I've made some comments pro and con on the whole issue of bravery and cancer. I don't think bravery is surviving cancer, because there is only so much anyone can do about that. And I made some comments about not wanting to work until I died. Although my kneejerk reaction is that that is bravery because it is inherently stoic. (And my reaction to the piece by The Cheerful Oncologist was further colored by the fact that I never had a job that involved a parking lot that I felt was anything other than wage slavery. If I were, say, a doctor, I might want to keep driving to work, sitting the parking lot to gather my strength, going into work because what work I did would be meaningful to myself and others. But most of my jobs involved banks and factories and writing procedures that were meant to prevent companies from being shut down by the FDA. It was, as a lot of work is, mildly soul destroying. Even teaching often feels like making sausage.)
So what do I think is brave?
In China, historically, when young women have killed themselves, because they were pregnant, or chattel of their husbands and mothers-in-law or all the historic reasons why Chinese women chose to kill themselves (including having their feet bound into four inch golden lillies) they drowned themselves in the well.
I always assumed that was because there weren't many options for killing oneself besides knives, hanging and the well, and once you threw yourself in, the well was pretty irrevocable. But I read once that one of the results of someone drowning themselves in a well was that the body in the well, unless it could be quickly retreived, contaminated the well for some time. So the suicide became an act of revenge as well as escape.
There are lots of ways to poison the well when you have cancer. My idea of bravery is, as much as possible, not to poison the well.