Cancer warrior! Fight to beat cancer! War on cancer!!!
Framing the cancer encounter as war, using the above terms, indicates a winner and a loser. It implies that a cancer patient is either a soldier or a battleground. I think we need to use these words with caution. It has the backside that if you’re not strong enough or tough enough you will not beat cancer; if you lose maybe you didn’t fight hard enough? All of this is not up to you alone, in this situation there’s a lot of chance involved; it depends on your type of cancer, the stage, the grade, where it is located and which treatments are available to you. I don’t want to think of myself as being in a state of battle, all in all there is only so much I can influence. If I’m at war, when will it end? I want to live in as much harmony as possible, working with my body, not against it. The cancer was a part of me. A part of my body. I don’t think it serves any purpose to think of my own body as the enemy.
I’m not a warrior, I’m not a hero. I’m just showing up for all my appointments, gratefully accepting the treatment so generously given to me by the Danish welfare state and thereby by the Danish people. I’m not very courageous doing it; I don’t feel courageous at all – actually I do not have any choice, since I want to have the best possible chances of the cancer not coming back. And luckily my chances of being cancer free for the rest of my life are quite good; I have been given good odds in this. This Monday I went to the hospital to get another kind of chemotherapy than I have received so far plus antibodies for the HER2+ receptors of my cancer. I was a little bit scared, had some difficulties falling asleep the night before, because this was something new and I had no idea how my body would react this time. I try not to imagine problems before they happen, but reality and theory is not always the same. I was at the hospital all day to be monitored, nothing happened at all. It was all very uneventful, I was a little bit uneasy later in the evening, but all in all I was ok. Once again I’m relieved at how little I seem to respond physically to the treatment, but I didn’t do anything special to deserve this. The only time I really feel the effects are my many meltdowns; I cry for nothing, get upset by the smallest things. My energy levels are lower than low.
I’m not at war, I’m not a fighter. Quite the contrary, I simply try to live as much as I can. Average life is the opposite to was times. I think the words we use influence the way we think; focus on living a normal life instead of in a state of emergency provide way better circumstances for my body in my opinion. I think it’s important that there is no right way to live whilst enduring chemotherapy or facing cancer, you get to do this the way you want to. That’s about the only perk there is to this shit. I try to listen to myself and give my body what it wants instead of putting down restrictions and regimes onto it. No fighting, but plenty of living. Doing as many everyday things as possible and feeling greatful for all I can do. To me this living is also to a great extent being surrounded by colors. They light up my day, cheer me up and keeps me happy. I try to dress up every day, the darker my mood, the brighter the colors. We decorate our home as lively as possible. So if I’d ever shoot with anything it’ll be paintball on white walls! But no war for me.