Cancer – is it bad luck or a blessing in disguise?

by Anne Malatt, Australia 

When we receive a diagnosis of cancer, or hear of it in someone else, our immediate response has often been to say that it is “bad luck.”

In fact, a recent study attributed two thirds of cancer cases to ‘bad luck’. (1)

What is luck, and what does it have to do with cancer?

When something ‘good’ happens, like getting a great job or buying a new car, people tend to say “aren’t you lucky?” And when they do, we can be quick to point out that we worked hard for it, and we deserve it.

Yet, when something ‘bad’ happens, like a diagnosis of cancer, we are not so quick to take the credit for it! We are very willing to call it ‘bad luck’.

So, is it luck, or is it not? Are we responsible, or are we not? And if we are, how can we be responsible for the ‘good’ things, and not the ‘bad’ things? 

Many people who have had cancer say that it was a blessing; that it was the best thing that could have happened to them. It gave them cause to stop, to re-evaluate their lives and the way they had been living, and to make changes that they knew, deep down, needed to be made; and that their lives after cancer were much more full, rich and joyful.

I know I feel like that. The diagnosis of cancer was a shock, and a very big STOP in my life. It was no longer possible to delude myself that everything was fine, that there was “nothing to see here”, as I used to be fond of saying. It was a huge wake-up call, and a call to live a more loving and true way of life, in a much deeper way than I had been willing to look at life, up until then. It was a call to make the changes that deep down, I knew I had to make.

I am free of cancer now, but if I start to walk in the old way, to make the same old choices again, my leg gently calls me back, with a little twinge, a gentle reminder that the way I am walking is no longer true for me, and offers me an opportunity to come back to me, to who I truly am.

What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living?

If we could see life that way, the diagnosis of cancer, or any other serious illness, could become an opportunity to look deeply at ourselves, at our lives, and to live in a way that was truly loving, caring and supporting of ourselves.

And if we saw cancer in that light, it could indeed be a blessing, no longer in disguise!



Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions
Cristian Tomasetti, Bert Vogelstein ,Science 2 January 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6217 pp. 78-81
DOI: 10.1126/science.1260825


809 thoughts on “Cancer – is it bad luck or a blessing in disguise?

  1. “how can we be responsible for the ‘good’ things, and not the ‘bad’ things?” Great question Anne, and one I feel will wake a lot of us up to what we are actually responsible for. There is no way we can pick and choose what we want to be responsible for, for we are responsible for the consequences of every choice we make, even the really awful stuff. But even the awful stuff comes with a valuable message, it’s simply up to us to stop and take note. But what we do next is once again our choice and that consequence of that choice our responsibility and so on.

  2. So true – the word ‘luck’ diminished the responsibility factor of the choices we make. I guess those many who had cancer and say it was a blessing are still here alive to say that precisely because of the fact that they were able to see it as such, an opportunity to heal and let go what doesn’t belong.

  3. When we realise and accept the fact that our quality of life is a direct result of the responsibility we choose to live with, we then will realise and accept the truth that there can be no luck involved, as all is a precise reflection of the quality of energy we have chosen to align to, be it love or all that is not of love, in which our choices are an indication of our alignment. We do have an incredible opportunity every day, through our connection to our body, to feel the degree of love we are choosing to live with, and make the necessary adjustment to honor more of the love that we are here to live.

  4. This is very interesting to read, because I like the way that you describe the body as having an intelligence that knows what is harmonious and what is not, and how appreciated it can be when one is given the opportunity to actually stop and listen and heed what is being felt all of the time.

  5. Great reminder Anne that we are responsible for our choices and the consequences of those choices, and in truth there is no good or bad luck.

    1. It sure is Sally. It is actually very empowering to be open to the honesty and responsibility of where our choices come from and how they affect us, as we realise that we are the only one that is in command of the quality of life and love we live and share in the world.

  6. “Yet, when something ‘bad’ happens, like a diagnosis of cancer, we are not so quick to take the credit for it! We are very willing to call it ‘bad luck’.” True and as you say we take credit for the good things that happen in our lives. Time for us to step up to take responsibility for all that happens to us – somewhere we chose it – cos of the earlier choices we made – a bitter pill to swallow sometimes.

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