Cancer is you. That may sound harsh, but stick with me here. It is a combination of your decisions, genetics, environment, and emotions. It is YOUR cells. It is not an outside entity, not a disease contracted on a trip to the Colombian rainforest.
This is a really important thing to recognize, accept, and eventually embrace. Too often, we see our cancer as something out of our control, something that happened to us, and something that we have no influence over. Cancer is always tragic, and can often feel unfair, but that attitude can be debilitating in the fight for life.
Everybody has cells that mutate, but some unique combination of circumstances caused our immune systems to stop seeing these cells, and thus allow them to grow. It took a million little moments and decisions that allowed our bodies to develop that first mutated cell that our immune system missed. That may feel overwhelming, but if we can accept that, we open up the door to the very next truth, which leads to hope: We have a million moments ahead of us to change.
Think about that for a moment. Let the gravity of that truth sink in. From this moment forward, we have the ability to change our course. Whatever series of decisions or circumstances that allowed our cancer to grow in the first plan can be changed moving forward. We can take the things that we DO have control over, like our environment, our diet, our emotions, and our spiritual condition, and we can make changes that help our bodies develop a robust and mature internal defense system.
If Cancer is You, then what do you do with any other malady your physical body has been through? If you’re overweight, you exercise. If you have a broken leg, you cast it to allow it to heal. If you have a gluten allergy, you change your diet. All we are proposing is that we treat our cancer the same way…by asking: What can I do different to improve my situation?
That is what Rachel and I are passionate about: Helping ourselves and others learn about the ways we can contribute to our own recovery from our cancer.
Photo credit: Kami Couch