Over the years, I have been moved by many wonderful Flaherty lectures, and I am grateful to the Oncology Nursing Society for maintaining the tradition of this lecture as a time for us to remember the heartfelt issues that are the touchstone of oncology nursing. Twenty-two years ago, I was in the audience as Judi Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, gave the first "Mara lecture" (Johnson, 1982). She shared with us the vision she and Mara had of living a healthy life in spite of having cancer. I was touched and inspired by Judi's words and her memories of Mara as a vibrant, active human being who lived life to the fullest. My message is dedicated to Mara and to all those who have shown us what it means to try to maintain balance, dignity, humor, health, and sense of self when confronted with cancer. My message is about language and how we use it.