Thursday , May 19 2022

My Label and I: When notified, I had 3% of being a cancer survivor


In 2007, when I was 41, I was diagnosed with cancer.

It was a cancer that I had never heard of it from before. I had to learn about it, and I was one that I was scared.

My cancer was pancreatic cancer. Place cancer and I was facing a 3% chance of survival beyond five years in 2007.

I had no idea that I would survive, although having a diagnosis of time to surgery to remove the tumor increases my chances of survival. At present I am still sick of the disease and I'm very grateful for this.

During the early stages following my diagnosis, I was trying to survive the cancer but, mainly, I was determined not to be a victim. cancer. I did everything that I could remove myself from the stereotype for cancer patients.

& # 39; Even 11 years on, I'm wondering if the label & # 39; Survivor is an appropriate & # 39; (Photo: Scott Ramsey /

I was lucky, I did not lose all my hair and in treatments, I was looking normal; – most of the time.

I did not want to be related to the cancer patients club and I was probably one of the most antisocial cancer patients in the chemotherapy unit.

I deliberately keep myself and I did not want to be one of them; I did not want to discuss my side effects or to see others in pain and difficulties, or to recognize that I was usually a member of that club.

Even 11 years onwards, I question if the label is a survivor & # 39; an appropriate one.

For me, in order to survive something, the event or situation you have survived must be over. After completing. You survive a car crash or an accident crash. You survive a war or a natural disaster. When those events are made; it's over.

It's a label that most of the time I'm happy to wear so that the other option is not worth thinking about it & # 39; (Photo: Scott Ramsey /

The worst with cancer is that you never know if it will never come to an end and there is no guarantee that it will not come back one day, now or in the future.

This hangs over me and will wait for the rest of my life; the effects of one year of treatment are with me as there is a constant concern that my cancer can return.

After the procedure, I completely changed the path and give my best life to start a pancreatic cancer charity – Pancreatic Cancer Action.

The establishment of the charity has meant that I have not allowed me to move away from the disease or have been able to postpone it, which has been difficult at times.

Ali Action Cancer Cancreatic established after being diagnosed in 2007 (Photo: Scott Ramsey /

However, this was a deliberate and considered choice; the fact that there has been no change in survival for almost half a century, despite huge improvements in survival rates for many other cancers.

Now, I can use my cancer survivor status to help others; to give hope to people who may be facing the same cancer as I was.

I have entered the subject that is a pancreatic cancer and I can use that information to help others navigate the health system, inform them about the options Current treatment and advising on where to go for clinical trials or even a second opinion.

I often have the guilt of the survivor's guilt – I think why I survive while so many other people do not.

And I'm not convinced that the surviving term is the correct one to use & # 39; (Photo: Scott Ramsey /

So, 11 years on, I have the cancer survivor's label now and it's a label that most of the time I'm happy to wear as the choice Another, it's not worth thinking about it.

However, I do not want that to be a label that just defines me. I am also a person, wife, daughter and mother, CEO of a charity and many, much more. All these labels are an ongoing part of me and I do not change in and out of any of them.

I am not sure that this trip has completely finished. I am not convinced that the surviving term is the correct one to use.

Think of you, I am not sure what the correct amount of the free time of the disease must go until that label becomes correct.

More: Health

So, is the cancer & # 39; survivor's label? defines me?

Yes, and I have allowed that through my Pancreatic Cancer.

Does it change me? Yes and No.

Yes, because the experience of having cancer treatment and still alive has changed my point of view to life completely.

No, because I'm still the same person I was before this happened – perhaps a little more scared of the future.


Labels that are written by individuals that have been labeled – be it from society, job title, or diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how these words have been assumed to form their identity – – positive or negative – – and what the label means for them.

If you would like to get involved, email [email protected]

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