Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Putting cancer in its place

Recently, Sidney Harman, the 92 year old executive chairman of Newsweek, died of Acute Myeloid Leukemia or AML. Prior to his death he wrote a column on his cancer. He requested that it go stay in the corner as he was too busy to deal with it.

Many people let their cancer diagnosis dominate their lives while they are in treatment. Mr. Harman suggests this is wrong. He was too busy living to have time to let it get in the way of his life.

I think he has a good point. I was told a breast cancer diagnosis is a year out of your life and then you go back to 'normal' (whatever that is) and get on with your life. Many people drop everything in their lives and deal with their cancer and its treatment. Why do we do this? Is this the fight or flight mentality? If you have any other medical issue, do you put your life on hold? Is it because of the connotations of the word cancer that make us drop everything?

Cancer is not worthy of our fear, nor is it worthy of our life's focus. There is a lesson to be learned here, life is to valuable to have it neglected because of a diagnosis. Cancer should go sit in the corner. We need to focus on living and enjoying life.

4 comments:

WhiteStone said...

I like that idea. Put cancer in the corner...and go on about life.

Lisa said...

While I like the idea of putting cancer in the cancer and going about life, it is not quite that easy. After having a bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer, I am not only reminded ob the cancer every day when I look at my chest, I have lymphedema. A mild case, but it requires at least some attention from me on a daily basis. I take aromasin and am reminded of breast cancer by the constant ache of my fingers and other joints, So when I go about my life, I am constantly reminded about cancer and wish there were better treatments other than slash, mutilate and poison.

nancyspoint said...

I sure would like to put cancer in the corner and leave it there. Some days I am more successful at it than others. Like Lisa said, there are so many reminders... for me it's not really possible, at least not yet.

breast cancer symptoms said...

It is a good positive attitude towards the darkness in our life to continue finding that light and carry on.