And this is why I call it a battle

I am not a proponent of violent conflict.

But when something has been trying to kill you for fifteen years, it is impossible not to take it personally. And when this thing that’s chasing you starts going after your friends as well, it’s more than personal.

This is a war. And when I hear others rail against that terminology, I have to think that their experience with cancer is not quite the same as mine.

My own struggle to stay alive is daily. And it is a struggle. The enemy is persistent, relentless, and sneaky as fuck. I have now lost hundreds of friends to cancer. My heart has been broken so many times I am sometimes surprised that it can go on beating. But it does, and, against all odds, I continue to draw breath. Battle on.

What keeps me going is in part this notion that I am at war.

I lost a dear friend yesterday and my first thought was ‘man down.’ I felt incredible grief but also that familiar surge of motivating anger.

In less than two weeks I shall likely start my fourth phase I clinical trial. The front lines of this battle, if you will. I am–unapologetically–a cancer warrior.

I fight not just for myself, but for all who are similarly afflicted. I fight because I want to live, but also because I want others to have the opportunity to live as well.

I fight because I am heartbroken.

And mad as hell.

10 responses to “And this is why I call it a battle

  1. There is nobody I would rather fight this battle with then you.

  2. Amen, my friend and fellow warrior.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you for fighting. My husband is struggling mentally, though doing well physically right now. I talk of your journey often and I can see it gives him hope. Thank you. I’m constantly praying for you and thinking of you and trying to send energy and light your way. This is indeed war and it will take an army. Thank you for leading, captain!

  4. I feel the same way! For Don, Bobbi, Janet and all of those who have lost the battle O’Neill fight that much harder!!!!

    Sent from Dawn Horner’s iPhone

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  5. Hi Linnea. I’m so sorry for your loss. Must be so devastating. You are always right in the thick of it; right from the beginning. Praying and hoping this new clinical trial you know I don’t have the words. If it not to much trouble can you send me a link regarding the trial. Any medium we communicate on is fine. Huggs and kisses. Sean

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  6. Linnea, We’re all here to continue this fight for you and ourselves! Plus everyone who is battling this disease, or who may in the future. We love you. I’m so so sorry you lost another dear friend yesterday. So tragic.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more!!!! I know how you feel my inspiration and fellow lc warrior!!!! My deepest condolences!!!! We are stronger when we fight together!!!!

  8. Fight, ass you have. I will continue to be inspired, as I have.

  9. Linnea, I tweeted this post out to my followers because people who have a problem with using the word “battle” need to see this. Thank you for sharing and inspiring other warriors.

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