This past Saturday I spoke to over one thousand cancer survivors. The audience consisted of men, women, and children of all ages. They were all present to celebrate their lives and the courage it took to get through their collective experiences. I got the opportunity to chat with many of them after my presentation and over and over I was in awe at the myriad of stories that showcased how resilient the human spirit can be. What powerful examples they are for me. Many of us catastrophise about the littlest inconveniences and these individuals have somehow learned to reframe and reinterpret what’s happened to them in order to discover more of a reason to live, not less. Through sheer internal fortitude, they developed the strength to just keep looking for meaning, even when things seemed hopeless. It made me think that someone should really create a channel that showcases heroes and heroines to allow us to witness people who are capable of living through difficulty, and becoming victorious as a result. I know this would lift our spirits on a daily basis. Much of what we see today on television , particularly realty TV is about individuals who have done nothing to make a difference other than to try to seduce the public into following them on twitter, become their face book fan or buy their stuff. I am frankly sick of the constant parade of idiotic people with little character becoming role models for the young. I often recommend that my audience read Dr. Victor Frankls’ book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Dr. Frankl survived the concentration camps and developed a therapeutic model called Logotherapy. Dr. Frankl asks us to answer this essential question “ Can we say yes to life in spite of everything?” His query presupposes that life is meaningful under any conditions, even those that are the most miserable. And in turn, it acknowledges the human capacity to creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive. Frankl goes on to offer us his triad for tragic optimism: 1. Turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment. 2. Deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better. 3 Deriving from life’s transitory nature an incentive to take responsible action. It’s up to all of us to try to live our lives with more meaning, not only so that we can say yes to life, but also to honor those who are no longer with us.
4 Replies to “Come on’ Networks, time for a reality TV show about some real hero’s in the world, the “Cancer Survivors”.”
Oh Loretta how right you are! I am a cancer survivor, hoping to make my 4th year in remission in a couple of weeks. Although I would never purposefully choose adversity, such as an illness, I must say it has changed my life in numerous ways, all for the good. I would love to have more attention focused on people who have suffered adversity, but yet have found the courage and strength to persevere and become successful and go on and LIVE. How uplifting that would be to all of us and even though I have personally been there, believe me, I still need frequent refreshers. The so called “role models” out there are a joke. There is so much more good going on in “reality” than what is portrayed to us via the so called reality shows. We really need to wake up.
Thank you… for this article/post… I don’t watch the reality shows and I have yet to understand the appeal…
Both of my parents died young from cancer… my mother had just turned 59 when she passed away 7 years ago… she fought like a bear and had courage like you wouldn’t believe… My father had cancer and survived for 17 years… he was also a a hero to me and died at 66… four years ago…
I wish a network would showcase the courage of the survivors and the families who love and support them so much…
Thank you… One day I would love to meet you… thank you for all your amazing articles and posts.
Yes, Honor Survivors! I am Co-Chair of Relay For Life of Clarksville, VA. I am also a 9 year Breast Cancer Survivor, my surgery was on 9/11/2002….a date I can never forget. Hearing those 3 words ‘You have cancer’ changes your life, but most of us find that it is a wonderful experience….I learned so much about myself and my courage. That is why I Relay.
So one day those 3 deadly words will not be necessary. One of my grandaughters calls me her hero, another walks in the Susan Komen Walk as did my entire family with me just months after my treatment……but I am just a Survivor. Loretta, your humor helps all of us get through tough times, you are my hero! Madolyn
You are a hero to many women! Enjoy your victory.