Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of #WorldCancerDay, an international day of awareness to raise worldwide attention and inspire action for a cancer-free future through prevention, detection, and treatment. And, it just so happens that February also marks Cancer Prevention Month.
According to the American Cancer Society and their annual Facts and Figures 2020 report, there will be a total of 1.8 million new cancer cases in the United States this year—which amounts to more than 4,900 cases a day.
As a seven-year thyroid cancer survivor, advocating for cancer patients and other survivors is deeply personal to me. Hearing the words, ‘you have cancer,’ is devastating and can leave a person feeling isolated. One of the reasons why I wanted to pursue the Health Coach Training Certification with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was so I could help other cancer patients and survivors get back to living their lives. I know firsthand how difficult navigating a cancer diagnosis can be and I was fortunate to find so many valuable resources that helped me cope with my diagnosis that I want to share with others. I’m also a caregiver to my grandmother who is a two-time breast cancer survivor, so I have a unique perspective on how cancer patients are treated on a personal level and from the viewpoint of a caretaker.
In the seven years since my diagnosis, I have moved, changed jobs, gone through a divorce, traveled, made new friends, grown my blog, and started to make plans for the next chapter of my life as a survivor. While I will always commemorate my survivorship milestones, for I know that none of them are ever promised, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer for a reason and I truly believe that reason was to advocate for others.
For me, every day is #WorldCancerDay because every day someone faces a cancer diagnosis. Every day someone hears those dreaded words that forever changes their life and the lives of their loved ones, and from that moment on, their world is not the same. Every day is a day to be an advocate for health, for wellness, for self-care, and for survivorship.
I am a seven-year thyroid cancer survivor and I will advocate for myself and other cancer patients. Who are you and what will you do?