Let me say that again, language matters.
Here’s how Adiba describes how MBC patients look at the “battle” terminology:
As a person who loves control and wants to have control, losing control over so many things as a forever patient has been a rough transition for me personally. One thing no one has control over (except, of course, God) is how our bodies respond biologically to the treatments. No two people are exactly alike and no treatment results in the exact same result.
We don’t have any control over how our bodies respond or the cancer cells, so we have no way to “fight,” and the end of that metaphor is we “lose” when we die. Once we are diagnosed, we have lost. We have lost the ability to make a difference by anything under our control. Don’t rub it in by using this language, don’t minimize our lives by highlighting how we will lose our lives to cancer.
Before you use the same fight terminology that has become and stayed “mainstream,” ask how the person with cancer is doing. Don’t take it on yourself to be a cheerleader or give them answers or solve any problems, just sit with them. LISTEN. And then listen some more. Less is more. Much less, please.
And now you know more about “mainstream” terminology and how much it hurts those of us with MBC.