Warrior language

I’ve written before about the metaphors we use to describe our relationship to cancer. This recent LA Times op-ed also makes a good argument for questioning the way we talk about having cancer and why.

When she became dizzy and passed out in the hospital, she’d wanted to ask her oncologist if she was dying, but she couldn’t bring herself to project anything other than a positive outlook. “I’m not a quitter,” she told me, “but I think fighting this is killing me.”

Read the full article:

The good that can come when we stop seeing cancer as a battle to win or lose, by Sunita Puri

3 Replies to “Warrior language”

  1. I appreciate this so much. We make choices, even in the face of mortality, and that’s empowering.

    “Janey couldn’t loosen her grip on the terms “fighting” and “giving up,” but she came to realize that her focus on outsmarting cancer had compromised her sources of joy: helping her daughter with her homework, taking drives with her husband along the Pacific Coast Highway, working her way through the stack of books on her nightstand. After two more hospitalizations for pneumonia, Janey enrolled in hospice. She told me that fighting for her comfort — being at home, lucid and free of pain — mattered more to her than pursuing the clinical trial her oncologist had mentioned.“

  2. I so appreciate you sharing your reactions to having cancer. (I almost wrote your fight and your journey. It is a journey though, right? All life is a journey n sometimes a bad trip. You are journaling in public.)
    I do not know what to say to you n Liz. The article in the LA Times might be helpful to those w a terminal illness. Our bodies are finite n even though it sucks when young people (I consider you young) are struck down, It is life. God be with you n Liz n do what Christ does-comfort n strengthen.

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