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


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

  1. Anne it is interesting what you said about walking the old way, I noticed something the other day when walking, I could feel I was walking but leaning back, so I changed my upper body to be in line with my hips and legs and suddenly everything changed I was walking forward with a freedom I have never experienced before – there was such a flow it was incredible. So I wonder if we have been configured to move in a certain way which keeps us locked into making those ‘old choices’ which are so disrespectful to our bodies. That there is as you say a true way of walking free of ideals and beliefs we have unwittingly bought into.

  2. Let’s be honest and say we tend not to listen to our bodies until we get the big message and then sometimes we still don’t listen. I have had many experiences when I thought I could get away with something that I know deep down was going against what my body knows to be true. I can definitely feel a stubbornness and arrogance when I over ride these feelings.

  3. Anne you’re sharing has given a whole new perspective on this condition and could we apply this to all other diseases or conditions, the simplicity of a clearing, our bodies need to go through? Most people will not view it as a blessing, but when we look at people who have gone through any accidents, incidents, illnesses, most will admit their lives have never been the same, they have turned it around. So in some respect, it is a blessing. It made them stop and review their life and it is from there they make the choice of either living differently, or revert back to their old ways.

    Every illness, call it what you want is an opportunity to look at your life through a magnifying glass – are you prepared to do this, is the question?

  4. Attributing “luck” or “random” to anything is a sure way of limiting our ability to observe and learn from the lessons life offers us.

    1. I agree, when we use “luck” we deny the responsibility we have played in bringing on the illness or condition. We then make it someone else’s problem and expect to be fixed. When we see the “blessing”, we take responsibility of our part and what it has to offer.

      1. I have the understanding from the many patients I have met there is little sense of responsibility. Generally speaking the person is ill, they want to be made better or cured ASAP so that they can go home and carry on as normal. They just want to be fixed, they hate being in hospital and confined to bed or the chair next to the bed. And to be honest the way the health industry is set up there is seemingly very few asking patients to be responsible. The nursing staff are amazing and do a terrific job in getting the patients up on their feet again so they can go home. It’s a conveyor belt system, people come in they are given the utmost care until they are well enough to go home or into residential care. We do not question anyone’s life style or how they having been living up to that point. There is such a lack of responsibility is it any wonder that the health organizations around the world are struggling to keep up with the demands placed on them.

  5. Letting things in the ‘luck hands’ keeps us in the surface of what every situation brings into our life.

    1. Absolutely. When we live from this place we are in a deep denial of how we are feeling and keep things very one dimensional. However at some point those feelings have to rise to the surface and they have to be dealt with, but often at this point they are very much magnified and can come as a shock. If we deal with things as they happen and as we feel them then they don’t compound on each other and nothing is a surprise.

  6. “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? ” Such a pertinent question Anne. Interesting to see how we want to evade responsibility for the ‘bad’ things that happen to us, but are more than happy to accept the ‘good’ things are down to us!

  7. “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.” – I 100% agree. What an amazing opportunity of healing we are being offered.

  8. “It was a call to make the changes that deep down, I knew I had to make.” When our body has an illness or disease it is a call to reflect on the way we have been living and treating ourselves. If we drive our car recklessly we are liable to have a crash and damage the car, the same with our precious body.

    1. Any illness is an opportunity to grow and learn from – even a devastating diagnosis such as cancer. Yet I witness so many (who are over their illness) who want to return to their old ‘normal’ way of life, when it is that that often triggered the disease in the first place.

  9. If we gauge our life by “luck” then we are essentially placing ourselves the same as a buoy in the sea, however if we look at life as every choice counts towards something then we place ourselves at the helm of the ship and hence can steer our ship as easily out of stormy water as we entered it in the first place.

    1. Meg, I steered my ship into stormy waters recently and it felt horrible in my body, I traced the foul feeling back to a conversation I had had earlier that morning, I let an energy in that then played out badly a few hours later. This was actually a great lesson to always be aware of the energy that surrounds us rather than getting caught up in wanting to be ‘nice’. Playing ‘nice’ or being ‘good’ are both learnt conditions from childhood that after all these years can still play out if I drop my awareness of what is actually taking place in life. I am discovering that there is much more going on in life than what we can see and feel on the surface.

  10. It is interesting that deep down we know what we need to change in life and rarely choose to do so until our body brings us to a stop so that we then have to look at the quality of our lifestyle choices and way of living that is taking its toll on our body and asking us to choose a more harmonious way to live.

  11. It’s great to bring in the blessing part of illness because once we realise the responsibility we have for the health of our bodies we could easily be hard on ourselves for having an illness. Realising there’s a grace at hand, that a greater healing is on offer by returning to a more loving and caring way of life we can instead choose to surrender, accept, and move with the healing.

  12. “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?” Great questions Anne and something we all need to consider not only in relation to cancer but for any illness we may have.

  13. This exposes the fact that we do know that what happens is not because of luck as we know we have worked hard for that new expensive car, it doesn’t just come, but don’t want to take this further to when we are experiencing an illness or disease. Anyway, our way of thinking as a society is not in the understanding that we create our own illness and disease by how we are living but this would explain why there is such a rise in illness and disease with all the great medicine that is around already. We might be looking in the wrong direction and have to make a shift in how we look at illness and disease and take more responsibility for how we are living.

  14. “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?” If the world were to understand this fully and embrace it, what a difference our approach would be towards anyone who developed cancer and their consequent care.

  15. “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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. Carola the words you used struck a note with me
      ‘…to honour more of the love that we are here to live’
      where in life are we taught to honour our bodies? If we look at how we are all living the complete opposite to honouring is taking place. We live in a way that is very disrespectful towards ourselves so is it any wonder that our bodies have to pull us up so that we have an opportunity to possibly take notice of how we have been living that brought us to that stop moment. I’m discovering that actually our bodies are very intelligent much more intelligent than our minds.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s