The Story of Two “little c’s”

Dear Reader:

Many of you have heard my story about why I personally call my particular cancer (breast cancer) “little c.” I certainly didn’t originate the term but have used it ever since hearing it.

It’s hard to believe but it has been several years now since I met my daughter-in-law (who was still Walsh’s girlfriend then)  Mollie at Folly Beach to volunteer for a program she was involved in called Surfers Healing.

The program was  founded in 1996 by pro surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his wife, Danielle. Paskowitz co-created the program after he discovered  that surfing was an outlet to bond with his son Isaiah, who has autismFor whatever reason…autistic children, with physical and emotional outbursts, remain calm and peaceful while surfing with a professional surfer…their whole demeanor changes…with smiles included.

I still remember how amazing it was to watch the bond between surfer and autistic child on that beautiful  summer day. I was under a tent giving out bottles of water and bananas with a young volunteer who had driven all the way from Spartanburg to Folly Beach early that morning to help out.

We got to be friends as the day wore on…and she discovered that I had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She then told me the story of “little c.” Her grandmother had recently passed from a stroke, but prior to that had fought breast cancer too and won. The young volunteer said she wanted to tell me a story her grandmother told the family about her cancer fight.

She decided that since cancer was rude, showed up when not invited, was hurtful and just plain nasty-tempered… that the “c” in cancer (even if it started a sentence) should never be capitalized! To her way of thinking… capitalization showed respect for something or someone and cancer deserved neither!

I thanked her for the story and never forgot it. In fact from that day on…I began referring to my breast cancer as “little c.” In talks and speeches I gave I always told that story and passed it on. Never turn your power over to cancer…you are the biggest opponent by fighting with your attitude!

It was about that same time that the popular cable television series “The Big C” began. It starred one of my favorite actresses, Laura Linney, as a Minneapolis suburban mom and school teacher, who’s diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma.

The whole series dealt with the different stages of her ‘coming to term’ with her frightening prognosis. As you can imagine…even though it had humor, compassion, and love in the show…it was also an emotional roller coaster series from beginning to end.

Though I never did it…I thought many times about writing the producers of this show and sharing my “little c” story in hopes they would change the name of the show to “The little c.” 

And now we all have Covid-19 (at least its ramifications) to deal with in our daily lives. How about it…this disease from the “little corona virus” doesn’t deserve any respect either…so I think we should name it  “little c-19“? 🙂

Libby sent me a list of items that we don’t have to worry about being cancelled or eliminated during this confusing stay-at-home time…it reminded me of the list on the wall in my first chemo infusion room on what cancer  (“little c”) can’t do.

There is a saying that there are many things that cancer cannot do. It cannot cripple love, shatter hope, kill friendship, erode the spirit, take away faith, silence courage, destroy peace, suppress memories, or conquer the soul! ( All so very true …I know! ) 

“Not Everything is Canceled” (*Libby)

Sunshine is not canceled. Love is not canceled.  Relationships are not canceled. Naps are not canceled. Devotion is not canceled. Music is not canceled. Dancing is not canceled. Imagination is not canceled. Kindness is not canceled. Conversations are not canceled. Hope is not canceled. 

So until tomorrow…Once we realize that nothing, no matter how horrific the circumstance, can take away our inner thoughts and our soul which encases our unique”being”…a special child of God…there is nothing of value anyone can steal.

We should never let a disease or any other misfortune define who we are. No matter what is going on around us or even to us…we are the same person inside whose blueprint belongs to our Creator. Nothing will ever change that….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


I was out at it again yesterday…my neighbors’ bamboo is growing faster than I can cut it down…it leaps over fences, bushes, even trees to make it into my back yard.

(*Maybe I can rent my back yard out to a movie producer doing a documentary on Vietnam….hum…just a thought.)

Here are two of my over twenty bamboo stakes that I chopped down yesterday…instead of Johnny Appleseed…I will be known as  “Boo Bamboo” !!! 🙂 🙂

Mollie’s sister’s family is visiting from outside the D.C. area while they are in-between moves.

So the cousins all went on a fun picnic yesterday…we are having beautiful weather.

Rutledge has been visiting the SC Aquarium virtually… He met Michael Myers…a sea turtle patient recovering in the “hospital” there…so Rutledge drew him on a mask to remember the sea turtles plight…great creative and environmental  lesson Rutledge! So proud of you!




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Story of Two “little c’s”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    And you can’t take away God’s beautiful reminders of His love for us…blue skies..beautiful flowers…birds chirping…various brilliant shades of green…cool breezes…spring in the lowcountry…love Walsh’s picture…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Hasn’t this been the most beautiful spring of all? (Not counting those strange windy/rainy fronts that have re-occurred fairly often) But in between these unusual weather fronts…Mother Nature has smiled on us with the bluest of blue skies, cool temps, shades of every color green, and all God’s creatures singing merrily in the trees.


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