Not today. In case you're wondering, that's what we say - not today, according to George R.R. Martin and me lately.
Over the summer I had the opportunity to meet up with a dear friend. Having experienced significant illness and challenges herself she asked me an interesting question. "Do you relate to the term "survivor" as it connects to cancer? Does that feel a bit militant to you?" At first, I didn't really know how to answer - mostly because I didn't yet see myself as a survivor.
So, what am I waiting for? Someone's permission to be a survivor? Isn't the connotation of the word survivor connected to a struggle? Overcoming in a fight?
It's taken a bit of time, a bit of processing, but I have an answer now. I'm a survivor, and I've embraced the fight. This cancer crept into my life, quietly, lethally and it damn well tried to kill me. So, yes, I fought back and continue to do so, against anxiety and fear, against seeing the future as dark and fearful. I look it straight in the eye and scream into the void. Not today!
When it took me a day's worth of energy just to have a shower on my own, I fought by having one.
When I was first diagnosed I walked around the hospital, but walking was nearly impossible.
I laughed, I visited with friends, I spent time with my kids, I went out with my husband. I fought for the life that was in danger of being stolen.
I don't know what's going to happen, but make no mistake. I'm going to fight for life, for love, and for all that I hold dear - no matter what my results say. It's ok to fight, it's ok to be militant, and it's important to accept being a survivor.
So, what do we say to the god of death? Not today. Not today. Not today.
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