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Know Cancer blog

  • “Inspiration” – by Katie Johnston


    When I first started toying with what to write about this week, I went down three other possible avenues before finally detouring to other websites that stopped me in my tracks so suddenly, that I knew I wouldn’t be choosing a topic this time, but it would be choosing me.

    While perusing websites, reading the news, doing some research of my own; I stumbled upon an article at random that led me to a great quote that ironically led me to even more great inspirational quotes… so alas, here’s some food for thought today. Among the first article I read that originally started me on my plight of searching for more, there was a quote, said by the husband of a cancer survivor: “A cancer diagnosis is like getting dropped off in a foreign country where you don’t know the language.” Although I have yet to visit a foreign country with a foreign language, I still highly anticipate doing so and am already anxious at the thought of attempting to ask politely to be shown the bathroom and instead requesting something like a toad’s eyeballs for lunch instead. The point being that the world is full of the great unknown… that with cancer and any chronic illness for that matter, every day is like the great unknown and you never really are sure what you’re going to get… and there will be days when no one seems to understand the language you’re speaking — but no matter the country you’re in, the day you’re having, the language you’re speaking – love, hope, motivation, inspiration, laughter, kindred spirits– language barriers are no match for.

    Possibly within the same aforementioned article (maybe even the next one), I read one woman’s account as saying: “When one is truly inspired and wants to be a survivor, information derived from the experience of others is vital. The natives know how to help one another because of their experience.” What I love most about KnowCancer’s “information playground” and cancer resources, is that it’s impossible to ever feel alone, that someone else out there has been where you’ve been or is going where you’ve gone. And well, even if Helen Keller and Hemingway and Churchill didn’t share the exact same life experiences, they still have some nice things to say. Henry Ford said that “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Take that, right in the face, cancer. Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” – Again, Quotes – 2, Cancer – 0. Churchill mentioned something about never, never, never, never ever giving up… whether it’s you or a loved one with cancer; always keep moving. Confucius said “it does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” So this is my rant for the day, my swift kick in your butt – for my grandfathers, my best friend’s mom, my high school teammate, and for my mutual writing friend… Richard Bach said that the test to finding whether your mission on Earth is finished, if that if you’re alive, it isn’t – so if today you’re having a rough go at it, remind yourself of these things, of all these things – there’s still more life to live and I’m pretty certain a loud “Eff off, Cancer” can be translated nicely in all languages.