Cancer – Battle? / Fight?

Are My Words Appropriate?

Some people get upset when the words, “fight” and “battle” are used to describe the struggle with cancer.  So, here’s my question.  Should I try to refrain from using these words in my website because, apparently, this offends some people?

Diagnosis Cancer: A _____ For Survival

(Fill in the missing word above, but don’t be offensive)

Why do we get hung up on such things in light of what cancer is and how it affects so many people?  I understand why those words could possibly be interpreted as offensive by some, so I will try to refrain from using them in some of my writing, however not in all of it.

below is something I know, and I do not apologize for what I write next.

My mother fought hard and battled cancer with every ounce of her life, with everything she had to give.

  1. She fought a battle every day to endure the symptoms and challenges of cancer.
  2. She fought a battle every day to suppress her desire to help others and to let others take care of her.
  3. My mother fought a battle many days and nights to endure the sometimes unpleasant side effects from her cancer treatments.
  4. My mother fought a battle with the anxiety of trying to survive her disease.
  5. She fought hard, with the help of others, to maintain her home amid all the challenges and losses that cancer brought.
  6. She fought to eat when eating was difficult and she fought to sleep when sleep and rest would not come.
  7. In the midst of exhaustion brought on by this disease and its treatment, she fought to still be a mother to me.
  8. She endured much, and she fought many battles throughout her illness.

So many wonderful people were there in so many incredible and generous ways, to help my mom through her lymphoma.  In my mind, it would be an injustice to her memory to leave out the words, “fight” and “battle”, when I remember the journey and struggles she had with cancer.

I love you mom.  I miss you.

A.H. Browning


2 Replies to “Cancer – Battle? / Fight?”

  1. I really appreciate this piece.
    It takes a very brave soul to express the pain of loss and be that vulnerable.
    44 years after my mom’s death from cancer, I struggle with my emotions but I want to share about her and I do truly believe that giving lip service to grief helps people cope.
    It can be so isolating. Thanks for your honesty.

    1. Swooz,

      I really appreciate you commenting on this post. Writing allows a number of positive benefits for me. One of those benefits is the ability to confront and work through difficult experiences in a positive way, instead of a self-destructive way. The truth is, anything I write is potentially meaningless. Moreover, anything that allowed you to appreciate this piece comes from you, and your life experience. The words I write are merely a kind of bridge between our experiences, in a way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a personal memory for this post. Thank you for the meaning you brought to this piece.

      A.H. Browning

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