Living with cancer blog

Cancer survivors can thrive on inner strength

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. August 27, 2011

What is resilience? For you as a cancer survivor, it might be defined as the ability to recover, the strength to move forward, and the awareness of the needs of your own body.

Resilience is a strength that comes from within and is self-motivating. Research has shown that cancer survivors, when questioned, many times identify their own inner strength as one of the primary sources of strength as they experience and recover from a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Many of you can identify with this concept, although it may be hard to put into words at first. Here are a few thoughts to consider as you reflect on your own resilience:

  • How do you bounce back from difficult situations?
  • What are your coping mechanisms?
  • How do you gain strength and courage to move forward? What motivates you?
  • Are you able to ask for help when you need it? What is your support system?
  • What inspires you and makes you feel whole as a person?

I have met so many survivors who have this amazing ability to survive and thrive despite the physical and emotional stress of cancer. Please share your thoughts on this topic. I would love to hear your opinion on what you feel is resilience and how this inner strength has helped you in your experience.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

Aug. 27, 2011