The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

The Words We Often Use

by Allison StultsSurvivor, Ovarian CancerOctober 16, 2022View more posts from Allison Stults

The longer I endure the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the more in depth I contemplate the words we often use to describe it: fight, battle, warrior, etc. I’m truly beginning to see that these are all the WRONG words to use.

Fighting implies that there is a winner and a loser. It also implies that with enough strength, strategy, and mental mindset, that cancer will just go away, and you’ll be healed. Spin it the other way, and if your cancer becomes more aggressive, incurable, or terminal then you lost the battle.

Cancer is not something the individual can control. Many times cancer isn’t even preventable. We all have cells, and sometimes regardless of your age, health, genetics, and zero exposure to known cancer-causing agents, your cells can mutate rapidly, and boom, cancer.

As someone with cancer, I can promise you that myself and others are doing our best to take steps to hopefully live with no evidence of disease. Doing the next best thing in science and in faith to destroy every cancer cell, and prevent it from coming back. Unfortunately, cancer isn’t always an objective disease you can just conquer by doing the strongest strategic thing.

Do we ask a diabetic to keep fighting their blood sugar levels? Or do we tell someone who had a heart attack to keep up the battle? In all my years I’ve never heard the terms fight or battle for any other disease except cancer. If I could find better words to empower those going through cancer, I would.

I’m not at all offended by these words, as I have spoken them to others and used them throughout my own journey as well. However, I am just beginning to find a sour taste for them in regard to cancer. Cancer isn’t a battle you can control, and it certainly isn’t lost or won.

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