BLOG: From Survivorship to Thrivorship

BLOG: From Survivorship to Thrivorship

5.22.12 In addition to support groups in the Twin Cities metro area, MOCA has support groups in other parts of the state, including Rochester. At a Rochester meeting earlier this month, Chaplain Mary Johnson was a guest speaker for the group. She addressed the topic of survivorship – a subject she is familiar with as a retired Mayo Clinic assistant professor of oncology where she coordinated spiritual research efforts within the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Chaplain Johnson provides today’s guest post.

Earlier this month I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with the southeastern Minnesota MOCA group. I was asked to speak about survivorship but we went beyond survivorship and focused on thrivorship.

What is the difference? To survive is to remain alive, to carry on despite hardships, to persevere.  To thrive is to grow vigorously, to flourish, or to realize a goal.  We had a rich and spirited discussion about the topic. During the meeting we discussed strategies for thriving, which I’d like to share with Teal Together readers.

These five core strategies for thriving include:

1) Maintaining health connections and/or a vibrant community

2) Having an internal sense of identity that goes beyond a diagnosis, symptoms, or lab results

3) Maintaining an internal sense of control including making choices and exercising the self-determination you have

4) Being self-transcendent by being cognizant of the needs of those around you

5) Keeping perspective (balance) on your own struggles through the use of spirituality, self-respect, humor, and the afore-mentioned strategies.

The Southeastern Minnesota MOCA group meets every other month at the Hope Lodge in Rochester. Find more details about the Southeastern MOCA support group at: http://mnovarian.org//support/groups/se-mn/.