Cancer is one of the top news stories again thanks to social media. My heart goes out to Senator McCain and his family. It’s beautiful to see the responses regarding his brain cancer diagnosis. There’s been a lot of public support for him and I’m sure he’s grateful.
There are also several articles written by other cancer survivors pointing out we shouldn’t use war analogies about cancer. I agree because it did bother me a bit when people referenced McCain’s diagnosis as another fight, war, or battle.
There are winners and losers when referencing a battle. When someone dies from a health issue, such as cancer, using war metaphors makes it seem the person didn’t try hard enough.
I understand the toughness part. Being considered a “tough person” is appealing and that narrative is helpful to many people. It helps them get through each day with the right attitude.
And having a survivor label has never appealed to me. Makes it sound like you’re just a “left-over” from before. Others have called me feisty and that is probably more accurate. I’ll own that one!
I was diagnosed with early stage cancer 3 times (breast cancer twice and melanoma once). The ability to catch those cancers early is probably because I noticed something different, a change in my body. It’s necessary to know yourself and not be afraid to seek help with healing. My philosophy includes an integrative approach to heal because cancer is so complex.
Being told you have cancer is scary as hell because of the unknown future. No one knows if a cancer patient’s body will heal or how life will unfold. You can’t control everything. This is another reason why I recommend to enjoy life while here.
Those with cancer or have had cancer appreciate support from others. People mean well when they reach out and cancer patients won’t be offended by your words. Just remember to help them focus on what’s important right now. #CancerF’ingSucks
Wishing Senator John McCain the best outcome on his journey to wellbeing.
Below is a post about melanoma published in April 2016. My friend Rene passed away from brain cancer 2 weeks after I wrote this. We miss you Rene.