I Haven’t Lost My Smile;
Celebrating National Cancer Survivors’ Day
By: Dr. Foluke Sarimiye
As an oncologist I join the global campaign awareness to celebrate today (National Cancer Survivors’ Day) in a special way with our Dear Gallant Heroes, the Cancer Survivors. I also take some time to remember those who fought a good fight and have gone to rest.
I’m glad a day is set aside to celebrate survivors who are living with, through and beyond the disease.
Today, we get to hear their voices beyond our consulting rooms.
We gain insight as we listen and learn from their stories of trials and triumphs. Their stories gives us hope and encouragement that our labour is not in vain as well as help modify and improve the way we care for them.
Cancer journey can be overwhelming for the patients, their families as well as the cancer multidisciplinary team.
I can remember some few years back when I just started my journey as a cancer specialist; I walked into the clinic bright and happy and a matron who knew me beyond the work place said “you will loose your smile soon”.
I didn’t understand what she meant then but now I do. There have been tough days when I wept with patients and their families and also with my close family members because of poor prognosis, progression of disease, psycho-social challenges and demise.There has been good days too when cancer survivors walk into the clinic for their follow up. Through the high and low times; I’m glad I haven’t lost my smile. My hope and commitment is refreshed daily; confident that better days are ahead for cancer patients and cancer care.
We celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day because we are not where we used to be. Survivorship has increased over the years. Knowledge on cancer biology and treatment has improved tremendously. Novel therapies through cancer research keeps coming up. Cancer support groups are thriving and fulfilling purpose.
There is increase in awareness and advocacy with beneficial health policies being implemented.
Let’s keep the faith and
hope alive. The Cancer journey is improving and getting better .
We honour and celebrate you always “Dear Survivors.” Wishing you good quality of life.
We renew our commitment as cancer multidisciplinary team to improve cancer survivorship.
So help us GOD.
Author’s Brief Profile:
Dr Foluke Sarimiye
Lecturer/Consultant Radiation and Clinical Oncologist
University of Ibadan/University College Hospital(UCH)
Patela Care Foundation