Your journey with cancer

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Your journey with cancer

Post by KarenVM87 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:44 am

A friend who living with breast cancer wrote this piece and I have her permission to put this on our forum.

"I hear and read lots of references to people with cancer as being in a battle. That is, something that can be won or lost, depending on how good a fight you put up. Ergo, if you lose, it's because you didn't fight hard enough or well enough. I don't see it like that. I see my cancer experience more as a narrow, precipitous and unforeseeable path suspended between hope and the abyss, which must be navigated with caution. I don't dare err on the side of hope because it can so easily be dashed. But neither do I want to fall into the abyss of fear and doubt and dread on the other side. So I carefully pick my way along this little path which does sometimes widen to give moments of great pleasure, clarity, growth, happiness, even, and beauty. And sometimes narrows so it takes all my willpower to keep on walking and not falling. I look up but cannot see the end yet. So, I try to make the journey and how I navigate it what counts, rather than merely the destination. (But a part of me cannot help hoping for safe haven at journey's end.) 
I have yet to meet anyone travelling this path whose journey's end will come because they didn't care enough to fight. "

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Re: Your journey with cancer

Post by pennycsf » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:02 pm

Thanks, Karen, that's lovely and I have heard similar things before. Please thank your friend. From my experience, people with cancer don't see themselves having a battle, more a case of hanging on in there! :)

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Re: Your journey with cancer

Post by CarolineLe » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:59 pm

KarenVM87 wrote:
I have yet to meet anyone travelling this path whose journey's end will come because they didn't care enough to fight. "
Well said. This is something that I really needed to hear at the moment and I will make sure to pass it along to my friend, she definitely needs to read this.

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Re: Your journey with cancer

Post by diparkin » Sat May 20, 2017 10:09 am

Yes I agree, there is a horrid implication in the language of "battle" "win or lose" "Bravery" which implies that people with a strong backbone and gumption will come out of the positive end of the thing and it is your fault if you dont
Of course attempts to raise ones spirits, or find supportive therapies are a good thing, but they dont always reflect on the outcome.The implicit blaming the person for not trying hard enough, is just an additional burden.
In addition there can be the tyranny of having to make smoothies out of Kale all day, insisting "only if you do such and such" will there be a favourable result.

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Re: Your journey with cancer

Post by biggles » Sat May 20, 2017 5:16 pm

Yes, me too. Having had cancer back in 2006 and still around to tell the tale, I also found the battle analogies unhelpful. And any implication that it was my fault was downright insulting!!

It is also very upsetting to those who have 'fought and won' only to find that the d*mn thing comes back some years later and the 'battle' has to begin again. Will it be Waterloo this time?

On the other hand, I have heard some cancer patients say that "I"m not letting this thing beat me", which gives them courage to face the next days ahead.

We're all different. ;)

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