There has been much talk recently about Roger Ebert and how he lost his battle with cancer. He didn't lose his battle. He lived his life and then died. Where did we get this battle thing regarding cancer and other ailments anyway? A battle is not about medical ailments.
If you look at Dictionary.com we get:
bat·tle1 [bat-l] noun, verb, bat·tled, bat·tling.
- a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces: the battle of Waterloo.
- participation in such hostile encounters or engagements: wounds received in battle.
- a fight between two persons or animals: ordering a trial by battle to settle the dispute.
- any conflict or struggle: a battle for control of the Senate.
- Archaic. a battalion.
Do you see anything cancer related or medical related there? I don't. So why do we use these terms? Opposing military forces are not related to cancer.
If one has cancer or other ailments, they are not participating in hostile encounters or engagements.
If one has cancer or other ailments, they are not fighting with another person or animal.
Having cancer is not a conflict or struggle, its an ailment that is treated.
And cancer has nothing to do with a battalion, even in old English.
Maybe because someone thought they made them stronger if they were battling?
Maybe because someone thought a battle or war is a better image than a person?
Maybe because someone DIDN'T think?
Please do not tell me I am battling anything. I am not. I am living with multiple ailments. I have a life and I am not at war. Roger Ebert did not battle anything, he also was a person living with medical ailments as well.