Day 120 // The 10 Commandments of Cancer

  1. Thou shalt regard the word, “Cancer”, as exactly that: a word. Nothing more, nothing less. For its original meaning has changed mightily over the years, as have such words as Smallpox, TB, and Polio, all once dreaded ailments, now non-existent as maladies. And thus, too, shall go Cancer.
  2. Thou shalt love chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments for they are friends and champions. Although they may exact a toll for their endeavors, they are often most generous in the favors they bestow.
  3. Thou shalt participate fully in recovery. Thou shalt learn all the details of the ailment, its diagnosis, its prognosis, its treatments, conventional and alternative. Thou shalt discuss them openly and candidly with the oncologist and shalt question all those that do not comprehend. Then, thou shalt cooperate intelligently and knowledgeably with the doctor.
  4. Thou shalt regard the ailment as a temporary detour in life and shalt plan the future as though this detour had not occurred. Thou shalt never, at no time, no how, regard the temporary ailment as permanent. Thou shalt set long-term goals for thou will verily recover and belief will contribute to recovery.
  5. Thou shalt express feelings candidly and openly to loved ones for they, too, are stricken. Thou shalt comfort and reassure them for they, too, need comforting and reassurance.
  6. Thou shalt be a comfort to fellow cancerites, providing knowledge, encouragement, understanding and love. Thou shalt give them hope where there may be none, for only in hope lies their salvation. And by doing so, thou providest comfort for oneself, as well.
  7. Thou shalt never relinquish hope, no matter how thou may feel at that moment, for thou knowest, in the deep recesses of the heart, that the discouragement is but fleeting and that a better day awaits thee, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after tomorrow – but certainly it shall come.
  8. Thou shalt not regard the ailment as the sum total of life but as merely a part of it. Fill your life with other diversions, be they mundane, daring, altruistic, or merely amusing. To fill your life with your ailment is to surrender to it.
  9. Thou shalt maintain, at all times and in all circumstances, a sense of humor, for laughter lightens the heart and hastens recovery. This is not an easy task, sometimes seemingly impossible, but it is a goal well worth the endeavor.
  10. Thou shalt have enduring and unassailable faith, whether faith be in a Supreme Being, in Medical Science, in the Future, in Thyself, or in Whatever. Steadfastly sustain faith for it shall sustain thee.