Saturday, October 3, 2009


October is "Breast Cancer Awareness" month. Many of the stores are selling pink ribbon products to raise awareness. When Carl and I were in a grocery store last week, I saw a pink ribbon car magnet and on it was printed the word "SURVIVOR".

When I saw it , I thought, "I think that means me. I think I am now called a survivor." Funny, I have been finished with treatment for a week now and this is the first time I have thought about being a survivor.

I spent some time thinking about that word. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, being a survivor simply meant making it through chemo and radiation and getting on with life. But when do you call yourself a survivor?, I wondered. I remember hearing very early after being diagnosed, that you are a survivor the day you are diagnosed. With a stage IIIB , TNBC desert looming in front of me, I had a hard time grasping that concept. I asked myself, "when will I truly feel like a survivor?" When I've made it through surgery? Chemo? Radiation? One year out? Two years out? Five years out? I shared those feelings with my good friend Ann one morning. Later that evening, I received this beautiful e-mail from her.

Dear Roxanne,
You are a survivor each day you awake to God's grace anew. And when your final days come many years from now and you awake to God's Holy arms and His beautiful face, you are a survivor then too. For you have lived on this Earth, battled with Satan's powers, and left a legacy of love, faith and grace. Fight on my dear friend and survivor!
Blessings and God's strength for each new day. Ann

Today, after spending 10 months in the desert, the word survivor has a much different meaning for me than it did in the beginning. Before the journey, being a survivor meant "all about me, and what I would do". After the journey, I have learned it is "all about Him and what He will do".

Being a survivor means being brought to our weakest point and learning that His strength is all we need.

Being a survivor is when your self will becomes His will.

You are a survivor when you walk out of the desert beside Him instead of in front of Him.

YES! I am a survivor. But NOT because of anything I have done. For without God's grace and mercy fresh every morning, I would not have made it through. Apart from Him I can do nothing.

And I pray, with all my heart, that whatever trial or battle you are facing right now, that you can know God's fresh new mercies and grace each morning. That as you travel through your desert, you can trust that He walks with you each step of the way and that He WILL bring you out.

And when He walks us out, we will truly be called "SURVIVORS" !

1 comment:

  1. I think today marks the day of your most meaningful, victorious, heartfelt post yet! I felt like jumping up and down and running down to the finish line with a crown, a bouquet of roses, and a winner's flag!!!!! You are not only a survivor, Roxanne, but a champion! You have run the race, finished the course, and come out the other side of this desert more like the Master than ever. Paul's greatest desire was expressed in those words that say, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurection. . ." I think that those who walk through the deserts of cancer and come out the other side somehow learn a little of what that means, and we are never the same again. It takes a while to find words for it all, to look in the mirror and to learn who we are, where we are, and where we are going. But it is all wrapped up in that word, "Survivor!"

    I'm not sure when we can call ourselves survivors. I felt like one the first day they tried to access my port!!!!!! And when I survived the first chemo, I knew I could survive anything. And after being burned like a crispy chicken wing with radiation, I KNEW I was a survivor!!!!!

    But I have also found that being a survivor is a matter of the heart and soul. It is not a matter of whether I am still living and breathing, but rather as you so eloquently stated, it is a matter of WHO we are walking with after it is all said and done!!!!!

    Thank you for helping me lift my eyes today in thankfulness to the One who brought me all this way!


Feel Free To Share Your Thoughts!