Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cancer Does Not Define or Limit Us

I read this obituary notice today and it struck a note of defiance and wisdom that I wanted to share:

YAKIMA - “When you write my obituary, do not say I fought a courageous battle with cancer.”
That was the repeated demand made by Dave Clark, who was diagnosed in the 1980’s with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia (CLL). He wasn’t joking. For once. He nevertheless fought the CLL successfully for more than 25 years.
David Bruce Clark would have completed his 68th year on Sunday, October 13, but passed away the day before on Saturday, October 12, 2013 in a Yakima hospital."
We are all much more than our cancers. When we are remembered, and more importantly, as we walk though our lives, we want to be recognized as life partners and lovers, as parents and children, as family, as friends, as co-workers, as neighbors, as congregants, as citizens, as adventurers and travelers, as helpers, as confidantes, as advisors, as advocates, as teachers, as writers and readers, as speakers and listeners, as sharers, as jokesters and musicians and artists, as the friendly stranger, as the people we are are, and not the mutant clone that wants to take us down.
As did Mr. Clark's family writing his obituary, it is OK to mention our cancer battles, especially if others can learn from our struggles, but I would agree with the late Mr. Clark and so many other patient advocates that came before us fighting their varied chronic morbid diseases, please leave out the words courageous and inspirational. It is what we must do. It is not as if we have a choice of diagnosis.
Cancer is a real and daily part of our lives.
But cancer does nor define or limit us. Never will.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cancer/CLL does limit us and changes who we are. It's wrecked my life, I longer do what I would like to do, haven't been able to for many years. Cancer/CLL sucks the life out of me, I've suffered immensely, it makes me fatigued, it causes depression, it took away my sense of humour, it limits what I can and want to do, my whole life and my relationships with everyone has been changed as a result of cancer/CLL.

I know one day that God will restore me fully but cancer/CLL has robbed me of many years of what otherwise would have been a more fruitful and fulfilling life for my family and myself.

I pray that one day I will receive treatment that restores me and I'm able to live a more productive, fulfilling and happy life.

October 20, 2013 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Brian Koffman said...

I would give up all the joys and learning that cancer has brought into my life to not have it. I am saddened it has been such an ordeal for you and I hope your prayers are answered and in the meantime you can find a better way to handle the lousy hand you were dealt.

October 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Dr. K. We have all been dealt a lousy hand at sometime in our lives. Some are worse than others. But, with faith that Our Father above is the Great Physician (sorry you are second) we all hope and pray that there will be a cure that will heal our broken bodies. Until then, we must keep on keeping on.

October 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth J. Neal said...

That was the repeated demand made by Dave Clark, who was diagnosed in the 1980’s with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia (CLL). He wasn’t joking. cancer treatment in india

October 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Brian.

Looks like Elizabeth J. Neal is a spammer ..

Lynn

October 26, 2013 at 5:20 PM  

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