Are you fighting cancer or healing cancer?

I am really concerned when people describe themselves as ‘fighting cancer’. Or when the media tells us ‘he lost his battle’. And how often do we hear catch cries such as ‘together we can beat cancer’ to fundraise for research and support services. Not that there’s anything wrong with raising money. A lot of good has been done. But if people living with cancer take on these fighting words and the notion that they must fight this disease, they can burn up a lot of energy that could be otherwise directed toward healing. Because we cannot fight and heal at the same time. It’s a physical impossibility. And anyone who knows basic physiology would realise that the ‘fight or flight’ response precludes ‘rest and repair’.

If you think about it, it’s a bit like a swimmer really. If caught in a rip the swimmer has a couple of options. And taking charge and selecting the best option will increase his chances of survival. If the swimmer struggles against the rip, he will only consume all his energy in a fight against the stronger current, tire more quickly and risk drowning. To give up is not such a good idea either. But if the swimmer swims across the water, or treads water with his hand raised for help, or simply floats out with the tide, giving himself the opportunity to swim back once calmer water is reached, he conserves his energy while re-directing it toward the best possible means of survival.

Most people don’t realise fighting cancer can drain energy that could be better used to support healing. Perhaps we need to change the way we think…

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.