The C Card and Me:
How I beat stage IV cancer (to a pulp)
By Ali Gilmore
Chapter 3: Show NO Fear
Cancer is nothing more than a bully. No, seriously. It goes around kicking the crap out of your healthy cells until they give in and join its gang or die trying to defend themselves. I strongly believe it feeds on fear, anxiety, and repression. Haven’t you heard that saying, “He’s going to stress himself into an early grave” or “She was worried sick”?
So, how do you beat a bully? You can pretend to ignore it or at least refuse to give it credence for starters. I do this by refusing to capitalize its name (except the book title because the editor insisted and after all the work I put her through it was the least I could do). That may seem silly, but the mind is a very powerful thing, and every time I use a lowercase letter, I imagine it shrinking in strength. Anytime I hear it mentioned on TV or radio, I flip it the bird. When in public, I do so under the table. For decades now, we’ve cowered at the mention of it and understandably so, but modern medicine has been catching up to cancer, and so should our perception of it. Again, I’m not trying to give anyone false hope. I just think we should move beyond the darker images and gut-wrenching emotions from the days of Terms of Endearment and face this little fecker with determination. Maybe then we can relegate it to the ranks of other diseases that are mere shadows in history.
So, the first step in fighting back is showing NO FEAR. When people around you are afraid for you, reassure them you’re not afraid, and they shouldn’t be either. I know, I know. You ARE afraid. Trust me when I tell you that you must STOP THAT immediately. Seriously just STOP IT. Oh, this brings something to mind as I’m writing this. Do you remember the comedian Bob Newhart? He did this hilarious skit on some show I can’t remember the name of, but it was funny and oh so apropos. Go ahead. Google it or go to YouTube and search for it now: Bob Newhart Stop It. Go watch it, and then, when you’re done laughing, come back. It’s cool…I’ll wait here.
Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Ali was the youngest of seven siblings. Early on, she’s known for her creative endeavors and tendency to daydream (duly noted on her report cards), but never really entertained taking her writing skills beyond hobby until in recent years. First, with a blog journaling her musical aspirations (www.aligilmoremusic.com) and then in the winter of 2012, after learning that one of her oldest friend's mother had been diagnosed, she felt compelled to write about her battle and win against stage IV cancer. That is how The C Card and Me came to be.
Ali makes her home in the beach town of Oceanside, California where she frequents local open mics and sushi joints.
Discover more about Ali at: www.aligilmore.com
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