If you have spent any time reading on my site you may have noticed that I rarely use the word, cancer. Structuring my sentences instead to use the word cancering. The word cancer has a lot of sticky icky scary energy surrounding it. In my mother’s generation they spoke it in whispers or referred to it as the “Big C.” This is the reality of cancer as noun. Cancer as horrible monster, the fast track to a painful and meaningless death.
Even today with all the pink awareness campaigns and “crazy sexy cancer” books it, the word cancer, remains a dread force in our awareness. When I was diagnosed I too felt a saturation of fear. But the thing is that our body does not heal very well when saturated with fear hormones. Which is why I am infinitely grateful that around the time of my diagnosis I stumbled upon two TED talks that changed how I approached my illness. The first one gave me hope, the second changed my vocabulary around cancer forever.
Cancer became a verb for me, and that changed everything. I switched my focus from preparing to die to preparing to transform. You can read more about that here.
Here are the two videos from TED. The first, with physicist Danny Hillis, is about how cancer is really a verb. The other, with biologist Mina Bissell, is about how cells communicate templates for health to each other. It inspired me to believe I could stop cancering and return to health. May they both inspire your journey to be less fearful.