Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cancer battles are not 'lost'

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Heavy subject for an otherwise lighthearted and fun blog.  But I have to share some thoughts on a subject I feel very passionate about.  We often hear in the media that a person "has lost their battle with cancer."  I hate the phrase and as a journalist I refuse to say or write it.  

Mighty Mouse
In less than two years, three of my friends have died from cancer.  All three of these women were 41 years old or younger.  The most recent I've known since grade school and she was nicknamed Mighty Mouse.  These women had husbands, children, loved ones, friends, students and patients who looked up to them.  Each of my friends were in a long and painful battle with this horrible disease.

Stewart Scott
I have had loved ones who have died from cancer too.  With their deaths I avoided that dreaded "lost the battle" summary of how they died.  Stuart Scott's speech during the 2014 Espy Awards reminded us all why people don't lose this battle. He said in part, "When you die, that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live."

I don't view cancer or any other illness as a win-lose situation.  Saying one lost minimizes their battle.  As Stuart said, victory comes from how you live. I'm sad that the friends and loved ones who inspired me to write this blog are no longer here.  But I know they're no longer suffering.  They lived just like Stuart suggested and made the the most of their time here.  

No matter what battle you're facing you have three choices.  You can give up.  You can give in.  Or you can give it your all.  I encourage you to give it your all.  Let's love and encourage each other more.  Thanks.

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