I’m not afraid so say the “C-word”

Seriously people? It’s just a word. An arrangement of letters that we assign phonetic sounds to. You can say it. I say it every single day. Sometimes several times — at work, home, in restaurants, anywhere at all.

Yet so many people seem to pussy-foot around it. They can’t say it out loud. Especially when other people might hear them. What would people think?

The inquiry is usually, “How are you?” With the speaker somehow pronouncing the italics as a higher note to imbue the request with more sincerity than usual. The implication is that this is not just the social convention of, “How are you?” No, this is clearly Avoiding the Uncomfortable Topic of the C-Word. And when it happens, I try to respond brightly, “Well, I still have cancer. But it’s okay to say the word, really.” Their reactions range from shock to bemusement.

I understand, and hope to teach people that words have only the power we assign to them. I won’t give this one power over me by whispering it, or dancing around it. My foe has a name, I’d I’m not afraid to call him out.


HEY…I came here to chew bubblegum and fight cancer. And I’m all out of bubblegum.
For those of you keeping score at home, it’s eight days. Yippee-ki-yay.

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