13 Things Cancer Cannot Do

by Brittany McNabb

Background: WhatNext.com is an online support network developed in partnership with the American Cancer Society that helps help cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers gain firsthand insight into living with cancer and connect with others facing a similar diagnosis. Members of WhatNext.com are sometimes referred to as "WhatNexters."

Cancer can turn your life upside down, it can take your hair, your health, your time, your energy, and parts of your physical body, but here are some things cancer CANNOT do.

Things Cancer Cannot Do.

1. Cancer cannot break my spirit.

Cancer Cannot Kill My Spirit

via whatnext.com/pinboard

Cancer can change your physical body with tough side effects like hair loss, weight changes, fatigue, metallic taste, and chemo brain, but it does not have to kill your spirit. The spirit that WhatNexters keep in their life can be truly inspiring.

"Cancer will never take my dignity, spirit, and love for life." - Lirasgirl33

2. Cancer cannot dissolve my faith.

Cancer Cannot Change My Faith

via victoriaadvocate.com

Read what other WhatNexters have said about the role of faith in their life of living with cancer.

"It cannot reduce my faith in God and Santa Teresa de Los Andes. I believe we can and we will kill cancer from universe. It cannot define us. We can win." - glam

3. Cancer cannot rob me of my love.

Loved Ones Cancer

via google.com

Sometimes cancer may affect relationships between family and friends; it can bring stress, anger, and tension with loved ones. However, many WhatNexters say that maintaining the same love in their life makes them fight against cancer more. Many say that the love in their life can be the reason they are fighting everyday and staying positive.

"I will fight with every ounce of my soul to get rid of you for my love and everyone else. My anger and disdain for you makes me fight harder and I will fight with my every breath to rid of you!" - mamajltc

 What Cancer Cannot Do 8 X 15 inch Sign

4. Cancer cannot lessen friendships.

Cancer Cannot Lessen Friendships

via tribeza.com

People with cancer are supported by family, friends, loved ones, and even strangers. Even with the darkness of cancer, WhatNexter still believe that there is kindness and goodness in the world and that cancer does not lessen friendships.

"Cancer tried to rob me of all things when it first came into my life including friendships. I am stronger now. I let love into my life. I have found kindness and goodness where I never thought I would see it. As I sit in the infusion centers with other warriors and friends I know one day we will beat cancer." - kiki95632

5. Cancer cannot take my dignity.

Processing End Of Life

via dreamclinic.com

WhatNexter, ladyhawk, wrote a post on WhatNext with a letter to cancer. In the post she says that cancer will never take her dignity. Many WhatNexters commented and agreed that cancer will never steal their dignity; some even wrote their own letter to cancer. If it helps you to write a letter to "Cancer" it may help you vent some of your feelings and realize what types of power it does not have over you including power to rob you of your dignity.

"Dear Cancer, you can take my immune system, my fatigue, my my taste buds, my vision, my hair, my speech, my memory. But YOU will never take my dignity!" - ladyhawk

6. Cancer cannot steal my identity or define who I am.

Cancer Cannot Define Me

via projectunbreakable.com

Some WhatNexters want loved ones to know that cancer does not change their identity, it does not change who they are inside. For this reason, a lot of people with cancer want to be treated how they were before they were diagnosed with cancer. Loved ones can do this by talking about normal things and keeping similar activities they did before cancer.

"Cancer cannot make me someone I'm not." - MMarie

"It cannot define me ... I am NOT my diagnosis!!!" - lola08

7. Cancer cannot stop life from moving on.

Keep The Faith

via whatnext.com/pinboard

When first diagnosed a lot of WhatNexters feel that surreal moment when their life seems to come to a standstill. They have to process their diagnosis; however, they learn to "take it one day at a time." With this mantra comes the fact that life goes on no matter what. WhatNexters learn to ride out the wave and live one day at a time.

"Cancer cannot stop the sun from rising and setting each day." - Nancybein

8. Cancer cannot destroy my hope.

Cancer Cannot Destroy My Hope.

via whatnext.com/pinboard

Only you have power over your hope. Many WhatNexters find things that make them hopeful, no matter what it is, and hold onto it with all their might.

"Cancer cannot destroy my hope. Only I can say what "Cancer cannot take my 'Never Give Up' attitude. It cannot take my hope. Battling cancer without HOPE is like trying to fill a bathtub without a stopper. I hold fast to my hope."- NeverGiveUp

What Cancer Cannot Do Magnet

9. Cancer cannot squelch my desire to help others.

Cancer Volunteer

via avonwalk.org

People with cancer still find the desire to give back to others in their community or others that are going through cancer themselves whether it is during or after cancer treatment. Even people with a terminal or late stage diagnosis are continuing to give back to make sure that their life matters and to help those that are newly diagnosed. Here are a few inspiring WhatNexters we want to recognize:

Melanomamama is a WhatNexter with stage IV cancer, consistent treatment and a poor prognosis. In an effort to give back she has written a book to tell people what it's like to be stage IV with a poor prognosis. Her book also helps raise awareness and encourages people to get checked.

Russ is a stage IV Pancreatic cancer survivor who spends a fair amount of time on our site encouraging people to keep fighting while using himself as an example that to show they CAN make it.

WhatNexter Care is an 11 time survivor of 7 types of cancer and is a Hero of Hope speaker in Alaska for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

"Cancer can't stop me from smiling and helping others!" - SMT4

10. Cancer cannot take away my sense of humor.

Laughing At Chemo

via google.com

Sometimes having cancer gives people a newfound sense of humor. WhatNexters say that a lot of barriers are broken down when you have cancer because it is such an intimate thing and often they can't help but laugh. A unique sense of humor keeps them going.

"Cancer cannot take away our sense of humor." - BoiseB

11. Cancer cannot take my memories.

Cancer Cannot Take My Memories

via whatnext.com/pinboard

Cancer can change your life but it does not have to take things that are truly yours. For example, it cannot take memories, your interests, your family, or everything you had before you were diagnosed with cancer. 

"Cancer cannot take anything that was mine to begin with...it just makes me appreciate it more." - created

"Cancer can't be the stop in the road of your life, it is only a speed bump." - kiki95632

12. Cancer cannot take away my relationship with my family and friends.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

via cancersupportcommunity.org

"Cancer cannot take away my love for my family and friends. It cannot take away my reliance on God." - spunky

13. Cancer cannot seep into my entire life.

Thankful For What I Have

via chicagotribune.com

Many WhatNexters actively stop cancer from seeping into their entire life. If you do not give cancer control to take everything then you can still have control over your life, control over the what ifs, control over guilt, and control over your own habits. For those newly diagnosed with cancer, you may feel like cancer is taking over your life, but as WhatNexters have said there are a lot of things that cancer cannot do.

"Cancer cannot take control of my life unless I allow it to. I have cancer...it does not have me!" - Rthompson

What Cancer Cannot Do

If you've been diagnosed with cancer, take a minute to join the WhatNext community and find others near you who have been in your shoes. There’s no better way to get first-hand insights into living with cancer than by connecting with others who are currently doing just that.

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