This is how I personally feel about my cancer. If it helps you to feel like you are fighting cancer that’s okay too but this is what brings me peace.
Kalissa and I were talking the other day. She said something that has been on my mind a lot lately…she said, “Why do they say ‘fight cancer’?” I was pretty sure I knew what she meant, so I jumped in and said, “I KNOW!!”
Those of you on the other side of cancer have likely never thought about this. “Fighting Cancer” has become the normal catch phrase. It’s what we all say to someone who is going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. If you read an obituary of someone who passed due to cancer, it will often say, “lost their battle fighting cancer”.
For me the term “fighting cancer” is a little odd. I’ve had two people who I know to have been the biggest fighters ever, die. Seriously, my niece Jody did everything she could to live. Kramer my husband did too. Both of them died due to cancer. Neither were quitters. Both had overcome every other challenge in their lives. I can say with absolute certainty that not a single person in either of their lives would have ever called them quitters. I hate the implication that they “quit fighting” or that they “lost their fight”. Cancer is something beyond anyone’s control. It’s not something anyone can quit, stop or conquer of their own doing or will or prayer for that matter.
People say things like, “keep fighting”….or “you can win this fight”. Here’s the truth. There’s not a darn thing a person with cancer can really do to fight cancer….Sure, there’s prayer. Sure there’s eating healthy, going to your appointments, resting, keeping a good attitude, but beyond that, there’s nothing.
In my personal opinion, in regards to my personal situation with cancer, I think the truth of it is, a person is best if they QUIT FIGHTING CANCER. I think when I got to the point of acceptance I’ve done much better. In fact, I’ve made a vow to officially QUIT FIGHTING CANCER. I’m done. I’m not fighting it anymore. Let me explain….I am accepting my cancer diagnosis. There’s a big difference. I’m not giving up. I’m not putting one foot in the grave. I’m controlling the little I can control. I’m accepting cancer as a resident in my body.
With that, I quit asking why me?…I started asking why not me? There is not a single person in this world more deserving or less deserving of cancer than me. So why not me? Faith is getting me where I am going…not good deeds. I’m done fighting the why mes and accepting it’s me!! If I was so busy fighting cancer and asking why me, I might wallow and be stuck.
I quit trying to wish the cancer away and started asking what lessons can I learn while I am here. Can I be kinder to those who have cancer too? Can I tell people what it’s like on the cancer side of life so they understand people who have cancer better? Can I see how precious life truly is, so I can appreciate it all the more? There are lessons all around me to be learned. I’m opening my eyes. I’m not waiting for the next punch. I’m finding a lesson to learn right here where I am at…if I was so busy fighting cancer, I might miss all of this.
I quit being frustrated with doctors, nurses and schedulers and instead started complimenting and appreciating the work they were doing on my behalf. On Friday I gave chocolates to the schedulers in endocrinology. If they could control cancer, I’m sure they would. If they could make my life simpler, I’m sure they would. Like me, there is nothing they can do.
I quit worrying about having to dip into savings to pay for it all and started being thankful that I have a little savings to dip into. If I was so busy fighting cancer asking how can I afford this, I might miss the opportunity to be thankful for all the good things in my life that allowed me to build a savings account and emergency fund.
I quit trying to do everything for myself and started asking when I need help. Just today I asked Kalissa to go to an appointment with me and asked Kelli to finish up childcare. I’ve asked Karl for things too. Before, I tried to do everything myself…I’ve learned, asking others for help, actually helps others feel good that they are helping me. If I was so busy fighting cancer I might be too busy to appreciate all the people surrounding me that are more than willing to help.
Kelli said to me, “why can’t our family just catch a break?”. Oh Kelli we have. We’ve caught MANY breaks. We are constantly “catching breaks”. I see that because I’m not fighting cancer anymore….I’m accepting it. By accepting, I can see so much more.
I want my life to be so much more of this….
and a lot less of this…
If I “fight”:
I let test results control me
I let appointments control me
I let scan results control me
I let opinions control me
I let waiting control me
I let messages control me
I let doctors control me
I let time control me
I let schedulers control me
I let diets control me
I let protocol control me
I am done fighting cancer. I am accepting this all as part of my life….BUT IT IS NOT MY LIFE!!
I have quilts to make, friends to meet, family to love on, childcare kids to care for. All of this is WAY more important than a few rogue cells in my body who are trying to control me. Rather than fight them, I’m accepting them as part of life and moving on with the things that really make a difference.
I’ll go to my appointments. I’ll listen to my doctors. I’ll do what they ask of me. I’ll do what I can to make the cancer go away but I refuse to fight against it and let it control my life.