You Are Not Your Disease

You’re a whole and complete human being who happens to have one.

(Carole Julius Photography)

There’s a ribbon for everyone.

For everyone with a disease.


What if your health issue has no ribbon?

Then what?

What if there was a new movement to bring awareness to every single human being in the world who is suffering?

Every human being in pain.

Like right now.

Too many of my patients feel ignored by the disease-specific special months and weeks that exist.

There are so many different types of maladies that have no special month, week, day, ribbon, or movement.

And I’m grateful for all the current campaigns.

They’re needed and awesome.


I’m an oncologist and the thing is, cancer sucks.

All of it.

Doesn’t matter what stage or what type.


And people have the right to say that it does.

That’s what this new movement is all about.

It’s saying, “It’s OK to have a really bad day in dealing with this. I’m human and guess what — it’s perfectly normal to feel this way.”

When one can embrace the worst day with a disease — any disease — then just perhaps something new can open up on the other side of it.

Letting it go for a moment, a few minutes, or an hour.

I see a lot of patients with stage four cancer every day.

They teach me how to live.

And then they teach me again. And again.

To rally through. To let go.

To be okay with having a bad day.

It’s OK to say “We love you, no matter what — every day”.

In fact, we should have this movement all year.

Every single day.

Everyone who’s sick matters every single day.


So any day of the year can fit in the below for anyone:

Just Don’t Shave January

Forget Shaving February

Must Not Shave March

Almost Never Shave April

Might Never Shave May

Joke Shave June

Just Can’t Shave July

Augmented No Shave August

So Not Shaving September

Oh No Shave October

Never Shave November

Don’t Shave December


Because every last one matters.


Because we said so.

Microstep: Cultivate compassion for yourself by repeating the mantra, “I am not my disease. I’m whole and complete just as I am. And, I happen to be dealing with a disease right now.”

Originally published at drsteven.com.

Originally published at medium.com

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