I don't know who coined this phrase but I don't ever want to hear it again. Whoever first referred to someone as having "lost their battle to cancer" obviously didn't sit there and watch the fight.
I had front row tickets that I didn't want. For almost 20 years I watched my mom go round and round with this wicked disease, but not for one instant would I ever say she lost her battle. Her cancer is dead, not her. She is still living and her life is even more amazing than she could have ever imagined.
Cancer is like a tangible sin. It's as though the devil himself has reached up from the depths of hell and touched you. While this demon of cancer may slowly suffocate your earthly body, it can never reach your soul or your spirit, not on its own anyway. This is something you have to give up yourself, it can't just come and take it. Though the body may be dying, the spirit thrives and strengthens.
Nancy Reese defeated cancer, that's what's in that box. Not her.