Life – win or lose?

The news this morning reports that Farrah Fawcett “lost her battle with cancer”. I wonder, does anyone else object to the term “lost her battle with cancer”? We might as well say she “lost her battle with life”. In this case, we’re all going to lose our battle with life eventually, but meanwhile I find the term demeaning. It makes people sound like losers because they died, when dying is not a win-lose decision but an automatic result of living.

I think we use certain words by habit but if we stop to think about it, they carry implications with a negative slant which is not necessarily the way things are.

No doubt people with cancer do their best to overcome the disease, but for a variety of reasons it doesn’t happen. It may be that the cancer has advanced so far it has taken over and diminished the person’s energy, so there is not enough energy to help the body get well. If cancer is caught early, then a person has more energy to overcome a smaller cancer and the chances of success are much higher. This is just one of many scenarios of healing or giving way to cancer, but it’s hard to know exactly what does happen inside a person’s body or mind.

What is important is to respect every person no matter how they live their life and how they die. I would like to change the term “lost her battle with cancer” and replace it with a simple term such as “she died of cancer”, which does not carry any judgment of winning or losing the battle.


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