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Barbara Ehrenreich’s Article in Saturday’s Guardian: Smile! You’ve Got Cancer

January 4, 2010

Although this is a beautifully written article I find myself as unsympathetic towards Barbara’s furiously angry attitude to her illness as I am to the Happy-Clappy Brigade’s furry pink optimism. If she felt so strongly about the negative experience of chemotherapy, why did she not do as I did and refuse the treatment?

Am I in a category entirely on my own, where I can be honest about the hideousness of breast cancer and yet still able to see the gift in it? My own book ‘Getting it off my chest” is admittedly very dark in places but it’s also got something that others of its kind don’t have and that’s an ability to see the funny side. Balance is the key.

So let’s all clap-happy with one hand and put our fingers up to the Cancer Club with the other. That should cover all our bases.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gabby Mottershead permalink
    February 27, 2010 1:26 pm

    I agree with Janice, as a fellow breast cancer survivor. There were days when I thought if one more person said to me ‘You’re so positive, you will beat this’ that I would beat them to a pulp. But I know this was said to me with good intentions, and to be honest there isn’t anything can say to you in those dark days that is helpful other than ‘ I love you’.
    Does positive thinking cure cancer? I am sitting on the fence, as much as I would love to believe that it does. But however long we have to live maybe it is better to live in hope with a big smile on your bloated face? And maybe thinking positively will give you the energy to make the changes you need to to overcome the disease.
    I believe cancer happens for a reason, you can lie down and die, or you can make the choice not to play the victim.
    And maybe like Janice you can use it to change your life for the better, I am still working on that one…

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