On Thursday, we welcomed the newest member to our family - baby Chloe. She's the first of our clan to be born carrying three passports! Mommy and baby are both doing well.
I think that Chloe is a beautiful, strong name with no attachments. In other words, there isn't anyone or anything that I automatically think of when this name is mentioned.
So, what if we apply the same principle to the name Cancer? After all, the word is a catchall that has no specific meaning other than something that spreads quickly and creates its own vascular system. For most people however, the name causes an immediate reaction of fear and dread.
How differently would you feel if you visualized something very contained and sluggish. Better. How would you feel if instead saying chemotherapy you called it hemotherapy - hemo - meaning blood. Sounds like a spa treatment doesn't it?
Say, on a particularly "green" day, you remember what you felt like when you were carrying your first child or were comforting a friend or sister who was 8 weeks pregnant - you'd smile at the memory and know that it has a limited time frame. What about on a day when you feel prickles and tweaks - do you picture the good guys at work or do you have the panicky feeling of "what's that"?
What about remembering that you elected to have a total abdominal hysterectomy for therapeutic reasons instead of doing nothing - and some women make that choice too. The word elected empowered you.
My GP reminded me that every emotion results in a chemical reaction in your body. Think of that. For most people, the term cancer very definitely causes negative emotions and negative associations and so empowers it to create unhealthy chemical reactions.
We have the power to change names, re-create associations and meanings. A big part of our work in life therefore, is changing our emotional reaction to names and to recognizing that they're only words.