16 Things Cancer Cannot Take

WORDS: Corrine Barraclough PHOTOGRAPHY Corrine Barraclough plus supplied

CB’s BC Journal

I’m nervous this week. I’m anxious because I’m starting on a new chemo cocktail and I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know how my body is going to tolerate it, how sick I’m going to feel afterwards, how much energy and independence cancer is going to take from me as I step into phase two of my treatment before surgery.

So, as I was sitting in the waiting area of the hospital chemo ward, I re-read this sign I’ve seen many times with fresh eyes and it got me thinking about all the ways that cancer is not omnipotent. It is actually limited and there are plenty of things it cannot take from me.

Cancer cannot take…

  1. It cannot cripple love– I have never felt so loved and supported in all my life. How my family and friends have stepped up and shown up for me brings tears to my eyes every day.
  2. It cannot shatter hope– my oncologists and medical team are pursuing not just a cancer management plan for me but actual “cure”. How incredible is that! I feel filled with hope.
  3. It cannot dissolve faith– my faith in my Higher Power is stronger than ever. Plus, I know that people all across the world are praying for me. It’s hard to express how much that means to me.
  4. It cannot destroy peace– yes there are days when I feel overwhelmed, tears unexpected fill my eyes or a sudden wave of panic crashes in. But, and it’s an important but for someone who’s suffered from anxiety since she was a little girl, I do feel at peace. I am at peace with where I am, with what is happening to me, and whatever is meant to be will be.
  5. It cannot kill friendship– from the friend who knitted me a blanket, another who had socks made with photos of my dog on and shipped from the other side of the world, to the friend who’s held my hand while chemo has flowed into my body… I’m so incredibly thankful for every single one.
  6. It cannot suppress memories– I know many will think I’ve lost it when I say this, but this cancer experience hasn’t been all bad. There are memories made through this time that I’ll cherish forever.
  7. It cannot silence courage– I’ve actually managed to impress myself with strength, courage and resilience. And also, my ability to trust. Cancer cannot take any of those things from me.
  8. It cannot invade the soul– f**k it, can we get a “hell, yeah”! Cancer may have invaded my cells, my healthy, normal cells, but it has not and will not invade my soul.
  9. It cannot steal eternal life– I’ll be on this planet for as long as I’m meant to be, and then my soul will move on. I’m totally at ease with that.
  10. It cannot conquer the spirit– from the lady who gave me tips on the day of my first chemo treatment, to the stranger in the street who smiled at me and said, “keep fighting”, that spirit is magic.


And I’ll add to the list on this sign: cancer cannot kill creativity, because I’ve kept writing through this surreal experience.

It also cannot stop the waves from rolling in, the sun rising or the sun setting. And it cannot stop me loving walks in nature and feeling so happy I could burst.

Sunny stroll along The Spit? Yeah, don’t mind if I do.

Oh, and I’ll also chuck in that cancer cannot continue to beat medical advancements… therefore it cannot win forever.

So, yes, we “keep fighting”, we keep smiling, we keep putting one foot in front of the other, we keep showing up and we keep believing that the magic of life is greater than this beast called the Big C!

See you all next week!

Corrine x


Corrine was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes. Her medical oncologists are pursuing a “cure”, which will begin with a six-month course of chemotherapy at Gold Coast University Hospital, followed by surgery at Robina Hospital and then likely further treatment.
Corrine will be writing a weekly blog journaling her personal journey for Ocean Road Magazinethroughout her breast cancer.