Johnny Ruffo was 29 and madly in love when he got a migraine.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like the word ‘journey’ when talking about cancer. A journey is driving from Parramatta to Crows Nest in peak traffic or trying to go through customs in Los Angeles. Just kidding – to me, a journey is the course someone takes willingly to discover something about themselves, someone, something, or some place. Key word being willingly. No one in the cancer club is willingly going through cancer to discover something about themselves, someone, something, or some place. 

With that being said, we are certainly learning more than we could ever have imagined. I just think we should call it what it is: a battle. 

Cancer is a battle of the mind, the body, and the spirit. It challenges you in ways you can never prepare for, and regardless of whether you’re killing cancer cells or simply trying to brush your teeth, you have to give it everything you’ve got.

As someone who is living with terminal cancer and truly doesn’t know if he has a year, two years, or a lifetime ahead of him, I do a lot of journaling. It helps me process my emotions, leave worrisome thoughts on a page, and remember why I’m so willing to live a life on the battlefield. 

Every day, I’ve found that identifying just one thing worth fighting for can give me the strength needed to pull my chin up and attack the day. By revisiting past wins, losses, and moments with particular people in my life, I realised that before cancer, I had already been on quite the journey. 

My battle with cancer is a story worth telling, but so is my life before. If the one thing cancer allows me to do is make someone else find their fight, well, that’s good enough for me.