Fight the Good Fight

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What do people always say in times of dire circumstances? 

“Have faith.” 

I believe in the wisdom of that. It takes the sting out of the sucker punch from a cancer diagnosis. Faith can make the situation seem a little less frightening and can give us the strength needed to stay on our feet. Despite our illnesses and treatments, diseases and recoveries, it’s important not to lose faith.

It doesn’t hurt to fight either.

Have you ever watched a boxing match? A fight in a ring or a fight for recovery and wellness – there’s a lot of similarities. Both start with two contestants. In the case of cancer, the bell rings for Round 1: The diagnosis. 

Round 2: The treatment. You find yourself pelted with a flurry of punches. The enemy appears to be dominating, pouring it on. You’ve got to have the right people in your corner to engage this formidable challenger.

You need information about your opponent and someone to provide instruction and guidance. Like a trainer who tells his boxer when to drive it to the mat and when to sink a punch, your doctor will interpret your test results and offer strategies for defeat. He or she stood in that same corner many times and has a broad understanding of how the fight will go based on the opponent.

However the fight goes, it will probably leave a mark, some cuts and stitches, bruising and bleeding. That’s where the Corner Men come into play - the nurse, the pharmacist, the physical therapist. Like the boxer’s corner man who applies salve to open wounds and ice packs to swelling, your medical team will administer the drugs and try to control negative side effects. A good corner man knows when to lift a fighter up, calm him down, reassure him or leave him alone.

Both boxers and patients may feel lonely during their fight. Everybody doing their part gives the fighter - be it the boxer or the patient - the strength, leverage and courage to weather the incoming assaults.

You may bleed from surgery, stagger from radiation or chemotherapy and wobble with fatigue, diarrhea, chills, pain, headaches.

Your adversary has one goal – to come out on top. But you fight on and hopefully, one day, your adversary loses steam. Its punches don’t connect. You’ve knocked it off balance. You smell victory. You’re in remission.

Hey cancer! Are you ready? Let’s get it on!