Survivorship Day Celebration as a Caregiver

I’m not a cancer survivor, but my wife was for 6 1/2 years.

During that time, she showed an amount of courage that I can only dream of having.

My wife battled her disease mostly on her own. Yes, she had people by her side: our children, her family and friends, and me, of course.

But, what she didn’t have, was what I discovered on Survivorship Day: a community that could understand her.

A community of people who have had cancer and thrive.

A community that supports each other.

A community that gives back to those people who are now going through their own cancer journey, so they can give back when the time comes.

This community is precious and must remain for a long, long time, until science can eradicate the disease, like it did smallpox.

Our speaker, William Brock, shared how important science is to cancer recovery. He has 6697 days behind him to prove it.

I can say the same for my wife. The type of cancer she had—inflammatory breast cancer—used to kill women in a few months.

She stayed with us for 6 1/2 years, which allowed her to see and do things that would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier.

She saw our three kids graduate from high school.

She saw our youngest reach adulthood and start university.

She and I even had time to take a couple of trips together, just the two of us, before the pandemic put a halt to all that.

In the end, though, her cancer did too much damage. She passed away in 2020, and although I’ll never have proof, I don’t think cancer killed her.

In the words of William Brock, she died WITH cancer, not OF cancer.

And with more research, this will become the norm.

⦁ ⦁ ⦁

This was my first Survivorship Day and hopefully not my last.

If you’ve never been to this celebration of life, I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter, or follow our social media, so we can let you know about next year’s event.

This year, the auditorium was almost full.

Who knows? As cancer research helps to increase life expectancy for people with cancer, we might need to start looking for a larger venue.

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures and words from Survivorship Day 2023.

And we hope to see you next year.

Laurent Duperval
Communications Manager for Hope & Cope

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