Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random cancer musings

So cancer sucks up your life and makes you forget about all the other important things going on around you. You rearrange your priorities and think 'cancer' about EVERYTHING! What? This is wrong. Cancer shouldn't take over your life. You should still get to live your life with out the giant elephant called cancer following you every where.

Speaking of living my life, I have said this before and will say it again, I am not a cancer victim, cancer patient, or cancer survivor, or any other stupid term like that. I am simply someone who is living with cancer. If you look up the definition of the word victim, you get:
1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: a victim of an automobile accident.
2. a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion.
3. a person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed: war victims.
4. a living creature sacrificed in religious rites.

I am not suffering from a destructive or injurious action or agency - just dealing with a medical diagnosis. I was not deceived or cheated, nor was I sacrificed in war or in a religious rite. Also, I am not a cancer patient. A patient is someone who is undergoing medical treatment. I may be a patient while I am at the doctors but not every second of the day. (Well, I am patient in that I am waiting for a cure for cancer.)

A survivor? Not really. What did I survive? A few million (or at least it feels like that many) doctor appointments maybe. I have persevered through hardship but am I surviving like a weed in the garden? Am I just another weed in the garden of life? Or is my cancer surviving like a weed? Lurking in the background, you pull out all the ones you can find but then sometimes they reappear. I get really resentful when people tell me I am a survivor. Or when people say your 'battle with cancer'. Hello, a battle is full of heavy hitting, well positioned, military like people whaling away at an enemy. A course of medical treatment is more like taking pot shots in the dark - we'll try this treatment and if it doesn't work, we'll try this one and if it doesn't work, we'll try another. Oh, and this treatment has a few million side effects, don't mind them, we are treating your cancer, we think but aren't really sure.

How cynical am I these days? Well, perhaps you can call me the cancer cynic. I admit that somehow the glass is less than half full and the rose colored glasses work less frequently these days. But in the meantime, I'm still here.

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