National Cancer Survivors Day

Coping® is a proud sponsor and publisher of the exclusive coverage of National Cancer Survivors Day®.


Click here for Coping® magazine's Exclusive Coverage of National Cancer Survivors Day® 2017 (pdf).

Return to Previous Page

You Have the Power!

by Regina E. Savage

Inspiration image

Today is a present, truly a gift. Just think, we have been given a second chance – a chance to change things for the better, to make our lives what we want them to be.

There is so much good that can come from cancer. I know that might sound unbelievable, but it’s true. No, this was not your choice; no, you wouldn’t wish this on anyone; no, you didn’t want this; but look at it in the sense of what you can get from your experience of cancer, what you can do and who you can be. What do you have to lose?

Now is the time to change what you want to change, to realize you have a second chance and are going to live life the way you want to live, with the people, places, and love that you deserve surrounding you. Be selective; get the negative out of your life, leave what you don’t need behind, and move forward. Realize your potential and find your dreams; you have the power!

Now is the time to change what you want to change, to realize you have a second chance and are going to live life the way you want to live.

Now that you’ve had the chance to find yourself, your spirit, and your will to survive, use that for good and make needed changes. Are you in a job you don’t like? Do you live in a place you are uncomfortable with or with someone you don’t really want to live with? Make changes! Life is short, no matter how long you live, so make the next chapter in your life really count.

In the support group I belong to was a woman who decided she did not want cancer to tell her she couldn’t work out any longer, and she set out to prove it. She started a cancer survivor paddling team, and I joined. I had never paddled in my life, especially not in races or competitions, but I loved it! I met new people, other gals who did not want to be defined as helpless, who did not want to spend the rest of their lives sitting in a corner and waiting for the worst, gals who wanted to live.

I was so happy with this paddling team that I started my own cancer survivor team made up of individuals with all types of cancer who wanted to get out on the water and enjoy life. It is a support group in the fresh air, with people who have gone through what I have gone through and understand. This is something I would never have done before.

Is my life perfect now? Of course not, but I make my own decisions and stick with them. I don’t say “yes” anymore just because I feel like it’s the thing to do. Instead, I say what I need to say in order to be genuine and true to myself. I try to remember all the kindness I received when I was sick, and I try to help others.

I also remember that old quote about walking in other people’s shoes. We do not know what others are going through, what their circumstances, difficulties, and obstacles are, unless we are in their shoes. So treat everyone with kindness, understanding, and respect, and it will come back to you tenfold. Now is the time to stand up and make it all count. Be the best you can be, the you with no regrets. You have gotten a second chance – make it count.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Regina Savage is a breast cancer survivor living in Southern California.

Excerpted with permission from Mirror Makeovers and Savvy Insights for the Everyday Gal Surviving Cancer and Baldness with a Sense of Humor, by Regina E. Savage, copyright © 2009. All rights reserved. For more information, visit

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, January/February 2013.