Cancer survivors unite-for National Cancer Survivors Day

MARQUETTE — Tuesday UP Health Systems hosted a social event at the Presque Isle Pavilion in Marquette in honor of National Cancer Survivors day-a Celebration of Life.

The event honored cancer survivor’s and soon–to–be cancer survivor’s. According to one official, the event was a great way for survivors and patients to reconnect with doctor’s and other patients whom they may have lost contact with after treatment.

Breast Cancer Survivor Janice Lovel was here for the first time this year and was encouraged by the turn out.

She said, “I look at all the survivors and it’s like, oh golly, this is awesome. Not awesome that they all have it, but it’s awesome that I can see someone with it.”

Members of the community were on site to offer different support programs for survivors and patients. The UP Health Systems National Cancer Survivor Day Celebration included raffle prizes and refreshments provided from local partners.

For cancer patients and survivors alike, whether it be from childhood cancer, or cancer as an adult like Janice, there are some messages that are universal, like trusting your doctor and finding yourself a great support system.

For patients and survivors a support system could include family, friends, co–workers and your doctor.

Oncologist and Hematologist Philip Lowry says this event allows doctors and patients to see one another outside of the hospital. He says it might be difficult for some patients and survivors to separate the doctor from what the doctor may represent, like treatments and the diagnosis.

Dr. Lowry said, “Yes, you may be intimidated by your doctor for what he or she represents but hopefully what you could do is push beyond that and start to understand that A) the doctor is a human being that empathizes and understands something that you’re going through and B) the doctor is doing what he or she feels will ultimately be in your best interests. And it’s maybe hard to see that on a day–to–day basis.”

This event encouraged another important message, for survivors and patients to be who they want to be.

Janice Lovel said, “And I am one of the rebels, and I do not wear a wig. This is me, and I only wear a hat to protect my head from the sun. And it’s like, it is what it is, some people choose the wig. I don’t.”

These folks may want you to remember that life is worth celebrating everyday.