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Fighting Battles

kar399kar399 Posts: 19

Hi, I am new here. I am currently being treated for my 2nd 'In Situ' cancer, both within the last 3 years. Neither cancer related to the other, just pure bad luck. Or, you could say good luck because they both have not spread anywhere.

My family has suffered with a lot of cancer over the years, mainly different types of cancers so mostly (apart from Oesophagal) not connected. However my history has been referred for genetic testing and I await the start of that.

My reason for posting though is because of my family history of cancer I have had to support both parents, my sister, brother in law and aunties and uncle during their illness, some still alive and some not. I cannot stand the phrases that sometimes go hand in hand with cancer, such as - fighting battles, battle well fought, losing their battle, brave, giving it their best fight etc etc.

I find it insulting in the extreme to suggest that somebody who dies from cancer died because they didn't fight it enough or hard enough. Whether you survive cancer is mainly due to early diagnosis, good doctors and good drugs and also to a large part of good luck. My brother in law has recently died from cancer and I know he wanted to live more than anything, to imply otherwise is just not right.

Does anyone else agree with my take on it ??


  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 105 ✭✭✭

    Hi @kar399

    Lovely to hear from you though I am sorry to hear about your family cancer history and your own diagnosis. You must have heard a lot of well meaning but misguided comments over the years.

    I absolutely agree with your comments about 'fighting battles' etc. and by coincidence @KarinSieger started a thread in "Living Better With Cancer" which she titled 'Why it's OK if we cannot do what others can do during or post treatment.' She refers to a recent article she has written called '7 things you need to remember when writing or hearing about cancer good news stories.' I have tried to copy it here but my computer shortcomings are showing. Hope you can find it.

    I have often been told ‘You can beat this’ but as you know, the reality is that you can only take your treatments and hope for a good outcome, no guarantees. I joined this community myself mainly because I found that people who have or have had cancer are able to understand how I feel in a way that people who haven't just cannot however well meaning they may be. We share each other's bad days and good days with understanding and without judging.

    Welcome to our friendly community. I hope you will keep in touch.

    Kind regards


  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 98 Emotional Wellbeing Advisor

    @kar399 @JerseyBob

    Dear both,

    I agree - cancer language matters so much!

    Here is the article Rob mentioned

    7 things to remember when you write or read about cancer good news stories

    You may also like to read my personal reflection Cancer Journey? Why I prefer 'Life Journey' instead.

    With best wishes for you both.


    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Cancer Counsellor  | Reg. MBACP (Accred)

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