Letters to the editor: The language of cancer
12/12/2010 -- Pasadena Star News
As a 13-year cancer survivor and a person with deep admiration for Elizabeth Edwards, I again find myself disturbed by the way many in the media (and often the public) refer to someone who has died of the disease.
I've already seen many headlines and heard television news anchors lead with some variation of the line, "Elizabeth Edwards loses her battle with cancer." Rarely is this language associated with those who die of other ailments. Have you ever heard it reported that someone lost his/her battle with heart disease or a stroke?
For many of us who have fought or are fighting cancer, winning or losing the battle is not simply defined by how long one lives. It's just as much defined by how one lives with the disease.
Since her diagnosis six year ago, Elizabeth Edwards lived a passionate and courageous life. She faced her many personal trials with grace and dignity. She remained a devoted mother, and a dedicated activist for her causes and beliefs. She lived life fully and completely.
Cancer may have taken Elizabeth Edwards' life; it most certainly did not defeat her.