Soul Letters for the Cancer Sojourner, #20 Make Cancer Pay

This, my friend, is the day I want you to turn it around.

So many things you can’t change right now. You’re so deep in it, those things you have no control over are all you can think about.

I have cancer. Things will never be the same again.

I know it seems unfair, this heightened sense you’re experiencing of what is and really isn’t important. But honestly? this is how we’re supposed to live. For now. For today. But we don’t. Only now you’re realising how short time is, how little time you have.

Don’t lose that. I promise you, keeping that one thing will change your life.

image credit: iStockphoto
image credit: iStockphoto

Today, my friend, today we flip this.

You have the following choice before you, and you can, and must, make it. You will make it, whether you mean to or not.

Will cancer be the worst thing which ever happened to you? Or will cancer be something else?

Will you give over that kind of power to cancer? Because it is a kind of power, making something the worst, the hardest, the toughest, the most destructive. When you speak this, believe this, you give cancer power.

Power, frankly, it doesn’t deserve.

Cancer can kill your body. But it cannot kill who you are, what you are.

You have the choice – you can think about what cancer takes away from you, or you can think about what you can take away from cancer.

Cancer comes to rob, steal and destroy. It makes you pay – with your body, with your mind, with your well-being and with your future.

But today, it changes. Today you make up your mind that from now on – cancer pays.

Make it famous. Cancer hates it when you talk about it. Talk about cancer without shame or fear, or even guilt because of anything you might have done to make it come. Cancer doesn’t want to be famous – it wants to stay nameless, secretive and mysterious. It needs these so it can infect you and everyone you know with fear, which kills you all in a hundred awful ways. Make cancer famous, and take away it’s safety and anonymity.

Make it smaller. Cancer isn’t bigger than you, so don’t behave as if it is. Laugh at it’s expense. You have a greater capacity to get rid of cancer than it has to get rid of you. Even if it takes your body, it becomes extinct. You always win. Make cancer smaller, because it’s never your greater, never even your equal.

Make it normal. Yes, normal. One in two folks are diagnosed with cancer – so why are we still acting as if having cancer is rare, unique and special? Something that happens to every second person isn’t special. The myth of cancer thrives on us continuing to believe it’s an unlucky anomaly. One in two people means it’s less to do with being unlucky, and more to do with being human. The more we behave as if cancer is part of life, the less special and more impotent it becomes. Make cancer normal, and take away its power.

Make it pay. Use cancer in ways it never counted on. Cancer isn’t a weakness – it’s a unique skill set. Cancer teaches you stuff you can use to help others beat it, or at the very least, negotiate it. Knowing what the inside of the cancer world looks like opens doors for you, doors you can jimmy open and shepherd others through, doors that one day won’t exist because people like you will wrench them off their hinges and throw them away. Get yourself on a platform because of cancer, and use it to tell people not to believe the myths and the lies. Get your photo in the paper, and tell people your own amazing story. Make cancer pay, and take every damn shred of fame and airtime you can screw out of it to wage your campaign against it.

Today, we turn this thing around. Make up your mind to think less about what cancer can take away from you, and begin to strategise about what you can take away from it. Make it into a skill set. Make it come out into the light. Make it clear and obvious to anyone who’ll listen exactly what cancer has done, and also, what it can never do.

Make it smaller, make it normal, make it pay.


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