Nails scratch on a chalkboard next to a chalk drawing of a gravestone and rose

You Don’t Lose The Battle

Last updated: August 2020

Every time I hear, “They lost their battle with cancer,” it feels like nails on a chalkboard. I just want to shout from the rooftops, “No, they freaking didn’t! They passed away!” If you lose a battle, in most cases there’s an opportunity for a rematch.

Losing a war

But when you pass away from cancer, you have lost a war. The battle is what you fight every single day to make it through twenty-four hours at a time. When you lose a war, the fighting ceases.

So, when someone passes away from cancer, please, for the sake of their loved ones, don’t tell them how brave you think the deceased was for fighting the “battle.” That’s not encouraging at all. You fight to live because you don’t want to leave your loved ones, and sometimes, you just might like your life, and you’re not ready to walk away from it.

Dealt the deadly cancer card

Recently, someone very dear to me passed away from cancer. When she was diagnosed, she had told me privately that she was grateful to be alive, but that she was also very angry she had been dealt with the deadly cancer card.

She asked me how I stayed so strong and what annoyed me to no end. I told her some of the things that really irritated me, like stupid t-shirts saying “I kicked cancer's ass.” Clearly you didn’t if you’ve been diagnosed; cancer came in like a tornado.

We talked about the phrase, “She lost her battle,” and she agreed that she wasn’t a fan of the saying. There may be someone who may read this and think, “So, what’s the big deal?”

The moment you are diagnosed

Well, here’s the big deal: The moment you find the lump and are diagnosed, you begin the fight. You fight through treatment, and then you fight to adjust to your new normal. Your loved ones watch you fight, and they fight along with you because they want you to win.

And if you are overtaken by the illness, and you pass away, no one wants to hear that their loved one lost the battle, because they saw them and were with them when they gave all they had to give until their last breath.

So, no, we don’t lose the battle. We simply exit the war.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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