Even before I found out I had cancer I was always confused by hearing that people were “fighting” their cancer. To me it really just seemed to come down to whatever the docs were doing to the patient that was actually doing the real fighting. I also felt like if someone was observed as fighting against cancer, and ended up dying there was this idea that they somehow didn’t fight hard enough. And what about the people that might have had it so bad that they just didn’t feel like it was worth it to “fight” against what might have seemed like the inevitable? Were those people looked down on by their family, friends, and other people who were fighting cancer? So I guess I never really liked the idea that someone was fighting the cancer directly.
Once I found out that I had cancer, I felt like I could choose two paths. One that threw my hands up in the air, got severely depressed, and gave up with life, and the other where I tried to max out each day I had left to live. I think the fighting that cancer patients like myself are really doing are fighting against the depression, pessimism, hopelessness, and various other downers that can be caused by cancer. I’d like to think that cancer patients who are fighting against the negative emotions do help increase their odds for a longer life. But for those who have so much pain, or so little hope I don’t think that makes them any less a fighter than anyone else. They are just as in need and worthy of family and friend support as a patient who is more vocal about fighting against their cancer.