"Cancer is a journey...and everyone's journey is different." Watching television the other night...well, listening to it, I was in the kitchen making dinner, I heard this phrase from a commercial for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America®. Now, I've had issues with them before - their commercials that lead people to believe that they are cutting edge and can offer things that other cancer treatment (that are ACTUALLY cutting edge) can offer - all from a for-profit institution - we'll just say that it left me skeptical.
But this particular phrase was particularly irritating. A journey is something I picture as something that someone undertook voluntarily. It is a wonderful and wondrous thing and, ultimately, pleasurable. Cancer is not a journey (despite the tongue-in-cheek title of this blog). It is not a journey so much as it is a forced march. Like a forced march, no one wants to go on a 'cancer journey'. You start off by surprise - forced into a very frightening world that until then, had been entirely unknown. Each day is filled with fear - of pain, of injury, of scarification, and of death. Your captor is in control and you have no choice but to continue to put one foot in front of the other until you either make it to wherever you're going, or you drop dead.
This idea of cancer and the treatment of cancer as some sort of adventurous journey is a complete crock of shit.
Let's be real, people, and let's be honest - cancer sucks and it's okay to say that it does*.
*Links to others who agree with this point of view: