National Cancer Survivors Day is celebration of life after cancer diagnosis held on the first Sunday in June.
Cancer is a scary word. I don’t think I will ever forget the moment I heard my own diagnosis. It was the week that I launched A Girl for All Time® at the London Toy Fair in 2012. I was running on adrenaline that whole week, excited about finally launching the biz after 2 long years of development and hard work.
The day after the Toy Fair ended I found myself in the doctor’s office, hearing words I never thought I’d hear.
It’s hard to describe what it felt like to be told you have cancer. To me, it felt like being caught in a tidal wave. I knew I did not want to be there, and I knew I wanted to get out of there – quick - but I just couldn’t seem to escape the undertow that was dragging at me…
Everyone reacts differently to a cancer diagnosis. I know people who have gone onto extreme cleanses or trained for marathons. Others have thrown themselves into work or big house projects. And I know others who have quietly retreated from the whirlwind that can surround you once diagnosed, opting for a bit of respite and healing time to cope with what can often be an overwhelming situation.
For me, getting stuck into the new business was relief from the stress of treatment and the worry about diagnosis. It took my mind off all the things I was struggling to cope with in the present and helped me focus on what the future might hold.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to cope with cancer – every situation is different and everyone’s reaction will be unique. Moving forward at your own pace and in a way that feels right for you is the best way to deal with a diagnosis, whether it’s your own or that of a loved one.
For me, National Cancer Survivor’s day is about celebrating the amazing progress in cancer research and celebrating all of the lives positively affected by that. Hopefully one day, everyone who is diagnosed with cancer will be a survivor.