Sunday, June 7, is National Cancer Survivors Day. Survivors—as well as their family and friends—will come together to celebrate conquering this horrible disease.
National Cancer Survivors Day is a big thing for a lot of people. Here are 4 ways you can celebrate beating cancer.
1. Take Some Time To Reflect.
For some people, looking back on a child’s cancer journey can be a positive experience: They won the battle, and now they’re moving forward with life.
For others, it can be tough: Looking back on scary and emotionally trying times can bring up some difficult feelings.
But, as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) explains, it is important to reflect on all that your family has been through. This can be done individually or as part of a discussion between you and your child.
Here in Omaha, we have Cancer Survivors Park. It’s an outdoor area that has some sculptures and lots of pretty trees. Open to everyone, it’s a nice place to go to spend time reflecting on what survivorship means for your family.
2. Commemorate The Journey.
People can get really creative about how they not only celebrate survivorship, but also memorialize their experience.
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation has many suggestions for how to commemorate your child’s victory over cancer, including:
- The Fabric of Hope: Create your own quilt squares that represent your unique experience with cancer.
- Light of Hope: Host a candle lighting ceremony to honor the survivors in your life.
- Hope in Motion: Sign up for a walk, run, or bike race to raise money for a good cause.
- Joining Hands in the Fight Against Cancer: Paint a handprint mural with inspirational messages from everyone involved in your child’s journey.
- Hope Grows Here: Plant a memorial garden.
Some people like to do a balloon release to celebrate beating cancer. But balloon releases and sky lanterns can be dangerous to wildlife. In some states, sky lanterns are even banned, the World Animal Foundation (WAF) explains.
The WAF has some great ideas for environmentally friendly alternatives to balloon releases:
- Blow bubbles.
- Float flowers or flower petals.
- Fly a kite.
3. Do Something Special.
Some families like to keep their celebrations low-key. They may take their child out to eat at her favorite restaurant.
Others prefer to get as many people as possible involved in the celebration. They might throw a big party to celebrate survivorship.
4. Remember That Survivorship Has Many Meanings.
I think it’s important to recognize that beating cancer is not just a matter of finishing treatment, and having clean scans and tests.
When your child is receiving treatment, every day is an ongoing battle against cancer. In that sense, every day that she survives is a win worth celebrating.