I have to say, I really despise the term he or she “lost their battle with cancer”. It just bothers me on a visceral level.  I would much rather hear “Amy decided not to play the cancer game anymore. She told cancer he was a dirty player, that she would not participate anymore, and she walked off the field.”

I guess I hate the term so much because it implies that cancer, and not God himself, has the control over when we leave this earth. It implies that cancer is the winner, is victorious. Gets to make decisions that only God can make.  I was not raised to believe this.

Like my  Grandma Nickie said to me my whole life “It’s in the book”. I may have mentioned it in some of the early blogs but, for those of you who didn’t read some or any of them, let me elaborate.

Grandma believed that God is sitting with a big book, a tome, if you will. He uses this book to keep track of all of his children. Before you are born, he dreams you up, what you will do, be, how you will help, whose lives you will touch, and how long you will be needed in your physical body, before you are brought back up to him. So, an entry is made on the day that you are born but, there is also an entry made, on the very same day, of the day that you will pass away.

No matter what you do, or how you try to change it, your name is on that page. That is the day. Now, he may edit it from time to time. That is for him, and only him, to know. But, for our purposes, the date is the date. That’s it.

This is why, although my mother has battled cancer three times, she outlived Princess Diana, who was the epitome of health. It is why my oncologist told me that he has people with very early stage cancers, who should live fifty more years, die in a few months and people with very late stage cancers, who for all intents and purposes, shouldn’t make it to their next birthday, live another fifty years. It’s why children die, why four innocent people went to the drug store on Father’s Day and were gunned down and killed instantly. And why, deep down, I really don’t believe in Karma.

God is holding the book, making his entries, and there is really not a damned thing we can do about it. I find the notion both scary and comforting at the same time.

Scary in that, at the end of the day, you have to admit that you don’t really have control. That’s tough, especially for people like me, who become very agitated and nervous when they feel that they are not in control. And there are a lot of us out there.

Now, I’m not saying not to take care of yourself while you are here, so that you can be as healthy and live life as comfortably as you can when you are here. Also, I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t be a good person because I don’t believe in “karma”. I believe in a heaven, and if you want to get there, the being a good person thing is key.

I really am starting to believe in Grandma Nickie’s theory, the older I get.

It’s in the book.

That’s also comforting. You can relax in the fact that you know that when it is your time, it’s really God’s decision. It’s nothing you did wrong, or because you were a bad person, or because you did chemo and radiation but, you decided not to take tamoxifen. When someone  you love passes, it prevents the useless “What could I have done differently? What didn’t I do? Were they ready?” According to Grandma, they were taken because the page was flipped and their name was on it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I hope that I am in a very late chapter. I am just as scared as the next person of when my time will come. Right now, I am highly motivated to live on this earth with the people around me.

I heard that my friend who recently passed was coherent, knew that he most likely was not going to make it, and he was peaceful. That makes me feel even more strongly about the whole book theory, as opposed to the “losing” theory.  Knowing he was peaceful makes me think that it was God calling off the game. That my friend didn’t “lose” any battle. I think of his passing as going something like this; Cancer throws a particularly nasty throw at him on Thursday, God steps into the ring and yanks my friend out, not even glancing at Cancer, standing there frustrated that he can’t continue this fight. For the fight is what it likes, it’s the misery that it enjoys inflicting.  God tells my friend, “OK, here’s my book. I’m on page one trillion, three hundred million and fifty-two and there is your name, three lines down. You have been such a good man on this earth and I thank you for that. I have big plans for your everlasting life, though, and we have to start right now.”

Cancer is the loser. My friend is the winner, who was lifted up, out of all the earthly misery to a place where there is only happiness, only joy, no worries, no envy, no fear and certainly no cancer.

So, since you have no idea what page in God’s book you are on, enjoy your time here to the fullest. For, there are also many happy and joyful moments to be had.

And, please, for my sake, try to prevent using the “losing battle” analogy. Let’s not give cancer any credit for doing something that only God can do, which is call us home.