On Gifts

When I first received this diagnosis, I also received a gift. (No, I will not offend anyone who is suffering directly or indirectly from cancer—or any other misfortune—to suggest that cancer itself is the gift. Cancer is just shitty luck, which any of us can get no matter what good or bad choices we’ve made in our lives. And I would so gladly give it back if I could!) The gift I received, virtually at the same moment as the diagnosis, was acceptance. (I’m calling it a gift because it was just suddenly there for me.) This gift has proved incredibly valuable. It has meant I have been freed from a range of difficult emotions and reactions one might expect with a terminal diagnosis. Most wonderfully, it has meant no anger, denial, desperation, or despair. I have also been most blessedly free of depression, fear, anxiety, and bitterness. This is why it is a gift. Instead of all that hard stuff, I’ve been left with plenty of space for gratitude, love, joy, wonder, peace, connection. This has meant I could continue to be mostly cheerful, still be delighted to greet each new day and cherish time with my loved ones.

I did, however, question the gift of acceptance for a few weeks while I was struggling to decide whether to pursue conventional medical treatment (chemo and radiation), alternative treatment, or simply do nothing and let the disease take its course. Though acceptance had felt so clear and solid in my heart, I questioned it as I was flooded with links to various treatments, promises of miracle cures, advice about attitudes, and stories of survival. (I know all that advice came from true caring, so I do appreciate it for that.) Though I did ask a few specific people for their perspective, I was soon overwhelmed, especially as much of the advice was directly opposed with other advice, and there were very few verifiable facts anywhere. There were only a few things I was sure of. I knew I didn’t want to waste my time and energy battling an unbeatable cancer. I also didn’t want to die. But I wasn’t afraid of death either. Nor did I want to give up if there was hope. But now I wondered whether it were true that if I were determined enough I could beat this, as many claim. I know medical knowledge is faulty at best and woefully thin for this particular disease, and statistics are deceptive. But what facts there are indicate that any hope to be cured or survive very long with this diagnosis really aren’t reasonable. And I have known several people who were determined to live but who did die nonetheless. The fact is, not one of us is ultimately going to beat death. Though many find it empowering to believe they have full agency over their health, I don’t believe we are responsible for all our diseases, or even for our baseline health. Sometimes things just go wrong and there’s nothing we can do about it. (More on that in another post soon.)

All this to say, I have reclaimed that gift of acceptance. Living in a way that is true to me means accepting and fully embracing this experience so that I can do my best to transform it into something positive. That is where my energy is focused. Not on hoping and trying to survive, but on turning this into something that brings more goodness and joy and love and peace into the world, rather than being just an experience of loss. I have received so many gifts of all kinds in my life – especially gifts of joy, love, and kindness – and what I most want now is to leave as many of those gifts with all of you as I can. That is what will bring me peace in death.

Recognizing and accepting such gifts is not always easy, especially for those without a formal religion or spiritual framework with which to construct meaning in an often senseless world. But I think the gifts are there. They’re not always the gifts we might have asked for, but being open to receiving them can help us through the parts of life that seem to be anything but a gift.

About susanbriscoe

English teacher, writer
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81 Responses to On Gifts

  1. Beautiful piece of writing!
    And your spirit is just so inspiring:)
    Adversities bring a lesson .. I believe.
    Take care😘

    Liked by 5 people

  2. alvaldibarvani says:

    Plenty of people have helped themselves treat cancer through various diets and such diets needs to be sustained for preventing it returning. Cancer is very much like a infection in the body and even treatment with regular conventional painkillers that contain bacterial killing substances have showed good resoults . Many people have treated themselves from the perspective of cancer being a form of infection and realised the most simple fundamental treatment principles for them have been to stop feeding the cancerous infection its favourite fuel wich is sugar in all its forms and shapes. Step one to build the foundation for a infection free body has been for them to stop eating sugar in any form or shape. A healthy body can prevail a certain level of sugar in the body. But it there is any kind of infection in the body the sugar fuels the infection it can be compared to having a fire in your body and pouring gasoline to the fire that is the effect of sugar. By stopping consistently all intake of sugar this action alone can have the effect of starving the infection/cancer in the body so it simply dies on its own since sugar is its main diet. A infection in the body consists of aggressive bacteria just like if you have a toothache this is due to bacterias thriving in your teeth’s and by stopping all intake of sugar the pain will slowly go away at the speed of the death of the bacterias due to lack of sugar. The killing of the infection in the teeth and or the body can be enhanced by adding bacterial killing foods to your diet such as for instance Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and is one of the mos common food spices available and has shown great results in reducing inflammation in the body.
    There are numerous foods that have inflammation killing properties but there is not much use in any of them if you continue feeding your body SUGAR but today there is one great alternative to getting your sweet kicks it is called Stevia Sugar it looks like regular refined sugar and taste basically the same it is even 300 times sweeter then regular sugar so you need less amounts of it. Stevia sugar contains zero calories and do not cause or make inflammations worse. Read all food labels before you eat anything since there is sugar in almost all ready made food products from sauces to bread but there are sugar free foods sugar be consistent on this point only a small dose of sugar can tip the health in a infected body.
    Then educate yourself ( yes it is only your own responsibility to educate yourself on the laternatives) read up on everything the information is abundantly and free available at the net, Read up on the bacterial killing properties
    of the Spice Curcumin , Pineapples have even stronger and more powerful bacterial killing properties due to the high level of Bromelain in Pineapples that are normally considered a sweet fruit to eat and juice but if you drink a whole liter of freshly juices pineapple you will feel the burning strong sensation the Bromelain causes and to get a proper effect you need to drink at least a whole liter of fresh Pineapple juice within preferably 20 minutes or so.
    Bromelain are also available in Dietary supplement pill forms. Only juice from raw fresh Pineapples contain Bromelain. Pasteurized juice meaning cooked juice is dead since all the Bromelian Enzymes are killed during the pasteurizing/cooking process. Read up on more details on the net. For rare cancer diseases such as so called incurable blood cancers many people have treated themselves by cooking the bark of Pau D Arco also called Lapacho the bark needs to be cooked at least for 15 minutes in order to get the active ingredients of the bark into the water bark is not like tea it takes longer cooking time to get all the good stuff out. One of the largest pharma companies in the world actually documented the effect of Lapacho the documentation can easily be found on the net read up on it. The company did not succeed in making a chemical copy of Lapcho and therefore will not market its findings about Lapacho since they cant make billions of dollars on their findings without being able to produce a chemical copy of the effective natural substances in Lapacho, but they documented in their studies that Lapcho has the properties of surrounding the cancer cell and attacks it from multiple angles at the same time leaving the cancer cell unable to survive the attacks from Lapacho further the studie documented that all the dead killed cancer cells are pulled out from even bone marrow cells by the Lapacho active substances and flushed into the blood stream this causes extreme high levels of dead cancer cells in the blood stream further the studie documented that the high levels of now dead cancer cells in the blood stream had no harmful effects on the body and the high number of dead cancer cells in the blood stream was flushed out of the blood stream naturally though perspiration and urine. So if you are going to weekly Hospital check ups of your blood levels during the self administered EATING NO SUGAR and Drinking the Bark Tea Pau D Arco your Doctors will tell you thay are now seeing extremely high Protein levels in your Blood this means the cure is working but your doctors will interpret this as a warning lamp and will tell you this is a sign you have to start with dangerous poisonous cell treatment, and if you keep your cool and knows beforehand that this is the sign of sucess the extreme high levels of cancer cells in your blood stream at this point is all the dead not harmful cancercells waiting in turn to be sweated and pissed out of your body after some more weeks or so into your self administered cure process the doctors will tell you like they told a friend of mine that used this method to cure herself from one of the most rarest and most “impossible to cure ” cancer blood diseases known to man. The Doctors that monitored her blood levels every 14 days first warned her when they saw the extreme high levels of dead cancer cells in her blood stream that now you have to start with cell treatment and even with cell treatment you will never survive more than 5 years.
    After maybe a month or perhaps it was only within a few weeks I don’t remember exactly how long time it took ( this happened around 15 years ago and my friend is still living in perfect health) then the Doctors told her : We have no Idea of what has happened to you but we can no longer find any reason for you to start with cell treatment. And by continuing to not eat Sugar and supplement her diet with things like Cucurmin and once in a while just to be on the safe side drink some Pau D arco Bark tea and a few other great anti inflammatory foods
    just to prevent the cancer form ever coming back. There are numerous great foods that can help you kill infections in the body and with the basic of creating a strong body through not eating sugar at all and then enhancing the non infectious climate of your body with foods that kills infections you can fight anything.

    Liked by 4 people

    • susanbriscoe says:

      I suggest you read my earlier posts, On my Disease and On What to Say to Someone Who Has Cancer, in which I mention how important it is to NOT offer treatment advice, especially not in a condescending fashion. You know nothing about me, what my previous health habits were (I ate virtually no sugar and still got cancer–imagine that!), what I have tried, etc. Please save your advice for those who request it, as this is never appreciated.

      Liked by 7 people

      • da-AL says:

        I totally agree, susanbriscoe – people can be utterly insensitive – perhaps they’re trying to convince themselves that they’ll never get sick, never die, if they do ‘the right things’? whatever it is that makes them oafs, it’s definitely self-centered. hope you’ll bask in the appreciation of all who love this post 🙂


  3. alvaldibarvani says:

    There are a few misspellings in my first comment but I cant find any Edit tools here so it will just have to do. But you get the Idea

    In short Try Starving Your Cancer To Death by NOT FEEDING IT ITS MAIN FUEL WICH IS SUGAR, then add infection killing foods to your diet and you should have every possibility to regain your Health

    There are so many really great infection killing foods. Just one more of the many great additions to regaining your health is the help you can get from Kombucha it adds a great number of vital Enzymes to your blood stream and Enzymes is key to your metabolism system they are the workers that do the work of substance change in your body.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Renee says:

    I agree w you that acceptance is a gift and how I wished my mom could have read your post. You are really blessed. I will be praying for you to get better. Press on. (:

    Liked by 5 people

  5. babyjinx says:

    Beautiful. True words of peace. Acceptance is a very hard stage to get to, one many never reach. To go from diagnosis straight there, you are truly blessed. You know you can do many different things to physically deal with your cancer, but you have already been cured of the mental anguish that comes along with the disease. I wish you many good days and remission. I look forward to reading more about your journey ~

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Teen Soul says:

    This is inspiring and a beautiful piece 👌

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Teen Soul says:

    I love your positive attitude

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I really loved reading this. I shared it on Twitter then realized your twitter handle wasn’t attached . I’d like to follow you on Twitter. Your writing is exquisite. As a publisher I’m always looking for strong , compelling voices. Thanks for writing

    Liked by 3 people

  9. May be this life is giving you more than your normal routine would have given you. Cheers to your courage and strength. God bless you 😇

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Cara says:

    This makes me think of the moving The Fountain, there’s a scene where a woman talks about the main character reaching a point of grace that most of us spend our entire lives working for. You seem to have that same grace, and it is inspiring to see. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It sounds so trite to say, but truly inspirational.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I agree with you. Acceptance is a gift. And in my opinion being able to accept is a gift as well. A gift to upurself and all your loved ones. As you can enjoy the time you have left with them instead of focussing on the struggle to beat death. I hope if my death-project (love the word) starts I’m as courageous as you are right now. In my humble opinion death is (part of) life, but will I still ‘act’ as such once my moment of truth is there? Continu making the best out of your life and death! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. ellenbest24 says:

    Who knows what can happen with the attitude you have. Good luck and if you believe then God bless. Mostly I wish you to enjoy what ever is left.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. tgopalan747 says:

    Happy for you….

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: On Gifts — The Death Project – wandasncredible

  16. eveningmist says:

    That’s a blessing.. and is the best way to cure !

    Liked by 2 people

  17. greengirlgangblog says:

    I love this so much. It is exactly what I needed to read this morning. When closing the yoga practice I take the teacher always talks about radiating love and gratitude for this is the highest vibration of all and your life will positively follow. Thanks for the write!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kiana says:

    Now that’s strength. Admirable, courageous, self accepting strength. People need more of that. Thanks for this. God Bless You.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for writing this. Honestly, as quirky as this may sound it was enlightening to hear from your perspective. In my family we’ve had a few hits with cancer. Yes, they all went thru the chemo and radiation regime. My mom is a survivor and my sister fought a good fight. As she said, “cancer will not win… because in the end I know where I am heading! I’m just going to get there before you!”
    Yes I believe anyone that does not have faith, religion or a spiritual walk with our creator …. it is a lonely scary world. But I saw the peace and felt us all be carried as we went through this journey. You are not alone in this and may God give you strength for each moment that passes and bless you till your heart feels like it will burst. God bless you in your walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. alphonsblog says:

    Amen that was really an encouraging message and inspiration

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!


  22. Your words are a gift to me as I’m navigating through challenging times. I would like to embrace acceptance.


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