It began the moment I was told I had cancer. That was October 2016. Immediately, my mind was flooded with thoughts. Yet, not one single thought was about fighting to stay alive, or anything to do with being battling this disease. Those words were imposed upon me by friends and family. And I found they made me feel down, pessimistic about my life, and unhelpful. I decided to take control of the language used around me, to stop people when certain words came up, and to present an optimistic viewpoint to people. I didn’t want to talk to people about me and what I was going through; instead I wanted to celebrate life, those around me, and the mundane things that make this life what it is. To observe things, call them out to people. To smile. Now 5 months on, I’ve yet to meet another cancer patient who is battling. My oncology team never talk about fights and battles. These words are media terms, those used in advertising and marketing. They do not help. They are words that do no matter.

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