Friday, March 6, 2009

More cancer terminology

I was scrolling through some of my past posts and came across something I wrote a few days ago: “For the record, I think of myself as ‘incurable’, not ‘terminal’”.

When I read that, it struck me as rather strange that I had referred to myself as ‘incurable’. Actually, it's the cancer that is 'incurable', not me! I find it interesting to look at the choice of words I use to describe cancer and its effects.

I’ve sometimes heard myself refer to 'my' cancer. I really don’t want to own it, yet it is unique to me and my body will deal with it in a way that is different than the next person. So I guess it is mine, whether I like it or not.

I said in the same posting “I also think of myself as a ‘survivor’". Another term that I sometimes use is cancer ‘thriver’.

In this week’s column in the Kingston Whig Standard, Sue Hendler explores the use of the word ‘patient’, in I may have breast cancer, but I don’t have to be (a) patient.

If you would like to read other columns by Sue Hendler, click on her name below after "Labels".

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