Cancer is not a gift. No, it is not.
Some cancer survivors believe and proudly proclaim that their cancer was a gift. Without a doubt, this is entirely their prerogative. Everyone certainly has the right to his/her own cancer experience viewpoints. I am not judging anyone here.
But as for me, I refuse to call cancer a gift. It’s not.
During a recent visit to a relative’s home, I was shown a newspaper article featuring a woman who had “come through” her cancer “journey” and was calling her whole ordeal a gift.
Regrettably, I copped out, smiled, nodded, read the article and said something like, oh how nice for her.
I have since decided I will not be so quiet next time this topic comes up, and undoubtedly, there will be a next time because calling cancer a gift is something that is said or alluded to more often than you might imagine.
Calling cancer a gift makes a nice feature story for a magazine or a newspaper article, but it’s not reality – at least it’s not mine.
Perhaps it’s all just semantics, but as I say over and over again, words matter. They matter a great deal.
I will never ever be calling cancer a gift. Such words will not be coming from my lips. Nope. Not gonna happen.
I might know what people mean when they call cancer a gift. They are grateful for their new outlook on life. They are grateful and appreciative for every new day. They are grateful for new discoveries, new choices, new life-styles changes and for the new people they’ve met. They are grateful to be alive. They are grateful, period.
I’m grateful for all that stuff too. I am, but I am not grateful to cancer.
Btw, I was grateful for that stuff before cancer too. No wake-up call needed here.
Cancer is not the gift. The gifts are those things, those people, not the cancer.
It’s impossible for me to be grateful to a disease that killed my mother in a very slow and painful manner. It’s impossible for me to be grateful to a disease that has taken others I care about. It’s impossible for me to be grateful to a disease that has taken so many that others care about as well. And it’s impossible for me to be grateful to a disease that might yet swallow me up as well.
It’s unfathomable for me to be grateful to cancer in any way, shape or form.
No, cancer is more like a thief. You don’t thank a thief do you?
Another issue I have with this cancer is a gift line of thinking is that as I mentioned in my You Can’t Go Back Post, it often seems as if there’s an unspoken expectation to “come out of a cancer diagnosis” a better person. Somehow, one is supposed to be miraculously transformed into a new and improved version of one’s former self.
The next logical step is that one should “thank” cancer for this.
I don’t think so.
People with or without cancer are just people, no better or worse – all of us flawed.
Even with the flaws, maybe even partly because of them, each life is a gift.
People are gifts.
Cancer will never be.
What do you think?
Is cancer a gift?