Words in general, can be a funny thing. They are powerful! Somehow, words have a way of impacting us emotionally and mentally. Not only that, but they have a way to affect people around us, influence situations, change atmospheres and so much more.
From the day I was diagnosed with cancer, I absolutely refused to say, “I have cancer”. I have never referred to cancer as ‘my cancer’. I am extremely serious about that, to the point that when people would say things to me like, “sorry you have cancer”, or in conversations make references such as ‘your cancer’, I would correct them. I would firmly explain that I am dealing with cancer, but it is not mine.
As I stated in the beginning, words hold a certain kind of power. Therefore, I refuse to claim cancer as my property like it is something that belongs to me. Let me be very clear, I do not own cancer and cancer does not own me! It is an evil invasion that has infiltrated my body without an invitation nor permission, and it is certainly not welcome! It is not mine, and it does not belong into my body. I surely do not want it! Since it must go, I will not dare take ownership of it. However, what I do take ownership of is the journey to becoming healed and whole.
I am totally aware of the fact that calling it a journey is a bit of a controversial term within the cancer community. Since life is a journey, being diagnosed with cancer and everything that comes with it then, becomes part of that journey. But hey, that is a whole different topic, right?! After all, we are talking about the impact of words here.
Cancer has done so much harm, it has stolen more from me and countless others than I can say. Please do not get me wrong, going through this journey has also given me a lot and for that I am very grateful. Yet, after everything cancer has done to me, and countless people all over the world, I will not ever make this thief, this killer, this parasite, my property. Call me stubborn, but that is the story I am sticking to. 🙂
If you take a moment to think about it, making a verbal declaration such as “I have cancer”, can create a whole different cataclysmic mindset, and shift us into an entirely opposite emotional space. On the flip side, denouncing cancer can have the same effect mentally and emotionally. This means, we hold the power to shift our thinking as well as our emotions, through the words we choose and speak.
I am going to be very honest with you, this has made a major difference in my life. To me, it has been empowering not to claim cancer as my property. It gave me back a sense of control that cancer has robbed me off. Choosing my words wisely, and not owning cancer but owning the journey, has assisted me in shifting out of a victimized mindset, and into the position of a conqueror.
So today, I would like to invite you to join me with your preferred way of denouncing cancer as a personal belonging and claiming your power and control that cancer has tried to strip you of. What phrasing do you prefer to use when discussing your battle?
Founder of Vulvar Cancer Awareness Forum
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.