I was listening to a CD the other day and on it they said, as soon as you/me/whoever puts a label on something/someone you/me unknowingly and automatically put that something in a box – a box that said something/someone can’t get out of as long as it is labeled.
We all do it all the time. We label each other – all day everyday – aren’t healthy because you don’t eat the way I do, not as spiritually advanced as me because you don’t mediate the way I do, not going to Heaven because you don’t believe exactly what I do, not successful because you don’t have as big as house as me, not a real athlete because you can’t run as fast as me – do you see how these labels can hold someone down, can change us if we are the ones being labeled – it can change us unknowing – it is change us into believing this nonsense.

I realized the impact of labels when a friend of mine was talking to me about a friend of hers who has stage IV breast cancer. When she spoke of her friend to me, she would say – she has stage IV cancer also. It took me a minute to connect the dots of also? Who else has stage IV breast cancer?? Oh, I guess I do???

But the thing is, I don’t consider myself to have stage IV cancer – in fact I don’t really even consider myself as having cancer. Yes, maybe in my medical chart I am “labeled” as this but in my heart, in my mind, in my life I don’t – I can’t put this label on myself or on others.

The only time I have even thought of myself of stage IV was the day I was told this and I was handed a nice little brochure of what it means. I handed that brochure to Marci and Gina when we got home from that appointment and never again have I thought of myself as “that.”

Do others label me as “cancer”? Is that all others see me as now?

I feel like as soon as I allow people, me, anyone to label me as stage IV cancer, I am in a box – stuck there with nothing else to do/to be but to have cancer. I am so much more than cancer – I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an artist, a lover, a sharer of life, an encourager and so much more.

I don’t want to be in a box – I am much too restless to stay put in a box.

6 Thoughts to “Labels”

  1. Hi Renee, Great to hear your story and stumble on your blog! Best of luck with everything! Have you heard about the non-profit org FAMEDs as the only patient advocate group fighting the FDA to continue to allow Avastin to be used by 17,500 women with metastatic breast cancer performing well on the drug? Please sign and share the urgent petition: http://fameds.org/petition.php

  2. Renee,

    I think your label is AMAZING! You are a strong, determined, beautiful AMAZING mom and wife, who just happens to have a pesky invader in your body! I love this post … Keep strong Renee … we love you all the way to Amarillo!!

  3. You are an amazing woman and it has nothing to do with having cancer. You are beautiful beyond belief, inside and out and care deeply for your loved ones. You are open-minded and have a great sense of humor, THESE AND MUCH MORE ARE WHAT DREW ME TO YOU AND SISTER I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU THAT WELL. All I know is for some reason God put you in my life, to read your words; you help me become braver.


  5. Renee glad to see that you are in such great spirits keep up the good fight its hard to always read every thing about what is going on but i know in my heart that you will get through all this you remind me of grandma so much ther is no quit in you and if ever need anything please dont hesitate to ask please ill will do anything for any of you i love you and your family very much you go girl love craig weigle the best cus…

  6. It wouldn't let Marci post this but I love what she told me:

    I don't see cancer. I see my best friend.
    I don't see bald. I hear your laughter.
    I don't see stage IV. I feel your love.

    Love, Marci

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