Cursing Cancer

Today is Holy What the Hell Fucking Shit Day (Otherwise known as HWTHFS Day).

I know I’m a Life Coach and my specialty is helping others feel better. And I know it’s not polite or professional to use profanity.

But there are things that happen in life that just call for swear words. Finding out your mother’s cancer has already returned is one of those things.

I wrote a couple months back about managing the crisis of finding out that my beloved mother had cancer.

In that post, I demonstrated how I had been using all my best self-coaching tools so that others managing a crisis might benefit from my experience.

But today –- upon hearing the news that the f-ing cancer had returned despite my mom having to endure surgery, wretched chemotherapy and all that it entails -– there is nothing really left to do but swear.

I apologize to anyone who finds my words offensive.

But I really don’t care.

Cancer is for shit. I hate it. I have had it myself. Eleven years ago. In fact, I had ovarian cancer –- just like my mother.

We even share the same type of cancer. That’s how connected we are.

I love my mom so much that I spent most of my life trying to define myself differently. Like it was the only way that I could break away, cut the umbilical cord and grow up.

But the significance of that effort is not lost on me.

I know my insistence of defining myself differently is simply because deep down I just love her. So much.

I had to have something to fight against otherwise I would have never wanted to leave. And it’s not super cool to be a middle-aged adult and living at home.

So I got the call today from my big sister and she held herself together as she told me the terrible news.

Then I held myself together when I talked to my mom. Then I promptly got off the phone and let the tears rip.

Sometimes shittyness calls for tears and swear words. There is really nothing more I can say. There you go – great wise words from a Life Coach.

Of course, there are the real life coachy things that I will do to help myself through the next chapter of this crisis:

  • I will make space to process my fear and sadness;
  • I will take care of my body with gentle exercise and good nutrition;
  • I will minimize stress; and
  • I will deeply consider the message of this situation by remembering that everything happens for a reason (which is tough to swallow at the moment).

And when all else fails, there may be more tears and swear words because sometimes those two “tools” just help me feel better.

Try it for yourself to see what I mean.

And cancer needs to know that this family will not back down without a holy hellish ass-whipping.

We are smart. We are feisty and resourceful. And we can swear a blue streak. So seriously…this is not over yet.

After the difficult task of processing the news that my mom’s cancer is back (and screaming loud swear words when necessary) we will regroup as a family and move forward.

We will hold Mom along the way like she held us back in the day when we were sad and scared.

We will take her by the hand and talk about next steps.

And pray that tomorrow will not be another HWTHFS Day.


Image credit: CancerRibbonCity on Etsy

About the Author

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Abbe Jacobson is a former journalist turned policy analyst turned stay-at-home-mom turned life coach turned writer. After surviving her own health crisis 10 years ago, she turned her attention exclusively to helping other women prioritize their health. Her mission is to help women be fit – on the inside and out. Abbe owns Be Fit – Body and Soul Coaching, an international business that provides life coaching with a special emphasis in wellness and weight. A certified Martha Beck Life Coach and a Brooke Castillo Weight Coach, Abbe has a BA from Kenyon College and an MPA from Columbia University. She resides in Seattle, WA with her husband and two teenagers. For more information go to

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