Only the Weak Die of Cancer

I got an email from a friend this morning, and I knew as soon as I saw the links that it wasn’t going to be good. There was a link to the image at the left, another to story of this “survivor.”

I am the first person to argue that every single patient gets to approach cancer on his or her own terms, with the language and attitude that most fits, no matter what works for anyone else. I abhor the dictates that we should eliminate all war analogies, that no one should call cancer a “gift” or discuss their experience as a “journey.” The very fact that you have cancer gives you the right to frame your experience. Period. No exceptions.

However, when others frame it for you, that’s another matter. Maura Bivens is the the woman featured in this solicitation. Just looking at the picture, the messaging is clear. She appears strong, a fighter, determined, even fierce. I certainly don’t want to take her on. Her profile claims that “…not once did she surrender to the disease.”

So what does that mean for those who aren’t “survivors,” those whom cancer has stolen from us? I think of friends I’ve lost over the years. They are among the strongest people I have ever known. Like Maura, they did yoga and led “prayerful” lives. They were active and engaged in the world. Some were fit, some were not – they are equally as dead. They ate well, or they didn’t. Some were fierce, others soft, most were both. They were exercise fanatics, vegans, mindful, brave and beautiful.

Not a single one surrendered to her disease.

Not a single one looked inward and said, “OK, cancer, you might as well kill me.”

Cancer doesn’t put up a fair fight. It doesn’t, by definition, follow the rules. It is pre-programed to defy cell death, to co-opt the body for its own use, to replicates faster than other cells, to overtake organs, and it doesn’t care how strong your will or determination might be.

I’m thrilled Maura appears to be doing well and feeling strong, but this isn’t about Maura. This is about the fact that  Komen has yet again launched a fundraising campaign that lays blame for cancer deaths squarely at the feet of those who have died. It’s convenient that the dead can’t complain. They can’t come back to talk about their fierce will to live, their end of life struggles, the many treatments they endured, or how much they and their loved ones have lost. The dead are an easy target, and Komen takes a cheap shot.

Despite Komen’s best efforts, we who survive can and will continue to bear witness to the lives that have been taken, to hold space in our hearts for the ripples of loss they have left behind. We will honor all that they gave, and the fullness of the lives they lived. And we will not allow them to be diminished by campaigns that make them out as weak, as losers in the battle for life.

I also wonder if Maura ever learned how much Komen directs to breast cancer research before she leant her name to this ad. 

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68 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gwen O'Brien
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 11:49:24

    When does the shaming stop? It’s freaking madness.

    Reply

  2. nancyspoint
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:02:41

    Hi Lori,
    Oh my… I just watched the video about this woman and sure, she is inspirational, but Komen’s image with the quote that you shared – they are not. Once again, the message is being sent out that if you just fight hard enough you can ‘win’. I cannot figure out how Komen can keep fouling up so badly. Thanks for calling them out. Again.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:10:12

      I agree Nancy, but I think I’m giving up on the issue of Komen’s ability to learn. I am convinced they simply don’t care…

      Reply

  3. tyrannyofpink
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:24:15

    It’s their rice bowl. They need to raise funds to cover their salaries. I have found all of the cancer orgs and MS and Parkinson’s etc the same. I was lobbying to push through legislation on a state level to force insurers to cover disabled <65 and sell us medigap policies. None of the groups would support me as they didn't want to offend their donors, the insurance companies. I got the bill passed anyway but learned a lesson on all of the non profits that live off various diseases. Plus I had the breast cancer group exec director give me the line, "well we could all get hit by a truck tomorrow…" when I explained to them I was stage 4. I'm still convinced she didn't know what it meant.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:39:44

      I can related completely! I am, however, very proud to be associated with METAvivor – an MBC research and support organization that is DIFFERENT! 100% of every donation goes directly to research. We have no paid staff, so we have no salaries. We advocate when and where it benefits the metastatic patient, and we believe in total transparency. So hopefully we are part of a new breed!

      Reply

    • Espy
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 21:55:49

      FWIW, you can add the Lupus Foundation of America to this list. 😦

      Reply

      • Lori
        Feb 17, 2015 @ 06:52:24

        Unfortunately it is true of so many disease-based nonprofits, though one might argue it’s true in general. Becoming a financial success makes it easier to lose your way perhaps.

  4. lsnewman
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:27:07

    Yes, we each get to frame our lives on our own terms. Just to be clear, this post is important, but I know that you are not the first. We all be doing this if we see the light.

    Reply

  5. lsnewman
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:30:27

    Nixon’s announcement of the war on cancer in 1971 is precisely when the “only the weak survive” began. It’s a sad day that we still have to argue against this. However, I think you overstepped. You are certainly not THE FIRST PERSON to argue that people get to frame this on their own. Plenty of us have been doing this — and for decades. You can’t frame it that way.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 12:32:14

      My intention was not to claim that I’m the first. I’m using the idiom, as in I readily step up when I hear it happening. Sorry for the confusion.

      Reply

    • Anonymous
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 20:25:27

      If she were trying to assert a statement of chronological fact, she would have said “I was the first person…” “I am the first person” is a common figure of speech indicating enthusiasm or strong support. I think she expected everyone would understand that.

      Reply

  6. Pink Ribbon Blues
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 13:25:35

    I am so glad you wrote this, Lori. I saw that AD and thought, “Komen uses fear appeal and Fight Like A girl to, once again, blame everybody else for breast cancer and offer themselves up as ‘the solution.’ Shameful.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 13:29:47

      It is shameful – and exhausting. And I’ll be damned if I’m leaving behind a legacy of weakness! In fact, had Komen been doing the right thing all along, perhaps I wouldn’t have MBC. Maybe they need to accept their share of the blame!

      Reply

  7. Kuchenhexe
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 14:21:09

    We don’t lose. Cancer dies with us. Every single day we live with this disease, every day we take back from it, we win. That is our victory. We do not surrender. We go down proud and we go down strong. Right down to our very last breath, we’re not giving it up, we’re taking it back. And cancer dies when we do. It doesn’t win. It doesn’t get to win. It tries to take our days away from us, and we win by not letting it dictate our lives. We win by living, by laughing, by finding joy, crying tears, by watching movies, by playing catch in the park, by curling up in a cozy chair and enjoying the sedative effects of a purring cat, “in daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife” That is how we measure our victory. And those are the riches which declare us the victors, even when we run out of days we can win back.

    There is no weakness to be found in MBC. Only bravery and fortitude and victory.

    You make a point though, about when language is used to define other people. If someone feels comfortable with using the battle vocabulary for their own experience with cancer, while on the whole I do find it problematic, it’s because it’s used to define so many people without their consent.

    There’s a corner of the BC internet where there is a term picking up steam, used to name people with breast cancer, as a monolithic group. I get called a Pinkie. I am reduced, not to just a disease, but a mythical, inaccurate, harmful stereotype of artificial hope and nonexistent cure, in a world where it is fun, and pink, and easy. If someone wants to define themselves as a Pinkie, that is their right. But it bothers me to be addressed in such a manner, to see others being addressed in such a manner. Most people I’ve spoken to in the BC world have a visceral reaction of repulsion at the word. It’s as if someone walked into a BC support group and cheerfully announced, “Greetings, Komen Barbies!”

    Words mean things, and words have power. Words we choose to define our experience and our lives is our right. But we should take greater care in looking at the language we use and thinking twice before we use it to define someone else without their consent.

    If you go before me, I would never say that you surrendered to cancer, that you lost your battle. I would never use that on anyone, unless I knew from reading their own dialogue that they define themselves in that degree. I would never trivialize a group of women I don’t know by addressing them all as “Pinkie”. There is nothing pink or fun about breast cancer, and that helps perpetuate a stereotype which harms us and blocks our efforts to get more funding into real research like METAvivor.

    Oh my gosh. This was supposed to be a small comment and instead I vomited wordsalad all over your blog. I don’t know why I’ve been wearing my rantypanties and in full-on Julia Sugarbaker mode the last few days, but I do apologize for my ramblings. :D;; Anyway, hi. ❤ How have you been?

    Reply

  8. micheleweldon (@micheleweldon)
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 15:12:14

    This is perfect. I had cancer. I am not stronger than the friends of mine who died. The warrior bullshit is punishing. Thank you for your wisdom.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 15:13:51

      Thank you for stopping by! I struggle with the issue of “stronger” as well – as if I’m doing anything more than educating myself and putting one foot in front of the other!

      Reply

  9. Polly Fajen
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 16:09:20

    Lori I thank you for your blog. Thankfully I did not see the ad in question, but am vicariously outraged by it. First of all, it never occurred to me, reading this, that you were trying to put yourself out there as the first to say or do anything. Is it sad and shameful that Susan G. Komen has become the ineffective behemoth. I wonder what Susan G. herself would think. I give my thanks to METAvivor and the people involved with it. I am neither a winner nor a loser. I am living life every day, doing the things I can, being with the people I love. I see cancer as a naturally occurring cell mutation. Cells are factories. Their whole job is to be the best little factories they can be. Cancer cells, in their reach for perfection get offtrack, thereby derailing the whole body sometimes. There has always been cancer, there will always be cancer. Who knows really what causes cancer in some and not others? We are grasping at ideas. My father smoked 5 packs a day for 37 years but never had any kind of cancer. Other consequences were many, but not cancer. A beloved friend never smoked a day in her life and died of lung cancer in 5 months. We can fight, we can poison ourselves, we can completely change the way we live as individuals, we can even extend our life by years. But the fact remains that much of cancer is still a mystery. So I do what I can and live my life. But I refuse to have the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer rule my life. My life is so much more than that, and I believe that even if I die young, I still live in the next life. I am forever and permanently with God. I love earthly life but it is not everything. We all die in the end. It is what comes next that is most important. Thank you again, and thank you to all the commenters to this post. Love, peace and joy be to you all.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 16:50:07

      Thank YOU for joining the conversation, Polly. I think our outlooks are quite similar – and are shared with most people I meet with MBC. I was not promised today and I am here against the odds – and I am most certainly determined to maximize it!

      Wishing you the very best!!

      Reply

  10. Denise
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 17:04:45

    These images can cause harm in so many ways. Expectations are high. This image is not of hope.

    Reply

  11. Debbie
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 17:40:41

    I look at this as an ad promoting a fight against breast cancer for all. That includes raising money for research and studies that benefit us all.
    I think it is a shame that an organization that has raised more awareness than any other group is vilified by the very people that it has helped directly or indirectly.
    I truly believe that if it was not for Susan G Komen, I would not have had the options available for treatment or doctors that knew more about helping me with the breast cancer diagnosis.
    Didn’t you ever hear, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?” No one should be criticizing an organization that is trying to help all persons diagnosed with breast cancer. No matter what you say or think, there is some good that has come out of Susan G Komen.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 18:02:10

      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your feeling that all organization are in it for the good. And certainly good has come from Komen. However, I also believe that nonprofits, which get government support via tax breaks and grants are accountable for how they behave in the public milieu. I believe that it is tax-paying citizens that feed Komen as well, and this is my vehicle for speaking out.

      Reply

      • Debbie
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 20:22:30

        http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/Content/ResearchGrants/GrantPrograms/ChroniclesofHopeSommer.pdf
        Make sure that you read to the bottom that states $80 million has been used for research for metastatic breast cancer.
        I don’t understand why people are so quick to judge without getting all the facts first.

      • Lori
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 20:44:03

        I appreciate that Komen supports MBC research, and I agree – we need all the facts. My search of Komen’s website reveals their last financial statement posted was from FY 2013, in which they raised $267 million dollars. Over 30 years they have raised $2.5 billion dollars. $80 million dollars represents 3.2% of what Komen has brought in. When 30% of breast cancer patients metastasize, and using Komen’s own numbers, I have no problem criticizing Komen’s commitment to MBC.

  12. Gwen O'Brien
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 17:55:02

    Thank God for all of you.

    Reply

  13. Ann @ ButDoctorIHatePink
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 18:06:36

    Okay, so I am a super-Komen-hater as some know.

    I just read it the piece, and I guess I’m not sure I understand the complaint about this woman. She is a metster, as am I. She is approaching it with a fighting spirit, as have I. She hasn’t said anything about others and that yoga or prayer is part of a cure, just that she thought she was living a healthy lifestyle and was surprised at getting cancer – I thought the same. Where Komen inserts itself is where the problem arises, but it isn’t with her. The stupid part is that she’s in a commercial for Komen, so yeah, her important reason for living is to walk in the Race, right? Dumb. But other than that, I think I’m missing the controversy as far as anything this woman said goes.

    On the other hand, I absolutely am insulted that Komen speaks of MY disease, like they have any stake in it. They have never been interested in mets, they send almost no money towards it. So if the complaint is about Komen interviewing a metster like they have a clue – I’m all in. I can’t fault this woman about her ignorance, I want to educate her. Sounds like she’s a newbie anyway, she has a long way to go.

    I don’t fault this woman a bit. We all deal with this in our own way. I’m glad she has a sport. I eat candy and watch the Bachelor. 🙂

    Please sign my petition that will compel Komen and the larger BC “awareness” charities to give 50% of their money towards research into mets. It has stalled at under 4k signatures and I cannot take it to them without 10k. We metsters talk the big talk but we need to start carrying sticks. Then, and ONLY then, should they be allowed to represent us.

    http://tinyurl.com/ma2ae8k

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 18:14:12

      Ann, I agree with you completely – it is not about her at all. It is about Komen’s spin on her story as portrayed in their marketing campaign. I don’t fault her at all, either!

      Reply

  14. The Accidental Amazon
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 19:40:58

    Been seeing an ad for this on my Facebook sidebar for weeks and ignoring it. My expectations of Komen have been so low for so long, it didn’t surprise me in the least. Glad you called them out, Lori. I’ve had other things on my mind lately, like the friends who’ve died of breast cancer in the month of February.

    Reply

  15. Christine Garrott
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 21:31:40

    HI, Lori,

    I’m so glad you posted this…and I remember with pleasure the conversations we’ve had in the past via METAvivor.

    I will be celebrating my 1-year “metaversary” in mid-March. Thankfully, I have been stable on treatment for some months now. However, the beast we currently have in the cage is canny and devious, and I know that it’s only a matter of time before it figures out how to pick the lock and get out. I live with that reality, as do all MBC patients, but I try hard not to let it define me as a person….a wife, a daughter, a sister, a vocal performer, an artist, a teacher, a mentor, an advocate…these things make up who and what I am, NOT the disease I coexist with.

    As to the journey, it is mine, just as unique as I am, and it’s certainly my right to define and describe it in any terms I care to. I find it hard these days to attach myself in any way to Komen, Avon, or any of the other organizations who ride this very unfortunate train for their own gains, as I have an acute sense of having fallen off the “Pink Pedestal” the very day I was diagnosed with mets. I can’t get up quite as much enthusiasm as I used to about participating in the walkathons, because I no longer trust that the money raised will really go towards the ones who truly need it. Instead, I’ve focused my energies on helping a local grass-roots level organization that I KNOW gives 100% of the monies they receive back out to actual breast cancer patients, because I myself was a client of theirs when I was in primary treatment.

    Have Komen and these other giant organizations helped those with breast cancer? Certainly, at some level – I don’t think anyone would deny that. However, I believe their vision and understanding regarding MBC is sorely lacking, and it would be reassuring to hear them admit it, rather than have them wrap the same hype around a very, very different condition than that of early stage. It’s entirely inappropriate to lump us in to anything that suggests a “cure”, particularly when it’s couched in such a way that implies that we are in control of our path. If we truly had that control, no one would be living….or dying of…metastatic breast cancer.

    All my best,
    Christine

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 06:42:30

      Hi Christine. Thanks so much for adding your voice to the conversation. As you know, I agree with you – and I always support local organizations with direct accountability to communities and donors!

      Reply

  16. jude
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 23:31:25

    you know what? however awry komen has gone, we wouldn’t be here, talking about any of this, without komen. no one cared, no one listened. komen raised a lot of money, and suddenly what happened to women became interesting. always follow the money. you are foolish to do otherwise. having said that, i appreciate each and every one of you, who pays attention, accepts nothing less than supreme effort–it’s what we deserve.

    Reply

  17. Melanie Young
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 04:53:30

    I’d like to eliminate the following words from all breast cancer vocabularies: victim, warrior, fighter, surrenderer. The war against breast can should be fought in medical labs to find a cure,

    For those who are diagnosed, we need energizing words: we live, we thrive, we face, we cope, we learn, we survive. What words do you live by?

    Reply

  18. thesmallc
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 05:21:53

    This ad is wrong on so many levels. On top of the reasons you gave, there is also a huge lack of empathy not just for those who have left us and their families, but for for us survivors too. It creates a level of pressure on a situation, that honestly, I have no control over. No one does. The ad also portraits denial and promotes ignorance, in some way.

    And how is a “terminal” patient supposed to feel when he/she sees this ad? Guilty? The advanced stages should be our main focus and it should not be presented as the patient’s fault. When I see the ad, it looks to me that stage 4 patients are being left out, once again.

    This just reminded me about the pancreatic cancer campaign from a couple of years ago (?). The statement was “I wish I had breast cancer.” Just as bad!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 06:50:39

      You are spot on. The idea we can control our cancer outcome was floating in my head but never made it on the page. Thanks for raising it. And I do remember the pancreatic cancer ad – it was in the UK and terribly offensive, too.

      Reply

  19. Elizabeth J.
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 11:58:39

    On the personal level, cancer is more like some kind of endurance challenge than a battle. You go through treatments, try to live as healthy as your treatments allow, hope and pray.

    Nothing against the lady in the ad, I wish her well. But, a couple of months ago, a lady with mets in my support group was present, laughing and talking, clearly having a good life, despite having been in nonstop treatments for several YEARS. Just weeks ago, cancer metastasis exploded, this time with no treatments left. They expect her to have 3 months at the most. When you are metastatic, no matter what you do, how good your oncologist, you live with that could be you at any point.

    If there is a battle, it is not in our hands, but the researchers. Cancer is outside our control. Almost 50 years ago, my grandmother wanted to live just as badly as any woman with MBC today, but there were no treatments for her. Even with treatments, something that puts one woman in remission for 2 years might only keep another stable, or only help another 6 months. It is terribly misleading to imply we have any control.

    Reply

  20. D A Sikes
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:11:56

    This is such an over the top insensitive caption. WTH were you thinking. Advocates are supposed to support & encourage those fighting for their lives. This is neither encouraging or supportive.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:36:52

      Thanks for your comment. I agree – and it was meant to be over-the-top – just as I feel the ad is. And as an advocate I believe supporting patients is one important role we play, just as we have roles in policy and roles in calling things out when we see them. Many of those I work with who are living with MBC find these portrayals of patients is unfair and unjust, and spreading the word is supportive and encouraging. Others, such as yourself feel differently, and I respect that completely.

      Reply

  21. Robin Maupin
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:24:00

    I think the same criticism can be said for many disease non-profits, but in the ovarian cancer community, not so much. It may be because the mortality rate is overall, much higher than with bc. Most women are diagnosed at late stage because there is no test or early detection mechanism. The stats are horrible. I believe I survived because mine was detected at stage II and was non-aggressive. But I’ve never felt I survived 17 years because of anything other than luck of the draw. I wrote a blog about this called “Do you Deserve to be Healed?” http://wp.me/p3itJT-4F

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:39:04

      Thanks for sharing. I certainly agree many disease-based NPOs are similar – are are NPOs outside of the health arena. I’m glad it’s not true among ovarian cancer organizations!

      Reply

  22. WJ Gunning (@WJGunning)
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:25:36

    All of us impact the cancer experience of the individual with our careless use of chemicals.

    Reply

    • Lori
      Feb 17, 2015 @ 13:42:37

      Thanks for stopping by! I agree the use of chemicals is a huge issue, and I also believe that societal and government policy issues play a critical role. It is my understanding that human impact of countless chemicals in use today hasn’t even been evaluated!

      Reply

  23. Nava Brahe
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 21:00:14

    Komen has long been missing the mark with its messages. The example of a “fighting” woman is not the encouragement we need to get answers to why women like Maura Bivens, myself, and others wind up with breast cancer when there’s no family history, or rhyme or reason to why it happens. It’s great that she’s such a tenacious Tae Kwon Do-er, but why not focus more on the treatment she received and how it could benefit others? I wasn’t aware of CyberKnife; I’m just getting plain old radiation right now. And what research is being done to help women with aggressive triple-negative, and other forms of breast cancer? I want that information more than I want to see another “survivor” kicking cancer’s butt.

    Reply

  24. john mcbride
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 02:14:36

    I’ve lived with a winner for 35 years and I agree – it takes a combination of grace, tenacity and strength to truly live life (with the monster)!

    Reply

  25. Trackback: An Awful Anecdote | anotheronewiththecancer
  26. amitycook
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 20:03:16

    I just stumbled across your blog on facebook tonight. I really like the way you phrased your last paragraph. As a breast cancer survivor and participant in support groups, one thing I have struggled with is the passing of women I know. My question lately is how to strengthen my heart without hardening it.

    Reply

  27. Vaughan Birbeck (@VaughanBirbeck)
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 01:07:37

    The breast cancer that killed our daughter showed no mercy whatever – very aggressive, and untreatable through either hormone- or chemo- therapy. In fact, by the time cancer was diagnosed she only had six weeks to live – how could she “win” against that? She faced her death with dignity and even humour, planned her own funeral, and wrote her own obituary for the local paper. Her courage amazed everyone who knew her. To imply she ‘surrendered’, or ‘lost’ something is simply insulting.

    Reply

  28. Trackback: Regrounding on Komen’s Karate | Please Pay Attention To The Woman Behind The Ribbon
  29. jbaird
    Apr 26, 2015 @ 19:39:21

    Preach it, sister! Komen doesn’t seem to care about any stage of breast cancer except its own perception of that stage. If they had the desire to walk in our shoes even a short distance, they would see how much many of we metavivors want to live, no matter our age or season in life. xxx

    Reply

  30. Christa Stone
    Oct 28, 2016 @ 08:09:06

    Thank you for this article! My baby sister died at barely 30 yrs old and left behind 4 YOUNG children!!! I hear so many “success” stories. Im happy for others to live, of course. But Im tired of hearing things like “YOU really KICKED CANCERS BUTT!” “YOU are STRONGER than cancer!” “God is doing a miracle in your life” about other people who had or have cancer. Its like they are saying MY sister is a LOSER, or didnt have the will to FIGHT or she just GAVE UP…. but they dont know her circumstances. Some cancers are “easier” to “beat”? I guess? My sister had a LOT to fight besides cancer… lost her husband during treatment, lost her job, her car repo’d, her house foreclosed etc…. she was battling a LOT. Heart break was worse for her than the cancer. BUT I HATE it when people think its appropriate to tell ME how their loved ones are kicking cancers butt or GOD is healing THEIR loved ones, or that my sister might not have had enough FAITH to be healed in the first place. OR that she made the wrong CHOICES in her treatment. She DID do chemo and radiation the first round, it came back and she had a very little chance to survive even with MORE treatment. But she decided to just “try” natural treatments. Most in the family were against her doing “natural”… so she just did NOTHING. She was overwhelmed. But I never think that she LOST. WE lost. We lost HER. Her children LOST her. But she didnt “lose” her battle with cancer, not in my opinion. and its not anyones place to JUDGE whether she “fought” hard enough or not. I cant imagine being in her shoes. It was hard enough to stand outside. So thanks for your article. It is SO hard to find any that are understanding about this topic. all i can find are “SURVIVOR” stories. 😦

    Reply

    • Lori
      Oct 28, 2016 @ 08:18:07

      Hi Crista,

      I am so sad for your loss. It sickens me whenever I hear judgement being pass over those who have done everything in their power to live, by those who are clueless. Like you, I struggle with the word “survivor.” I also deeply resent the media hype around survivorship and early detection. It ALL ends up blaming those whose disease is the most difficult – and perpetuates the myth that cancer is within control of the patient.

      I hope your family is healing and that your sister’s kids are doing okay. You all deserve to have her with you! I’m so glad you found this as a place where you can vent!

      Sending virtual hugs and comfort..
      Lori

      Reply

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