Fight Like a Girl

I know what it means to fight like a girl. Having watched my wife fight cancer for several weeks, I know more now about what the fight looks like for countless women, men, and children who receive a diagnosis of cancer.

God only knows what the fight looks like for those who have no access to health care, may God have mercy … but if you are like my wife who does have that access, it means discovering something wrong and calling the doctor. It means that first trip to the doctor, and then another, and many more. It means that you get to meet a steady stream of receptionists and medical assistants and nurses and technicians and doctors and benefit specialists and many more people who all seem to put on a brave face for you, and yet you know that some are smiling painfully for you. It means being poked and prodded and inspected and touched and x-rayed and stabbed and injected and cut and operated-on and samples and having medicine that seems more like poison injected into you in the hope that it is smart enough to find and kill all the bad cells while leaving alone all the good cells.

To fight like a girl means feeling sick, really sick for several days at a time. It means not even being able to look at many of the foods you used to love eating. It means losing all your hair. It means headaches and nausea and experiencing many other heretofore unforeseen aches and pains, and it forces you to take a lot of pills and medicine that you don’t normally take. It means eating when you don’t feel like eating, walking when you don’t feel like walking, working when you don’t feel like working, and being civil when you don’t feel like being civil. It means sleeping a lot, and sometimes it means not being able to sleep at all.

To fight like a girl means that many friends and relatives come along to fight with you, to do what they can to hold you up and help you out. It means receiving gifts of friendship and love and food and hats and letters and giftcards and transportation and visits and tears and words of encouragement and love … it means receiving lots of love. In spite of all the challenges, it means feeling very blessed to have so much in life to hold dear.

To fight like a girl – well, it’s not a fight against anything or anyone. It is a fight for health and hope and life and love … and my lovely wife wins that fight every time.