Harjeet Kaur

Harjeet Kaur- Celebrating 3 years of my Cancerversary

Edmonton AB

Cancerversaries are all about moving forward and celebrating life. To me, it shows where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.

It's been three years this year. Three years since I heard the words, "You have stage 4 cancer." I was diagnosed with Stage 4 subcutaneous panniculitis T-cell Lymphoma which was complicated by HLH (Auto immune disease) in August 2019. Since it is such an aggressive and rare type of cancer, the first 2 years are the most critical for recurrence. I also had to go through a stem cell transplant in April 2020 during COVID pandemic.

What’s the big deal about celebrating a cancerversary? Lots of people have asked me this question; it’s important that one understands the word, cancerversary…

Cancerversaries can be celebrated anytime and anyplace. Some celebrants choose to celebrate cancerversaries annually on the specific day of diagnosis. Others choose to celebrate annually on the day of surgery when the cancer was removed from the body.

Some choose to celebrate monthly, and others celebrate day-by-day or minute-by-minute.

Cancerversaries are as unique as the individuals who choose to celebrate them.

But cancerversaries aren’t just a time of celebration; they’re also a time of reflection and remembrance. For me and some survivors and those who care for them, cancerversaries can be emotionally challenging.

I celebrate each year of being cancer-free (NED).

I’ve chosen to celebrate my cancerversary each year on the day of my diagnosis- The D-day 28th August 2019.

Being a stage 4 cancer survivor and stem cell transplant survivor during COVID, I celebrate life each and every day.

I spend time with my loved ones to celebrate my milestone every year.

Surrounding yourself with those that will always support you, will make each milestone much more meaningful.

It’s just as important to look back as it is to look forward, especially when going through a cancer journey.

I take the time to reflect on where I was and where I have been, the milestones I have achieved, or the goals that I have set for myself to be healthy and alive.

Cancerversaries are all about moving forward and celebrating life. To me, it shows where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.

I’m still trying to figure it all out after cancer, but the greatest thing I have learned is that I am so blessed because although I may not know where my life is headed, I have family, friends, cancer buddies, and supportive cancer communities who love and support me no matter what.

For me, being a cancer survivor means not only that am I still alive, but that I have also learned to cope — emotionally and physically — with the long-term effects of my cancer diagnosis and treatments and with each passing day.

I still pinch myself and looking back at photos; I almost don't even recognize that woman.

I love this quote "you don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have" and it's so damn true!

Don't get me wrong, there were many days when I was just broken, where it took a lot out of me and I was in a lot of pain but I've come so far!

I feel stronger each day and each year that I am with no evidence of cancer.

I have achieved 3 years of milestones and looking forward to celebrating my 5years of cancerversary.

“Surviving and thriving each day”