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Cancer Was Not, Is Not & Never Will Be A Gift…

So how do you feel about the expression, cancer is a gift? I’m pretty sure most of you are well aware by now what my thoughts on this one are. If not, you can read some of them here. My mind has not been changed since I wrote that piece two years ago. If anything, I believe even more strongly that…

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

I have not felt that epiphany moment when I suddenly figured stuff out and morphed into a new and improved version of my former self. Perhaps I’m a slow learner, but the great “cancer lessons” escape me, except of course, the great lesson of loss. I have learned that lesson well.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

Do I sound a bit bitter and maybe even a bit angry? Though I try not to, sometimes I guess I do and sometimes I guess I am.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

My mother died from metastatic breast cancer five years ago now. We received the devastating news about her horrible prognosis on Christmas Eve no less, ironically right before my family and I sat down to open gifts.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

Dear friends of mine have died from metastatic disease and others I care about (and countless more I will never know) struggle every day in ways unimaginable to those who do not “know”.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

When my initial cancer treatment ended, I felt blessed for many reasons, but I did not feel blessed to have had cancer. I was grateful for many people and many things, but I did not feel grateful to cancer.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

I am the same. I am changed. I am still me and yet I am not.

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

If you choose to call your cancer a gift, I do not judge you; truly I do not.

But as for me…

Cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift.

Do you view your cancer, or any serious illness/experience you have or have had as a gift?

How do you feel and/or react when you hear someone call cancer a gift?

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cancer was not, is not and never will be a gift! #cancer #breastcancer #cancersucks #cancerlanguage

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Candy Welsh-Payne

Monday 3rd of August 2020

I can't wrap my head around the sentiment of cancer being a gift. I lost my dear sister to cancer. That was no gift. My Mom, my Auntie, another sister and myself all slogged through treatment and it was no gift. I was angry and annoyed. The only positive was that I survived as did my second sister. Nothing else about it was good. Nothing !!

Nancy

Friday 7th of August 2020

Candy, I cannot wrap my head around around the idea of cancer being a gift of any sort either. I am sorry to hear your sister died from cancer and that other members of your family have been dealing with cancer too. It sucks. Period. https://nancyspoint.com/cancer-sucks-period/ Thank you so much for sharing. Hope you're doing alright. Your mom, aunt and sister too.

Chelle

Thursday 26th of September 2019

Definitely not a gift, gifts are something you give someone that you think they may enjoy. I wouldn't give cancer to my worst enemy. It is not by any means a gift. Thank you for such honest and thought provoking conversation. I finished chemo in December of 2017, although I am grateful to be finished, it always feels like you are waiting on that call in the middle of the night. Hard to shake, but it is now a part of my reality. I watched my wonderful husband die from cancer last year, one of my dear friends also. I have several friends now in treatment, does it ever end? My prayer is for peace and long life for all.

Andrea

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

No, cancer is not and never will be a "gift", but people without a diagnosis often try very hard to spin cancer into something it isn't so that they feel safer should cancer arrive like a terrorist in their own lives. People who have never faced a life threatening diagnosis can't possibly understand, and I have stopped expecting them to. We're in different worlds now and we can never return to our B.C. (before cancer) lives. It's not anyone's fault, actually, and I have learned to be as non-judgmental with people's comments as possible. It's certainly not easy. What cancer is is a very steep learning curve that sometimes leaves you feeling grateful on a good day, exhausted on a bad day and exhausted and angry on a really bad day. If people are convinced that cancer is a gift, why don't they want that "gift" for themselves and everyone they love?!!

Nancy

Thursday 28th of June 2018

Andrea, I guess I don't agree that people who have never faced a life-threatening dx can't understand. I think people can understand a whole lot of things without experiencing them. Maybe that's the educator coming out in me. It's part of the reason I keep blogging. I want others to understand, but admittedly, I have no idea if anyone without a cancer dx even reads this blog. Well, I know a few who do, I guess. But I don't think it's that many. Empathy is so important, as is cancer language. As for being nonjudgmental when people say things that are inappropriate, I feel those are personal decisions we all make based on each situation and each person saying the stuff. We don't have to keep quiet, but on the other hand, we certainly can too. Thank you for sharing your insights.

Linda Boberg

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

A gift? no way in hell. (Actually your attitude on this is what drove me to signing up for your posts!) I haven't had anyone say that to me about cancer. But I recently had a new heart doctor who, after just meeting me and not discussing ANY of my medical history say, "You're lucky!" And I erupted right there in the doctor's exam room. "LUCKY? HOW THE HELL AM I LUCKY?" Everyone in the room took two steps back from me, including my husband. People need to think before they speak. Especially medical personnel.

Nancy

Thursday 28th of June 2018

Linda, I love how you spoke out after that comment! Good for you. Lucky? Yeah, cancer is not a lucky deal in any way, shape or form. People definitely should think before they speak and you're right, especially medical personnel. Thank you for sharing and for being a subscriber for my emails too. I appreciate it.

Diane Brown

Sunday 18th of January 2015

Definitely Cancer is NOT a GIFT or a blessing. Cancer is something that you have to deal with and try and stay positive but anger also comes into it. Why has there been no cure for cancer? Why is there no way "they" can tell you when your cancer is in remission. Cancer is not a journey.

Nancy

Sunday 18th of January 2015

Diane, I agree. Not a gift. Not a journey. I usually just say 'cancer experience'. Thank you for chiming in.

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