Should a journey with cancer be considered as a fight or a battle? Is that a useful approach to take? I remember thinking about that when this trip commenced and have reflected on it often since.
People would tell me ‘keep fighting it’, or ‘keep up the good fight’ or you can ‘beat it’. I take a lot of encouragement from and really appreciate the concern of my family, friends, colleagues, the medical teams (doctors, nurses, radiologists, pharmacists and all the other disciplines I have encountered) and acquaintances. Everybody has been so good to me.
But I have never really seen my canoe trip as a fight. I have fighters by my side to be sure who are doing battle on my behalf and I’m truly grateful to them. But my role is different. I often consider cancer to be an unwelcome guest, one I would really like to get rid of but a guest none the less. My job is to get this guest to leave or keep him occupied or engaged to allow the fighters to eject him or find other ways to control him and render him harmless.
Lessons from tai chi would suggest that the best way to defeat an opponent is not with aggression. It is much better to use an opponents own energy against himself. I am still trying to figure out how to do this. Still ‘feeling’ the way so to speak.
I have recently started considering the cancer of part of myself. It is made of my cells and my genes. My Oncologist has referred to it recently as my cancer (although I’m sure she doesn’t mean me to take that literally). But if I can accept it as such then surely that would help in devising a strategy to get rid of it or to learn to live with it. Now there is further food for thought ….