –AdvancedBreastCancer.net Community Member
We hope that this article has helped you think of all the amazing things in your life and find the motivation to push through during your toughest days with cancer. Please know that you are never alone.
What keeps you motivated throughout your cancer diagnosis/treatment? Share in the comments below!
Do you participate in awareness month activities?