Saturday, February 5, 2011


One of things that is curious to me is the language used in describing the process of becoming disease (cancer specifically) free.  It's quite militaristic.  One is "battling" cancer, or "fighting" cancer.  The cancer is "attacking" your body.  One is "winning the battle".  Or "losing". It's particularly ubiquitous around breast cancer, because it is so prominent, and because so many are now surviving it.  Maybe it's because the large charity organizations (Livestrong, Komen Race for the Cure) have incorporated athletic events into their community building and fundraising and that culture of competition and success means the language of sport moves into the language of disease management.

Maybe if the language shifted it would help people address becoming cancer free in a more holistic way.  What if it was the language of gardening?  One has to weed the garden of cancer.  One has to nurture the garden with the right nutrients (antioxidants) and avoid use of pesticides (refined starches, alcohol, sugar). One wants to move the cancer to the compost heap.  Thinking in positive, nurturing ways about restoring one's health - would that make any difference in outcomes?

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