Cancer is No Journey!

Throughout my husband’s four years of dying from metastatic prostate cancer, I saw the word “journey” many times in concert with our progression through the multiple steps of treatment to the inevitable end.

As a former media student, I am drawn to the power of words – to their insinuated meanings – to the way they can “spin” attitude.  We can often hear the “spin” that politicians put on negative events and, although we may see through that deception – we somehow are calmed  or even disarmed by the keen words used to describe a horrible state of affairs.

I believe this is true when we call cancer a “journey”. To me, a journey is synonymous with “adventure”, a pleasant outing, something positive.  Cancer is not positive .  Even if you survive cancer, you have had to come face to face with your own mortality. You have had to have your body cut or damaged by poisonous chemicals, or you end up struggling to walk, talk or function.

Cancer has been an uninvited interruption, not a journey.

There are those who would subscribe to the premise that what does not kill you can make you stronger – and I believe this is true.  Having had my experience with cancer has caused me to gain an independence I never would have developed on my own, and it has allowed me to peer into my very soul to get to know myself better…

But…don’t call it a JOURNEY!  Call it what it is: a process, a treatment plan, a challenge.

I will tell you now that cancer to me is a train wreck -my husband and I were in a runaway train and it was going downhill – ever faster – We kept looking for superman outside our window – you know, the one with the magical cure for our kind of cancer – and he never appeared.  We knew we were going to die when we got to the bottom of the hill, we just didn’t know how that would look or how that would feel. We only knew it was going to happen…

Cancer is NOT a journey!

Cancer could be likened to an assembly line on which the product or person starts off whole and  pieces are removed instead of assembled. At the end of the line, as it were, the person is gone.

Cancer is NOT a journey!

Let’s be real.  Don’t spin me at a time in my life when I need professional guidance and realistic, efficient medical attention.

Give me serious, thoughtful care and advice.  Give me treatment that will work.  Make cancer curable or at least chronic instead of terminal.

This is no journey. This is no fun. This is hard work for people on all sides of the struggle. Be straight with yourself and look this monster in the eye.   Deal with it.  Talk about it – out loud – and don’t fool yourself…

Cancer is NOT a journey!

3 responses to “Cancer is No Journey!

  1. Hey, I agree! I started a blog about my cancer experience, and have not used the word journey. I don’t know what to say, but congratulations on your posts. It seems odd, but your insights will be valuable to others. Best wishes for your non-journey. Cheers, Phil

    • I think the rest of the year, I am going to refer to it as my adventure since so many parts of it are going to include new learning, seeing things for the first time and probably being scared a lot. thanks for responding to me, I get to feeling that I am the only one in the world who feels this way. I am also trying to learn how to use this blog, so you may receive a separate response that may or may not have been sent accidently. Sorry about that.

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