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Cancer Survival: Are You A Victim Or Are You Victorious?

Updated on July 27, 2015
Crater Lake
Crater Lake | Source
My nieces take pictures of flowers to stave off boredom
My nieces take pictures of flowers to stave off boredom | Source


The Merriam Webster dictionary defines victim: as one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent .They even use, "victim of cancer". as an example.

Nobody chooses to have cancer, but how you deal with cancer is a choice. Many people who have cancer made life choices that have weakened their systems and allowed cancer to grow. This isn't always true. My first encounter with cancer was at age 4 or 5. Many of the life choices people make that open their systems to cancer, unknowingly made those choices because they didn't know any better. As science advances and more is known about the causes of cancer, some things once considered healthy have been proven to be the opposite. It is easy to fall into victim mode after you eat healthy foods and exercise, and cancer develops in your body despite your best efforts.

You have a choice about being a victim of cancer or victorious in cancer. Do you want to go down to the grave with your family devastated by your suffering or are you going down victoriously, your family confidently saying,"Mom lived life to the fullest without regrets".

I will be a victor. I made that choice. I have made other choices as well. I will be kind to people when I don't feel like it, when something can be done to improve my situation I will do it. It is a choice to be victorious. I will not do treatments in vain attempts to prolong my life. I read an article about a women who did not have heart surgery when she was 85 because she realized that most people her age decline rapidly after surgery. She managed her pain and did everything enjoyable she could for as long as she could. Then she died peacefully with loving children by her side. Being a victor doesn't mean you live forever, it means you live well.

After Chemo Triathlon

I did a sprint Tri 8 weeks after chemotherapy. The end of the triathlon with my friend. Friends make victory easier.
I did a sprint Tri 8 weeks after chemotherapy. The end of the triathlon with my friend. Friends make victory easier. | Source

The Lady At Crater Lake

Crater Lake is a perfect place for a marathon. Every August people run around the lake and a little more to run a 26 mile course. This run is hard. (My brother-in-law who has run the Boston Marathon more than 10 time said at the end of the race," It's the hardest marathon I have ever run".) The weather can be in the forty's at the beginning and the eighty's at the finish. You have to have fortitude to run this race. Living with cancer is like running a marathon. You keep pushing forward one step at a time until you reach the finish.

Four days after my seventh round of chemo, we drove to Crater Lake to watch my brother-in-law run the Crater Lake marathon. He and his family had flown to the west coast from Boston. If they make it anywhere near California we try for a meet up.

The day before the run our whole group drove around the lake stopping at all the spots of interest. At one of the stops we walked a good distance to an overlook. While we were recovering a lady with an oxygen bottle on her back plopped down next to me. Always the wise cracker I said, " You better protect your oxygen you may get mugged for it". We all laughed and chatted for a bit and walked back to the car. The couple also stopped at the next outlook. The lady came over and said, "I want to thank you for your joke". I was surprised. She explained that all her life she had been an athlete. She had always been in good shape and loved the outdoors. Then she had a virus and it ruined her lungs. She decided she wasn't going to let an oxygen bottle keep her down, still most people just assumed she had led a life of smoking and ended up with an oxygen bottle. They never joked with her. They usually shunned her. I was the first person in a long time who saw her as an active determined lady. She was so happy. She was a survivor. I want to be just like her. She is a victor.

Storm Brewing


Dear Reader

You or someone near to you has gotten the unbelievable diagnosis. Cancer! Everyone has at some time been touched by cancer. What I want everyone to know is that they have choices to make, The best choice is to be victorious while living with cancer. Whether I live or die I have victory over the cancer that I live with. I had cancer 17 years ago. It came back 3 years ago not in my other breast, but in my sternum. When breast cancer comes back in the bone it is called metastatic, Metastatic cancer of any form is not good, but as I have said, "I am a victor." My criteria, whether I live six months or sixty years remains the same. I am am a victor because I have chosen to make things I can control right. I do when there is something to be done and I have the strength. I make an effort to encourage those around me. I act like a follower of Christ because he was a victor long before I walked the earth. I don't like the term Christian, at least what many people think of as Christian. Jesus Christ is either God or a a deceiver. If he isn't God then why would anyone give their life for the cause of Christ. Believe me there are many Christians giving their lives for their faith in this modern age. They too, are examples of victorious living.



Last week was awful. There was a 25 page application that needed my husband's signature. He was at work 50 miles away. One of my sons had the day off so he and his friend were going to drive it down and get it signed. He got a call from the doctor and had to go to his office There was another application that needed to be filled out and accompanied with our life history. Of course parts of those papers were nowhere to be found. I am normally an organized person, But that day what was needed couldn't be located. Then my 18 year old son's girlfriend posted on Face Book, "I am 9 weeks and I am craving Starbursts." My mouth dropped to the floor. I was overwhelmed.

This is where being a victorious minded person comes into play. I prayed " O God how are these kids going to get through college with a baby." I have strong convictions about life and the kids do too. Still I had all these thoughts going through my mind. How was I going to tell my over-worked and over whelmed husband? Why did she put this out on Facebook and not tell us first?. Then I did what a victorious person does. I sought to clarify the situation. I sent a text to my daughter."Does this mean what I think it does?" An hour later the answer was ,"No" To explain it would just confuse you. The point is don't fume and stroke-out over situations. Ask for help. Asking for help hasn't always been my first line of thought. Do not suffer in silence. Get your support group supporting you. When you need help a victorious person asks for help.

Tools Of Victory

What would you say are tools of victory?

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:) We got the application signed without driving far at all. My husband faxed signed copies of the application to the loan officer, then I drove two miles to his office to sign the faxed documents. Creative problem solving instead of fretting helps you be victorious. When you have no ideas depend on others. Professionals in the area your having difficulty are especially helpful.


Patsy Clairmont understands pain and is a victor too.

Something Beautiful

Crater Lake 2010
Crater Lake 2010 | Source

Wits End

Wits end is a very movable place. Its location is different for everyone. When you get to wits end, move sideways. Call the advice nurse. Advice is what they are there to give. Imagine how boring each shift is if nobody calls for advice. Ask your pharmacists if you are confused about a drug. If you feel terrible, get a funny movie. LAUGH! Laughter relives pain and most everything else that drags you down. Call somebody and say, "I love you". Their shock alone might be worth a good laugh.

There are many things you can do when you don't feel well. A sweet girl hangs out with one of my sons. She likes to tell jokes and she is very good at it. Sometimes I ask to hear her latest joke. Then we laugh.

In the middle of the night when nobody is around, count your blessings.

When you can't do anything else seek beautiful things to look at like sunsets or pictures of beautiful places, but do something.

When you have moved away from wits end, you are part of the, "Victory While Living With Cancer Club". Remember the victor goes sideways they get to wits end.

Crater Lake Rock Castle Formation

Dream when you can't do anything else.
Dream when you can't do anything else. | Source


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      FlourishAnyway, Greetings. I certainly agree with you about humor. It has taken me years to figure out how little it takes to make people smile.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      The gift you provided the woman with the oxygen tank was priceless; humor is so important in the struggle. There are so many folks around us that we can easily mistake as weak because their bodies have seemingly failed them in some way, whether it's on account of cancer, stroke, an autoimmune disease, etc. Often, however, these can be among the strongest people. Your story demonstrates outstanding strength and wisdom.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      tirelesstraveler~I say "you rock" all the time as it does fit my personality. Just loving reading your articles. I put this one and another link on my hub. Have a great weekend :-)

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      We have the sun here today-it is really lovely outside and just so you know "Irish mist " is a whiskey liqueur made in Dublin as well as a description of weather :-) This is a great hub and I enjoyed reading it again.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Kate- We have a good Irish mist here today. Last week we were nearly at a hundred degrees Fahrenheit and today 60F.

      Minnetonka Twin, You Rock! I know that is a silly thing to say, but I think it describes you. Fun loving, full of life, totally aware that cancer sucks, but it can't have your life without a fight. You Go Girl!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Dearest tirelesstraveler~what a moving and upbeat article, even though it's about the cancer journey. I just want you to know that I'm in with the victorious club. Life is amazing and a gift. Wasting even one day, even if issues arise, is a choice. I choose to live as you do~with a positive and grateful heart. I was very touched by the story of the woman with the oxygen tank. Your light-hearted joke made her feel seen for the first time in a long time. You saw the real person instead of the oxygen tank. Love your sense and humor and beautiful heart. I would also like to use some of your hub links on my cancer hubs if that's alright with you. I too feel that our hubs are complimentary to each other. Have a great day Victorious lady.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      I have heard of Listowel yes but as you know it is more South. We are in the North-West, Donegal to be exact. Is it sunny in California these days? Raining usual

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Kate, Thanks for visiting. are you anywhere near Listole? ( I think that's how you spell it. I have a friend there. I am somewhat familiar with the Dublin area, but not the western area of Ireland.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Greetings from Ireland.This is such an inspirational hub-full of wisdom and courage.I shared it on my facebook page Looking forward to reading more of your stuff

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Pamela, Thank you so much.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I really like your line, "Wits end is a very moveable place." This is a great hub you've written. I'm Sharing it.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      formosangirl, love green tea and drink lots of it.

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Pray to be mentally strong and to avoid colds. I know a couple of men who are fighting cancer, and they both have had colds recently that they cannot shake. Hope you like green tea.

    • yflores43 profile image

      yflores43 6 years ago from phoenix,az

      your welcome ,

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Thank you for going outside your comfort zone to comment. Here's to Life!

    • yflores43 profile image

      yflores43 6 years ago from phoenix,az

      to say the truth I hate to even talk about it since it took my grandparents its not my favorite thing to talk about but for all survivors may god giv you many more and enjoy life to the fullest . Write your own history


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