Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When words don't work

Dana Jennings nailed it here with his discussion of words used to refer to cancer people. I really dislike the word survivor, victim is not even worth mentioning. I am not battling anything. I AM A PERSON LIVING WITH CANCER AND TRYING TO KEEP MY LIFE TOGETHER AS THE NEW ME.

I have long since decided that when I die many years from now, I will have prewritten my obituary which will not include any of the ridiculous words such as battle, victim, survivor, etc. It will discuss life and what I like to do.

Also, no cancer is a good cancer so don't try to tell me I had a good one. The impact of cancer is that you are treated differently for life. Doctors put you at the front of the 'should we check for anything else' line.

I think his article touched a nerve here with me. Hmmm.... Okay, off to work this morning, driving around the soggy New England landscape - 9" of rain in 3 days has led to a tiny bit of flooding. But I'll wear my boots. What's worse? Cancer or getting my feet wet? Its all a matter of perspective.


Cancer Information Source said...

Interesting, and I see your point about the words we often use to describe cancer and people with cancer. However, it made me realize an interesting truth, which is that different people relate to cancer in different ways.

Whereas "battling" and "survivor" are ugly words to you, to others they are empowering. From an admittedly limited sampling, it seems to me that many men do prefer those words. They (being very general here) relate more to the idea of battling and conquering a dangerous foe. It makes them feel like a hero, as they should.

Take care!

Julie said...

I agree with CIS that everyone is different. I'm in a battle that I plan to win. I'm a proud survivor. I hope to not become a victim. I say use whatever words work for you and I'll do the same :) What's important aren't the words though, but rather the attitude with which we approach our lives regardless of our situation. That's my take anyway. Wishing you well!

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