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How do you feel about your cancer?

aleftina
Posts: 102
Joined: Nov 2003

My first encounter with the term "fighting cancer" came when I watched Robert Urich on TV talking how he is going to "fight cancer" and give it all he's got. He was talking like it was a boxing match, and he was going to win. Next thing I heard he died. That put a doubt in my mind can we really take that attitude, can we take it as a personal fight like that?

Then I read a book "Spontenious Healing" by Andrew Weil, and he has a chapter in it about accepting the cancer instead of fighting it, he says it's better. He even describes this horrible egocentric guy who got cancer and became a loving and spritual man who now preachers to "love your cancer".

Needless to say those are puzzling messages. I don't know how I feel about my cancer. I don't want "to take it on" so to speak, or be angry, I am more angry that there isn't a better cure. The cancer is made up from my cells, it's a part of me, on the other hand, how could my body produce something that wants to kill me.

It's complicated. Would like to hear from you, guys.

Tina

aspaysia's picture
aspaysia
Posts: 257
Joined: Nov 2003

I feel that my cancer is me, made from my cells, gone wild. How can you hate a part of yourself? And what's to fight except the side effects of treatment or the doctors when they suggest something too diabolical. In my case it was the wound vac or moon vac as I came to call it. I finally submitted under duress...that great sucking noise is comming from my bum.

Everyone said it was a miracle when I went into remission. The real miracle is how those doctors stay in school for thirty years to learn how to deal with a disease of this nature.

People thought I was resigned to my fate but it was rather acceptance of what was happening. I am no zen master. I used to be pretty feisty before cancer kicked my ass. Now I pick my battles to conserve energy for what lies ahead. You never know when some rogue cells will rear their ugly little heads again. I just hope my onc has something up his sleeve.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Tina,

Most folks on here know my take by this time. I read the same book and he sure made a lot of sense to me. I posted about this before as my body being a garden and not a battle field. Pluck the cancer weeds rather than decimate the entire landscape. Uproot the renegade underbrush rather than bulldoze the whole forest. Yank out the nasty creeping charlie rather than spray the beautiful natural prairie with herbicide.

Do I love my cancer? No. Have I accepted this journey. Yes. I hate the interruption into my family life.....the burden it has put on my children, on my husband, on our finances, on my parents (tho' it has changed their life for the better since they moved up here to take care of us while I heal and therefore spend time with my kids they otherwise would not have had). I hate the fear that creeps into my heart of a slow death after watching my sister's agonizing death from intestinal cancer. It is not pretty. And in the end it was downright violent. It took me years to ease the images of her grotesque body contorting naked with blood coming out both ends while the emergency room doctor was telling us the obvious, "We're close to death here folks." I thought my father would deck him on the spot!

We can also wax poetic about what our cancer has done to improve our lives as it has in many ways with mine. It gave me permission to step out of negative relationships, to slow down when I want to, to pursue dreams that otherwise may have seemed silly, to cherish more deeply, and to demand more passionately for how I want to live my days.

But there are times when the work I put into my survival gets overwhelming and I think how much easier it would be to stay ignorant of this disease and just be the good little cancer patient and do as doctor says. Ah, but that is not my nature. Call it feisty. Call it stubborn. Call it willing to try it another way....to seek a different path...to explore the possiblities....to think outside the box. If there was any battle in which I am engaged it would be that. But truthfully, I do not want to fight anyone....I only aspire to encourage others to seek other venues for their answers....for their cures when the pat answers and formulas fail them.

What cancer has done for me is to reconcile my beliefs and actions into one cooperating entity. For that I am thankful. At vulnerable moments I agonize that it took such a major wake-up call.

That is not about killing. That is about rebirth....into a new life.

peace, emily

aleftina
Posts: 102
Joined: Nov 2003

Cancer changed me for the better because I had to deal with so much and pray so much. But it is so tough to deal with. I don't think I am going to love it, I will take it as something I have to endure for a reason know to God only. I am afraid of it killing me though, it's hard to deal with.

Lauriann
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2003

Aleftina,

I saw (I use past tense because I believe it is not living in me now) my cancer as an unvited guest. It was the sum of an equation that permitted it to move in. I needed to befriend my visitor and negotiate the terms of it staying. I appreciate how it stopped me in my tracks and got me in touch with the truly important things even if it means I die,what we have been taught to think would be,premature. Each moment has so much available. I have no regrets. **** Luck

Peace, Lauriann

vcavanagh
Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

The diagnosis + Surgery + chemo led me to a stark and very lonely time even though my wife and grown-up kids were marvellous. I think I was kind of stunned. Then I realised that I still could get killed in a car crash or by a heart attack or something else. It was the same as before except that the odds had changed a bit. Maybe quite a bit.The powers-that-be obviously agreed with this as they continued to send me income tax demands. Life goes on. My wife and I are just back from a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. In the old quiet 16th century main square, sparkling with thousands of tiny blue lights, is a huge and beautiful crib with life sized figures and real sheep. Some things make you tingle with wonder and delight. I think I'll go off and write a poem. Happy Christmas to all.
Blessings,
Vincent.

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