This Is Not a Test
“I realized that God gave breast cancer to women because women can handle it.”
Guys, no. There is nothing okay about this statement. And yes, it’s something I just read on Twitter this morning. And yes, the person in question HAS breast cancer. I get it. It’s scary. And it’s good to find ways to be strong about – positive things.
But I have so many problems with this statement. For one thing, God – if you believe in God – is not giving people cancer. Cancer isn’t a challenge one overcomes. It’s a disease. Not a test. Nothing about it is a test. It’s certainly not a test of will to see if a woman can handle it.
Let’s break down the language and suss out the implications. A woman gets breast cancer as a challenge, and it’s a test of strength. So, if she handles it well, she…what? Gets to live? If so, that would imply that every single woman who has died from breast cancer couldn’t handle it. And thus, they were punished.
That means the strongest person I’ve ever known (my mother) – who had more goodness and decency than 100 people – failed the test of breast cancer. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have died, right?
NO. This is not okay. This is not okay to tell every woman who has, or had, breast cancer. You don’t defeat it through righteousness. Cancer is never a test. You don’t handle cancer. You have it.
As someone who lost her mother to it, I find this view insulting and insensitive to the memories of everywhere we’ve all lost to that disease. And we all know SOMEONE, don’t we? We’ve all lost someone. We’ve all suffered.
Breast cancer is not a test. It’s a tragedy. And that’s all I have to say right now.