People Say the Darndest Things About Cancer

Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.

I recently received a message from a friend of mine that got me thinking about all the advice I have been given since I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer of the plasma cells. Please don’t be offended by his rather outrageous declaration. I wasn’t:

“Dear Cherie,

Stop telling yourself that you have cancer. Instead, declare that you are completely healed! Not in the future, but RIGHT NOW!! Remember, there are no incurable diseases, only incurable people.”

When my friend told me that there are no “incurable diseases” only “incurable people,” I decided to tell him the conclusions I had come to. I responded:

“My dear friend,

Cancer feels in my body, there’s a terrorist holding a hand grenade with the safety lever released, ready to explode at any time. What to do about this terrorist is a choice that is always up to me. Oh, how I wish I had somebody smarter than me telling me what to do. My oncologist merely suggests treatment options. I know not everybody agrees with my decisions. Having to make these life or death decisions is, indeed, a heavy load and something I wish I did not have to make. People come with all kinds of suggestions. Though I believe they are well-meant, they do not help me much. Please know, I have tried everything that is out there and that I could afford! I live as healthily as I can, both physically and spiritually, and I do believe it plays a strong part in my well-being, as does the medicine and the chemo.

When you tell me there are no incurable diseases, only incurable people, what do you really mean? I believe cancer helped to ‘cure’ me from years of emotional suffering due to my parents’ abuse. I was ‘cured’ from a lack of self-worth because I thought that if my parents did not believe in me, surely nobody else did. I was ‘cured’ from a sense of loneliness because I never felt I belonged anywhere, and I found deep friendships in my support groups.

You see, if I had been cured from cancer right away, I am not sure I would have been cured from these things, nor do I think I would have helped others as much if, after just a couple of treatments, the cancer went into complete remission.

You know, many of us think we know the answers, and we want things a certain way. What we don’t realize is that by wanting things our way and forcing things our way, we might be missing out on a whole bunch of very valuable lessons. I learned to make life sweet again, precisely because of my run-in with cancer and other difficult life situations. Today, I realize that the best way to love and embrace life is to accept all things life brings us and to surrender to its toughest teachers. When we stop fighting them, and see the opportunities they offer us, they no longer have us paralyzed by fear. Instead, we can come to appreciate the lessons they teach us.”

Cherie Rineker Author of “A Pilgrimage Without End, How Cancer Healed my Broken Heart” available on Amazon and at www.cherierineker.com.