Author: Gloria Dunetz
May 9, 2009
I rarely watch TV during the day but I wasn’t feeling so well so I tuned in Oprah. She was interviewing Elizabeth Edwards and towards the end of the interview she addressed Mrs. Edwards Metastatic Breast Cancer. To my shock she said that Elizabeth Edwards had a TERMINAL disease. It sent chills through my body. Terminal is not a term used in the Metastatic Breast community. We, who are battling this disease, consider our disease a chronic disease that needs to be managed. As far as I am concerned terminal means close to end of life. I am mentally no way near that point and Elizabeth Edwards doesn’t look like she is either. Semantics are very important when you speak to people with Cancer. If you take the term terminal literally we all have a terminal disease. We are born and all of us die at some point. Using that term, as Oprah did, sends the message that there is no hope. Well I got news for Oprah, we unfortunate people who deal with Cancer 24-7 need hope in order to get through each day. Be careful, Oprah Winfrey, in what you say and how you say it. Please think of the impact your words have on many millions of listeners.