I remember many years ago, when I was a teenager my extended family had gone into crisis mode because of cancer.  A young, married cousin of mine was diagnosed with liver cancer.  She had three small kids, a great husband, a successful and happy life and this cancer was going to kill her.

It was at a time in cancer world, when a liver cancer diagnosis was a death sentence.  There was really just one type of chemotherapy for all cancers and it was so toxic, cancer patients could barely stand the treatment.

I don’t know what killed my cousin first, the treatment or the cancer.  My entire family was heart broken.

I remember hearing whispers that my cousin had given up once she found out about the cancer.

I still hear that sentiment expressed today among family members to their loved ones who are faced with a cancer diagnosis.

“Don’t give up.”  “We’re gonna fight this.”  “We’ll face this cancer and we’ll beat it.”

We’ve all heard these thoughts expressed.

I guess it’s so important to stand up to cancer.  If we’re mentally strong,  do our bodies listen and respond better to treatment? Are we just being strong for our loved ones and care givers?

It’s hard for me to imagine anyone just giving up.  If they do, it’s got to be because the strain and pressure of what cancer brings to a life is just too much.  It’s not because they don’t want to live.  It’s not because they don’t want to fight.

Fighting is part of having cancer.

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