Battling cancer not a cliché

I arrived in the Tri-Cities some two decades ago. Back then, I was a just-out-of-college copy editor who was full of energy — and himself.

As I edited news stories and obituaries, I commented more than once that the phrases "battled cancer," "lost a battle with cancer" and the like were, in fact, clichés. Surely a fight against cancer was not like going to war, I would say with much confidence.

Ah to be young and arrogant.

I never served in military - the closest I came was growing up in a Navy town - so I cannot speak from experience what it must be like to train to become a soldier and to march into battle.

But I am fighting cancer. It is the most difficult, most exhausting battle I've been in. It is a war within, a fight for life or death.

It is a battle, not a cliché.