When I was diagnosed with cancer, I immediately became part of a new community of people called survivors and I will remain in that group through the remainder of my life. Anyone with a history of cancer is called a survivor.
That word, survivor, has always bothered me. When you look up the definition of survive in the dictionary it simply means
to continue to live or exist after the death, cessation, or occurrence of, or to endure or live through (an affliction, adversity, misery, etc.).
I was living before I had cancer. I lived through a stroke at the age of 38. I lived through a car accident that completely destroyed my large SUV. I lived through 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school and 5 years of training in radiation oncology. I have lived through many heartbreaks and disappointments over the years. So now, I’m suddenly a survivor?
In essence, everyone is a survivor. Because everyone in any walk of life has been through some adversity, whether large or small, and lived. To me there is nothing special about being a survivor. Because it’s normal to endure some type of adversity.
But there is something different about me now after getting cancer. I want more out of life, because now I realize how truly special life is. I know that life is not promised and can be taken away at any time. Things I used to take for granted, like taste, all of a sudden mean so much more.
I’m doing more than just surviving after my cancer treatment. I’d like to think that I am thriving. What does it mean to thrive?
It means to to prosper; be fortunate or successful or to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.
Yep, Thats what I’m doing. I’m thriving. I’m taking care of my new body. I’m tackling new projects like blogging and writing books. I’m learning new concepts like social media management discovering new platforms of communication.I’m doing things now that I never imagined before.
Survival, to me, is a gift from God. We all get that gift. Now what we do with that gift is our gift back to God. Go out there and thrive. Give God the biggest gift he has ever gotten from you. Use this second chance at life to flourish and be successful; to learn and grow. Take on new adventures. Do those things you’ve been putting off until later.
Now that you know the difference, are you surviving or thriving?
: I’m more than a Survivor, I’m a Thriver.