Sometimes when I write a post I promise myself I will revisit the question or topic after a period of time has passed because I know my perspective is an evolving thing. Perhaps yours is as well. After all, we all change our minds from time to time.
The post I wrote last year on this question remains one of my most commented on posts ever. The comments left there are passionate on both sides of the answer to this question. If you’d like to read it, here’s the link. It’s also been published on Huffington Post.
One year later I’m back to pose the same question and reflect on how my position has or has not changed.
I keep waiting for that moment when I will be awakened, enlightened, transformed or whatever.
I think I’ll be waiting for a long time to come.
I don’t see my position on this question shifting any time soon.
Once again, if you do view your cancer as a gift, I respect your viewpoint. I sincerely do. But as for me, I cannot in any way, shape or form even contemplate ever seeing cancer as a gift for all the same reasons I already wrote about and more.
No matter how you “wrap up” cancer, it’s still an ugly disease.
You can wrap and re-wrap any unwanted item in beautifully colored expensive wrapping paper and it will still be an unwanted item when opened. You can put as many “bows,” as much glitter and as many “pink ribbons” (sorry I couldn’t resist) on it as you want, and it will be still be something no one wants when the wrappings are undone.
One of the main problems I have with the whole cancer is a gift idea is that is implies you “come out of it” (and don’t even get me started on the “coming out of it” part) a better person.
Doesn’t this then mean you must be grateful?
This “cancer has made you a better person” concept was actually the topic for discussion at a meeting I recently attended. I nearly bit my tongue off trying to keep quiet until it was my turn to speak. I should probably write a post on that sometime…
Giving cancer credit for introducing me to new people, ideas and chosen paths since my diagnosis seems misplaced. I am grateful for these people, ideas and chosen paths, but I will not thank cancer for them.
Whenever this topic comes up, I always remember the wise and passionate words of my friend Rachel of the Cancer Culture Chronicles. You should definitely read her post called, The Gift of Breast Cancer? I’d Like a Refund. This is my favorite part:
“I don’t care if the experience of breast cancer causes you to morph into the next Mother Theresa, the fact remains that nothing, nada, zilch can ever be enough to compensate for what is lost to breast cancer. It’s an evil curse and I don’t intend to ever see it any other way.”
I could not agree more.
From my perspective cancer isn’t, wasn’t and never will be a gift.
How do you feel about cancer being referred to as a gift?
Have your thoughts on this evolved or shifted over time?