January 21, 2009

Dancing with cancer

My friend Wynne, a young American-born Chinese woman living with metastatic breast cancer, wrote this terrific post on dancing with cancer.

When dealing with uncertainty, you search alot. You search for answers even though there aren’t any. It’s frustrating.

I just saw a posting on a bulletin board for people dealing with metastatic breast cancer, and I found a link to an article that led me to a quote:
She said no one defeats cancer; cancer is a dance partner you don’t want and don’t like, but you have to dance, and either you die or the cancer fades back into the darkness at the other end of the ballroom. I never forgot what she said, and think she is right, and the words we use about cancers and wars matter more than we know.

Cancer is a dance partner that no one wants! Often people speak of “battling” cancer. No one I know has ever wielded an axe to cancer. (If only it was so easy!) No it’s a complicated dance that keeps changing pace, and I never seem to get the steps!

Usually just as I learn the steps of one treatment, it’s time to learn switch to another! Let’s just say that I finally learned how to waltz, and now they expect me to rhumba?!?!?!

No wonder, I’m confused and frustrated!

And the other part of the quote which has some key points for me:
Maybe if we celebrate grace under duress rather than the illusion of total victory we will be less surprised and more prepared when illness and evil lurch into our lives, as they always will; and maybe we will be a braver and better people if we know we cannot obliterate such things, but only wield oceans of humor and patience and creativity against them.

I couldn’t have phrased it better. So here’s to learning how to rhumba, samba, foxtrot, mambo, hustle, do the macarena, electric slide, lambada, forro, tango, cha-cha, salsa, and jitter bug!

Wynne, I'm dancing as fast as I can!

No comments:

Post a Comment