I Hate This Way of Describing People Who Die of Cancer

January 15, 2016 at 4:50 PM 1 comment

This is how the trashy New York Post announced the death of Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil:

Céline Dion’s husband René Angélil loses battle with cancer


It isn’t just a rag like the New York Post that frames the death of a cancer patient this way, it’s common; it’s everywhere:  The patient lost the so-called “battle.”

The implication is that the cancer patient didn’t fight hard enough, that maybe the person was weak or gave up. So unfair and so unrealistic. It’s cancer for god sake.  Is that a disease we routinely “win” a battle with?  No.  It’s as preposterous as a headline announcing that my husband “lost his battle with hydrocephalus” after his fall.  He did everything he could to live but the hydrocephalus (fluid) caused his brain to die as it slowly filled his skull and crushed his brain tissue.  How in the hell was Dan supposed to “battle” that?  Likewise with Mr. Angelil.  He cancer cells were dividing and spreading.  How was he supposed to “battle” that?  Physical things happen that kill people.  There’s no “battling” them.

Anyway, rest in peace Rene Angelil.  Sorry about the idiotic headline.





Entry filed under: Musings.

Ah Yes, the Wisdom of Babes Grief Isn’t Something We Plow Through

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. doog  |  January 15, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    I’ve never thought of it that way but you’re right. My wife fought it, won a short, deceptive respite and then it overwhelmed her. It’s like avoiding an implacable assassin. Battle is definitely the WRONG word. Cancer sucks and we need to eradicate it. We’ve lost enough people dammit.

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