• What words do you use to describe your experience with cancer?

    Asked by Kp2018 on Monday, February 17, 2020

    What words do you use to describe your experience with cancer?

    For some reason, the "battle" terminology has not resonated me. I have a nasty condition for which I happily accepted treatment, but don't consider myself as being at war with my cancer. I guess that's why I responded so favorably to this article from Oncobites: https://oncobites.blog/2020/02/11/words-matter/#more-1177

    What words do you use?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      There are a lot of people that don't like to use that terminology, but most people do use it. It's probably because they don't know what else to use. I think most people who are newly diagnosed use it for that same reason. As a patient gets used to being in the midst of dealing with cancer then they start to have an opinion about it.

      For me, I would say I'm somewhere in the middle. I use some of those "fight" terms while writing but try to be aware that some people don't like those terms.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Since I was Stage IV at diagnosis, I called mine "a journey to an unknown destination." But my surgeon asked me if I was going to "fight" and I said, "Yes." There is no right or wrong way or words. We each have to honker down and decide how we can best cope with and endure whatever comes our way.

      I used to envision my chemo as little Pac Mans travelling through my body gobbling up cancer cells.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Most of the terminology that comes to mind would be x'd out here I'm afraid. Ever present Chronic Fatigue makes it very hard to sustain the always "battle ready" metaphor. I think some of the terminology that has become attached to this "nasty condition", as you put it, came about to somehow make it more acceptable both to us and to those outside the "community" (for want of a better word). Don't get me started on "new nornal". I despise that term.

      about 1 month ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      To each their own or whatever floats your boat. There is no wrong way to describe your “ battle “ for survival. I use the term fight because that is exactly what my body was doing when it came to cancer. My immune cells were not dancing in tune with the cancer cells but hopefully fighting and killing them so that my body could continue to survive. Cancer is a particularly nasty disease and so surgery, radiation, and chemo suppress the disease allowing the immune cells to hopefully wipe out what remains. As for the term “ new normal “, it may not be for everyone but I embrace the term. I am not who I was before cancer .

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Blessing. What???

      Well, I have had experiences, traveled to places, met people and done things that I never would have otherwise. In a very small way, through clinical trial and long-term study involvement, I have contributed to some degree of advancement in medical science. The hope is that this will benefit succeeding generations. I have gained a new and profound sense of gratitude for the gift of life.

      about 1 month ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Among the people I know describe any serious illness as a battle. The pastor at my church is in a battle with ALS. My friend is battling diabetes. I say I am battling Fibromyalgia and three cancers. However in my mind I don't feel that I am the one doing the fighting it is the Dr.s and researchers who are doing the fighting

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      I have heard and used the "battle" terminology for lack of better words, but when on my back after a chemo treatment, I had bad days where I surely felt too weak, exhausted, and sad to be a fearless warrior. Thank God my body did the fighting for me! I say to each his or her own as far as describing their cancer journey. The only thing that kind of bugs me is when someone passes away, they are said to have "lost their battle to cancer" ... or fill in any other nasty disease. This to me gives credit to the disease for defeating the patient. I would say that the patient passed away from whatever the disease is; to me, that sounds more like a natural but sad occurrence. I don't want to say my uncle lost his battle to Alzheimer's; he passed away from its attendant complications. We all hate those commercials that say MBC is relentless, and if we give credit to cancer for defeating the valiant patient, we're just contributing to the mindset that cancer is a relentless juggernaut, which can be discouraging to a recently diagnosed and frightened patient. Who among us hasn't been overwhelmed in the days or weeks between diagnosis and treatments, not knowing what lies ahead for us physically and emotionally. This could be said for any other disease that involves lots of treatments or a life long journey. I hope I haven't stepped on any toes here; I just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      "Go with the flow",is what I did.When you have no choice that's what you do.

      about 1 month ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      ChildOfGod4570 Very well said. <3

      about 1 month ago
    • junie1's Avatar
      junie1

      I like all the responses here. im with PaulineJ, Go with the flow. I don't feel or think its a battle.. it's part of life. some people get a DX and some don't.. I've been thur 2 marriages, 2 divorces,, raised 2 girls, now there's the battles!!! lol..
      It's not like im not concerned about having Stage 4 metasitic breast cancer,, but so many other things , i'm dealing with in my life also.
      I go my treatments,, and hope for 3 good weeks,,, go back and get another treatment,, right now that's my situation. Herceptin and Perjeta treatments now,, had chemo last year.
      Looking forward to no more treatments..
      Good Luck to all.
      I just think that right now,, it's a "bump in the road"

      about 1 month ago
    • junie1's Avatar
      junie1

      I like all the responses here. im with PaulineJ, Go with the flow. I don't feel or think its a battle.. it's part of life. some people get a DX and some don't.. I've been thur 2 marriages, 2 divorces,, raised 2 girls, now there's the battles!!! lol..
      It's not like im not concerned about having Stage 4 metasitic breast cancer,, but so many other things , i'm dealing with in my life also.
      I go my treatments,, and hope for 3 good weeks,,, go back and get another treatment,, right now that's my situation. Herceptin and Perjeta treatments now,, had chemo last year.
      Looking forward to no more treatments..
      Good Luck to all.
      I just think that right now,, it's a "bump in the road"

      about 1 month ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      junie1 Some of us have tough lives and sometimes never ends.But like you say it's life.Too difficult to explain the life Ive had other then medically.But it does include marriages,divorces children ,grandchildren great grandchildren and siblings (family},etc.But with God's Grace I'm still here.He's got me through it as difficult as it is.And I believe it will be worth the suffering when I go Home to live with my Saviour.He suffered more than we ever did by taken our place dying on the cross for our sins. 1 Cor.15:1-4 and Romans 3:25 Rev.22:20

      about 1 month ago
    • Gumpus61's Avatar
      Gumpus61

      A long fall down a flight of stairs, Catching your breath at each landing only to tip over into another flight down. Learning to cover yourself from the inevitable lumps and bruises, nodding to those who help you along the way. Hoping to be standing at the bottom bruised but unbroken, but knowing that the end of the fall may mean never falling again.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I say that I had cancer. During treatment I said I’m being treated for breast cancer. I never used “fighting” or “battle.”

      about 1 month ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      "Que sera sera"Whateverer will be will be.The future is not ours to see."Que sera sera"This song is from the old days when I was growing up

      about 1 month ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more triple-negative breast cancer, ductal questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Ductal page.