Cancer survivorship: My paradigm shift

By Cristina Rodriguez

I’m a 30-year-old non-Hodgkin lymphoma fighter. It’s not all that I am, but it’s all I’m focused on at the moment. The purpose of my blog, lymphomamaniac, is manifold.

I shared in a previous blog entry that “I heart MD Anderson.” Well, I’m saying it again, but this time with resounding emphasis and fervor: I heart MD Anderson! 

What epic event caused this sudden influx of “that loving” feeling?” The Anderson Network 24th Annual Cancer Survivorship Conference.

This two-day weekend event was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was food for my mind, my body, my soul and my spirit. 

It caused a much-needed paradigm shift in my brain — an “a-ha moment,” if you will. Oprah would be proud. 

Me, a survivor?
I’d seen the pamphlets and posters around MD Anderson announcing this event and it seemed interesting, but I wasn’t sure it was something I should go to considering the word “survivorship.” Why, you ask? It’s because up until this weekend, I didn’t consider myself a survivor.

The American Cancer Society defines a person as a cancer survivor “from the time of diagnosis throughout the balance of his or her life.” I always had a problem with that definition.