Always an interesting question...reminds me of the 50 something woman that is dating, and has to intruduce her "boyfriend"....always feels a little awkward. Can't seem to find the right words...
I know many people don't like it, but I use the word remission as well. For me personally, the definition suits my thinking:
"the state of absence of disease activity in patients with a chronic illness, with the possibility of return of disease activity".
I use it for 2 reasons..."they" get the word remission. It means nothing is wrong at the moment, but COULD be in the future....so it is not over. We all know peole where it has come back, but we also know people that have stayed in "remission" forever. I just find it easier to use this term, as it is one I don't have to explain, and most people understand.
The other reason is for me, mentally. When I had cancer the first time, I thought I was cured. That's what they told me! Then 2.5 years later I get hit upside the head again. Talk to me in 5 years...then maybe "remission" will become "cured".
I do think it is a matter of saying the words that give you comfort. When I went back to work after surgery/ chemo, my co oworker said, as we walked in the door..."Great...this is all over, you can forget about it and get on with your life." Suuuuurrrre. Forget about it...
I think I will always view myself as a cancer patient.....but a cancer patient survivor.It hasn't won yet, and hopefully never will. Until that changes...
I am a CRC survivor in remission.
'06 Stage 1 CC,
'10 Stage 3 Rectal
"You never know how strong you are until you have to become your own hero."