How to react when the word cancer comes up? Ugh, another hard topic. How often does the word cancer really come up in your life? Because I hear it almost everyday. Whether it’s an ad for a non-profit on the radio or someone casually bringing it up in class, sometimes I see it on TV or worse, I hear of another diagnosis. It comes up everyday in my life and when it does, I could never not react to it.

At first, hearing the word was almost funny. I was like “Well, oh damn, now it’s haunting me.” Then, I had a more laid back reaction after I was done with my chemotherapy. I thought “Well, there it is again. Good thing I’m done with it.”

Now when I hear the C-Word, I CRINGE. I get emotional and often feel uncomfortable. This is because being in college I am surrounded by a completely new set of people. A few of them know of my battle, but many of them don’t and absolutely no one here knows my complete story. There is a huge gap in understanding that isn’t quite possible to fill just through explanation.

From this I’ve learned it is okay to be uncomfortable with the word cancer because it’s not just any word. It’s complicated and makes me feel vulnerable inside. The only thing I can do and the only thing you can do is embrace whatever relationship it is that you have with the word cancer and let it happen. Don’t let it anchor you down, just let it happen.

Katherine
Moi is a junior at the University of Southern California majoring in Public Relations and Entrepreneurship. At school she loves to keep herself busy teaching dance classes, participating in her sorority, attending fitness classes and exploring Los Angeles. Ever since she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma the summer after her junior year in high school, she has been passionate about helping other patients through the challenges faced during treatment and beyond.