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Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi all. I just called my sister and told her that they found a tumor in my lung, but biopsy needs to come back from lab before we know the next step. OK... after saying how sorry she was to hear that, the next thing she said to me was "Well, since you already have cancer in your system it's likely going to be cancer" I know my sister loves me dearly, and in fact wants to pay my airfare to come visit, but I want to be positive that this a small bump in the road and that there might be a chance that it isn't cancer. I want to surround myself with all the positive thoughts and feedback I can. How do I handle this?? I told her I need for her to be strong with me. She addmitted to me one time that she probably wouldn't go through the chemo if it was her. I love my family, but don't want to be brought down. Even when I talk to my youger sister, she talks to me like I'm dying... very soft voice, low... It drives me nuts! There's a part of me that so badly wants to visit with my family, but at the same time I want them to believe with me that I can pull through. My brother on the other hand says if I don't butt he'll come out and do some butt kickin himself! (He's funny) Any advice?? Honestly.. I get more support from my Husband and my extended family (Friends) and of course all of you. Thanks Wanda

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Wanda,

Sometimes those closest to use just don't know how to react to this disease. First, they are scared, and perhaps they are trying to hide their fear or ignorance of the disease.

You do need support right now and you need your loved ones to support your decisions for treatment. I don't know how to answer your question, other than to say, sometimes we (the cancer patients) have to be the strong ones.

Of course, you know that we are always here for you. We understand more than anyone what you are feeling, your fears, your anxieties. You can always come here and we will do our best to lift you up in spirit.

I will be thinking of you and praying that your biopsy comes back ok. If it doesn't, then we just deal with what has to be done.

Let us know how you are doing.

Kerry

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi Kerry honey, Yea...sometimes we have to be the strong ones. I love it that I can come here and you all understand. If I do have cancer in my lobe.. I'll deal with it. I'm not giving up. Noway Jose!!!! Kerry thanks so much for replying. I love this site! Big hugggggs ~ Wanda

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Wanda,

I love your spirit and your attitude!!! I had colon cancer and I had a lung biopsy that was thought to be malignant. Guess what? It wasn't. So, you just keep those positive thoughts and visualize that nodule as being nothing of concern. My oncologist said we would watch mine and it hasn't changed any since being discovered. My prayers are for yours to be the same.

Sending well wishes your way.

Kay

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Oh my gosh Kay, that is awesome to know and so happy for you that it wasn't cancerous. So there is a spark of hope that it may not be for me. But.. if it is.. I'll knock it silly!! Giving up isn't my style. Hugggs to you sweetie~ Wanda

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Wow, it really sucks when friends and family say the wrong thing... I lost a close friend because she wasn't able to be supportive. But family is a different ball game.

My mom was VERY angry, towards me, but I know it was really anger towards the cancer. I told her she couldn't visit while I was on chemo.. I just couldn't take it.

I will suggest you to tell your family what you need. And no, I never told my mom what was the main problem. She figured it out/worked it out and the next time I saw her, she was much better.

Put yourself first. Surround yourself with supportive people. If your sisters can't understand, just tell them you need some space right now.

None of this is easy. I'm so glad your husband and brother know what you need to hear. Hit the replay button when you get frustrated with others.

I'm praying for benign results for you... so sorry you have to go through all this!! Keep your head up.

I had a lung met. Everytime I do yoga/take deep breaths, I imagine the clean air going into my lungs and pulverizing any/all cancer cells... I think it is working!!

jana

MJay's picture
MJay
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Wanda~ Sorry about the family thing. I had similar problems. Had to stop talking to my parents by advice from my therapist (who I started to see to help me deal with the cancer and my new body issues). It was not easy, but it was the best thing for me. I am still on "silent mode" with my folks. I explained I wasn't angry ... just needed to "take a break" for my own self.

No one can know what they would or wouldn't do if they had cancer until they get the diagnosis. They can speculate all they want. I would have said I would have never ever ever gotten the surgery for a colostomy. No way no how. Even if it was the answer to save my life. Nope. Not me. Well guess who is sitting here with a colostomy??? You just never know.

This is a tough road to travel and you are absolutely right in wanting to surround yourself with postive people. Keeping a positive attitude is half the battle to beating this disease.

And remember this.... at this very moment in time it is absolutely All About You!!!

MJay

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Wanda,

I feel for you...and appreciate your courage to be strong - stronger than some of our family members are able to be. What I've found, somewhat unfortunately, is that cancer does not always bring a family together. Dynamics are dymanics....and some black holes in relationships remain black holes - out of fear, or long-standing grudges that cancer cannot seem to bridge. At that point one sees others in their life who really do care.....really do care. It becomes amazing and it is really a blessing in disquise. It takes us out of the pettyness of the longstanding battle and to the seemingly effortless joy of true compassion and love. It is out there - whether within your family or through extended family or friendships.

I have had my ups and downs with family during this condition; the people who I have always known I could count on were there; in the meantime people have come out of the woodwork to help - based on a truer feeling of love than I would have never expected. It is quite humbling and live-affirming as well.

It is a circle of love that maybe parts of my family will never quite understand and I am sorry for them....but I am happy to be receiveing the much needed love and compassion - from people with a seemingly higher level of feelings and understanding.

All the best coming your way...love and prayers as well.
Cheers always,
Maura

MJay's picture
MJay
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

Maura~ I have yet to hear that sentiment stated in a more eloquent way. Wonderful! You are so absolutely right on!

MJay

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Lotta good words here Wanda.....and Maura has said it so well. My experience with family and friends is similar. In a nutshell every individual reacts very differently. I have close friends that seemed to avoid me. Others would come n see me but tried hard to pretend nothing was really wrong. Some would avoid the subject or would become uncomfortable if cancer came up in conversation. Now that is not to say I wanted to discuss it all the time...but.....I never pretended to hold anything back from anyone. Gee...some of my family and friends came right out and wanted to know all the details. You know, they were the ones I was most comfortable with becauise they were trying to understand the way things are.
Your reaction to family and friends "reactions" to your cancer will determine how "they" cope.
From the examples I have given here it is most definate that every single person who knows of your cancer will treat you differently. Accepting that some comments, like your sisters assumption that your lung tumour "would obviously" be cancer, is born by "old wives tales"..not necessarily because she cannot be positive for you.
For example...many people are still of the opinion that once surgery opens the abdomen, air gets to the cancer and the patients days are numbered...sheer ignorance and not true. So, you see Wanda..I believe that your sisters reaction may well be born by ignorance. That is NOT a fault of hers!! It is the general conception "still" of many people in society that think "once you have cancer..thats the end!" AND WE ALL KNOW THAT IS NOT TRUE!
Understanding our fears, emotions and all the medical crap we have to endure is almost impossible for anyone..it all takes time Wanda, so don't be too hard on family and friends. They need time to evaluate this horrid thing just as we need a lot of time to accept and cope with it.
Talk openly about your cancer to anyone who "wants" to talk about it...you will feel better, and so will they, be honest, but not forcefull.
lotsa luv, kanga n Jen

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Thanks so much... all of you. I'll heed your advice and wise words. Your understanding is priceless to me and I'm so grateful for all of you! Lovnhugggggggss ~ Wanda

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Mjay, Kanga and Jenn,
Thank you for your kind words re: my posting.....Every once in a while...I do find my voice!!
Most of the time, I feel much like the neophyte here - in the midst of treatment and full of questions for everyone else.

It did amaze me, though, when I was diagnosed, how so many of my family became reputed experts about cancer.
I have to laugh about it, now, because none of them mentioned colon-cancer or even asked about it. I was quoted info about pancreatic cancer, leukemia, bladder and breast cancer; I can only figure it as a defense mechanism..."Keep a distance, and the cancer seems farther away; and God forbid, don't ask how I am feeling...that makes it too real....stick to the diagnosis of others and their treatment."

It was the oddest thing - and if nothing else, let me in on a big secret. Just asking how a person is feeling is the simplest way to show that one cares. We really don't need everyone around us to be experts; in all reality...too many experts can be somewhat exhausting!!

Thank goodness for the doctors (especially my surgeon) who really took me by the hand through this and extended so much care - calls at home and lots of explanation.
And, thank the Lord for a friend who found this site and sent it to me at one of my low points. "Click here." and the site address was all that was written in the e-mail....
So sweet of her to do the work for me....and what a find!!

Take care and thanks again.....
I am glad that my words (in the midst of chemo-brain) have served well.

Cheers and good thoughts always,

Maura

madu
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2005

Hey Wanda

I think one problem is that movies seem to portray cancer patients as wan, lifeless, hairless, weak, etc. People, even myself before treatment, think the worse. I know my boss, sister and many friends thought the worst until they could see me. I think on some level they were shocked to see I looked the same as always. I had a friend say after sitting with me through chemo, "if you don't make this seem a little harder then I'm going to stop feeling sorry for you!" Once people saw me and got a better sense of just what cancer treatment was for me, they treated me more normally. Maybe it would help for them and you to see each other. And if they still bring you down, then limit contact. I had a "friend" who made my having cancer all about her - after awhile I just couldn't work up the energy to make her feel better about it and stopped calling her. And sometimes you just have to be brutally honest with family and tell them what you need. For me, it was a very selfish time in my life, I needed it to be about me and that was hard for me to do at times. Hope this helps - good luck,

Heidi

neeliec
Posts: 106
Joined: Mar 2005

wow, wanda! I am soo glad that you have brought up this topic!! and soo sorry that you and all of us go through it. I didn't realize how many of us go through the same thing. But as everyone else here has said, this is about you. You will figure out if you have to avoid some people when you think they will bring you down, or if you can "psyche" yourself out and hear what they say without it affecting you. Maybe sing in your head when they talk???? LOL. or just go to you happy place and ignore them mentally. I have to do a lot of this with my elderly dad--87--alzheimers, diabetes, and a mean retired army col. surgeon. He thinks I am his soldier!!!LOL--
Hang in there! Like other people here have said, it does NOT HAVE to be cancer in your lung. We are all praying for you. Stay positive whatever it takes. I like to read the Psalms and remember God's goodness. sometimes I think of how it could be sooo much worse....Blessings, neelieC

SisterlyLove
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2005

Dearest Wanda,
I am relatively new to all of this. My sis was diagnosed about a month ago. I find that I will not let myself think about the what if's. She is doing that enough for both. Maybe your sis really does not know how to express her concern. It does mean alot to have family support...maybe she was having a bad day herself and was not her normal self. I know I feel sometimes that I don't say the right thing to show how much I love her or how I pray for her. I don't want her to know how much I am paralyzed by this. Maybe that is what happened to your sis. I pray your report comes back normal...we had the same scare. She had this colon cancer and then her mamogram came back abnormal. They did a biopsy and THANK GOD...it was fine. I'm sure yours wull be also. I always remember a quote from Dear Abby's column: 99% of the things we worry about never come to fruition!! Does that make us worry less? No, but sometimes, that gives me comfort to believe that. I know I have rattled on....I think your brother is "da man"! He knows what he is talking about! Good luck and let us know!
Sharon

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