I pulled out my t-shirt drawer recently and realized that it is practically bursting at the seams. I am not normally a t-shirt gal, so it took me by surprise that I have accumulated so many of these garments over the past year. As I rifled through the drawer, I came to realize a perk: many of these t-shirts came to me FREE for participating in cancer events such as retreats, the Relay for Life and the Run for the Cure. In some cases, I got two t-shirts for the same event: the standard white participant one and the coveted survivors t-shirt (okay, maybe “coveted” is a bit strong of a word).
Although there is some controversy in the cancer world about the use of the term “survivor” and what it means, there is no denying the special synergy that exists among the group who gets to wear the “coveted” t-shirt. Having shared a similar experience, we feel an automatic kinship with other survivors. (We also get to say: Cancer….been there, done that, got the t-shirt!)
I am pretty sure that as I walk or run the track wearing my survivors t-shirt, spectators are looking at me and thinking: “Wow! Look at that cool yellow t-shirt. All I got was a boring old white one. I wonder what I have to do to get to wear the yellow one?” Well, probably they are not thinking that. But I am certain that at least some of the spectators are looking at me and thinking, “Wow! Look at my mom/sister/daughter/friend/girlfriend. She is a survivor!”