You Can Take That Pink Feather Boa And…

13Apr12

I recently re-posted something about cancer on my Facebook page. And I’ll leave it there, because a few people “liked” it, so I’m glad it helped:

Well meant, of course. Heart in the right place.

But the more I read it over, the more it pissed me off.

Cancer is not a battle. It’s a disease. When people with cancer are alive, they are not fighting a battle with cancer, they’re just living, just like you. They want more than just one thing, they want peace and prosperity and healthy children and for someone else to do the dishes for a change. Just like you. And when people with cancer die, they do not “lose” the battle with cancer any more than someone who gets hit by a bus loses the battle with buses. No, when people with cancer die, they just die, just like we all will.

When we make cancer into a heroic quest, we raise the stakes and expectations beyond what any of us should have to deal with. We put people on the spot for helping us deal with our emotional needs about their cancer. We praise people with cancer for spiritual awakenings, for baring their souls, for not complaining, for reaching out to others, for finding peace and acceptance, for inspiring us. We do not praise them for things that are truly heroic for anyone in iffy health: Going to work. Planning birthday parties. Paying bills. Remembering permission slips. Doing yardwork. Stubbornly being exactly who they are, all the time.

So, how about this:

Today, in honor of someone with cancer, go do the dishes for a change. Sheesh.

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One Response to “You Can Take That Pink Feather Boa And…”

  1. I have to agree this is rather stupid.


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