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A good read for anyone touched by cancer......

foods55's picture
foods55
Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2011

I read this on another site-

...............Your relationships are about to change. All of them. Some will get stronger. They will probably not be with the people you would expect. The people you want to handle this well might not be able to for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons will be selfish. Some of them will be entirely innocent and circumstantial. All of them will be forgivable because no one plans for cancer. Carrying bitterness or anger won't help your recovery. Fighting for anyone to stick with you won't cure you. Those who can, will. 

You will be determined to have more energy than you do. You will convince yourself that you are thinking straight, are able to handle all of this and do not need anyone. You will run out fuel. Your body will change first and your mind will follow. You won't lose your mind, memories or sensibility. It will all come back. But, you will be different. You will never have the same sense of self. You should embrace this. Your old self was probably really great. Your transformed self will be even better. Give into what is happening and trust it. 

You are going to feel fear. Even if you are normally stubborn, confident and seemingly invincible you will finally find yourself admitting that you are scared of something. Cancer is scary and incredibly confusing. The unknowing will eat at you worse than the disease itself. You'll need distractions. Music and sleep will probably be the ones you resort to most. Reading will become difficult. So will watching TV or movies, having conversations, writing and basically everything else. They call it "chemo brain" for a reason. You will feel normal eventually. Just a new kind of normal. When you feel afraid let yourself lean on those around you. Cry. Be vulnerable. You are vulnerable. There will be time for strength, but never admitting weakness will cause anxiety to mount and your condition to worsen. Let it all out. Yell if you need to. Sing when you feel up to it. Sob uncontrollably. Apologize for your mood swings. Treatments and prescriptions will often be the cause of them. The people that love you will understand. 

The people that love you will be just as scared as you are. Probably more. They will be worrying even when they are smiling. They will assume you are in more pain than you are. They will be thinking about you dying and preparing for life without you. They will go through a process that you will never understand just like they will never understand the process you are going through. Let them process. Forgive them when they don't understand. Exercise patience when you can. Know that those that were built for this will be there when you get to the other side and you will all be able to laugh together again. You'll cry together too. Then you'll get to a place where you will just live in the world again together and that is when you know that you have beaten this. 

The sooner you recognize that you are mortal, the sooner you can create the mentality for survival. There is a chance you might not make it. Just like there is a chance that you will. Don't look at statistics. You are unique and what is happening inside you is unique. Your fight is yours alone and there are too many factors to compare yourself to others that have had your condition. No one will want you to think about death, but you won't have a choice. You will think about it from the moment you are given your diagnosis. Come to terms with it. Calmly accept it. Then, shift every thought you have into believing that you won't die. You are going to beat this. Your mental focus on that fact will be more powerful than any treatment you receive. 

Your doctors and nurses will become your source of comfort. You will feel safe with them. If you do not feel safe with them you need to change your care provider immediately. There is no time to waste. This shouldn't be a game played on anyone's terms but yours. When you find the right caretakers you will know immediately. Do not let insurance, money or red tape prevent you from getting the treatment you deserve. This is your only shot. There is always a way. Find those hands that you trust your life in and willingly give it to them. They will quickly bring you a sense of calm. They will spend time answering your questions. There will be no stupid questions to them. They won't do anything besides make you feel like you are the most important life that exists. They will never make you feel like they don't have things in control. They will be honest and accessible at all times. They might even become your friends. You might celebrate with them over drinks months or years after they have cured you. They deserve your gratitude, respect and appreciation daily. If you get upset at them during treatment know that they'll forgive you. They get that you're going through something they can't imagine- but they understand better than anyone. They see it every day and they choose to be there because they want to make the worst experience of your life more tolerable. 

You will need to find balance after treatment. Start by seeking balance during treatment. Eat well. Sleep well. Listen to your body. Explore meditation. Experiment with new forms of exercise that aren't so demanding. Embrace massage and other body therapies. Go to therapy. A therapist will be able to guide you through your journey in ways you could never fathom. Do not be too proud to speak to someone. You cannot afford to store up the intensity of the emotion that comes with fighting a life-threatening illness. Let it out for yourself. You will begin to hear your voice changing. That voice is who you are becoming in the face of mortality. Listen to that voice. It will be the purest, most authentic version of you that you have ever known. Bring that person into the world -- strengths and vulnerabilities and everything between. Be that person forever. 

You will inspire others. It will feel weird. People you haven't spoken to since grade school will be in touch. Ex-girlfriends, former colleagues... even people you felt never wanted to talk to you again. The influx of interest in your seemingly fading life will be greater than any living moment you have ever experienced. That support is what will shift a fading life into a surviving one. Be grateful for every message. Be appreciative of each gift and each visit. There will be moments where all of this attention will make you feel lonelier than you have ever felt in your life. In a hospital room full of people with messages stuffing your inbox, voicemail and mailbox you will find yourself feeling completely alone. This is when you will realize that you could afford to have a stronger relationship with yourself. That only you walk this earth with 100% investment in you. Make the investment and use this as an opportunity to reexamine your self-worth. Love yourself more than ever and recognize how much love there is for you in the world. Then start sharing that love. You will come to see that even when you are the neediest person you know you can still be giving. Giving will make you feel better than taking. 

When you get to the other side you won't believe it. They will tell you the disease is gone. Everyone you know will rejoice and return back to their lives. You'll constantly wonder if it is coming back. Slowly this feeling will fade, but cancer will always be a part of you. It will define how you see the world moving forward. You're going to feel like the future is a funny thing to think about because the present is going to suddenly seem incredibly important. Keep moving. You'll be more productive. You'll understand who truly loves you because they will still be there. You'll want to meet new people that connect to the newly evolved version of your old self. You'll want to let go of those that don't "get" who you are now. You'll feel a little guilty doing it. Then, you'll move on. You don't have time to waste. The greatest gift you've been given is that you now understand that and you're going to make the most of every second. You're going to be the most passionate person you know going forward. Translate that passion to a greater purpose. Be fearless again. 



FightingSpirit
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 2013

Having an interestingly emotional "new normal" day today.  I have my 4 month follow-up on Monday (8 months since surgery), so the anxiety levels have been slowly rising all week,  Worries about recurrence and what if's are constantly on my mind today.  

Had some light bleeding on 11/10 while on vacation and am VERY concerened about what the doctor may find even though the CT scan was clear in October.  I'm scared, but don't want to tell anyone.  The weight of the disease is back....the worry for myself and family.  I hate this, but don't feel that I should burden anyone else.  Your post helped me see that this is all part of our "new normal"  I am grateful to be able to come here to share, be supported and understood without worrying anyone.

northwestalaska
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2013

So true about the weight of the disease- it will be our new normal as potential symptoms bring fears. I wish you a clear check up Monday and I understand not wanting to worry family- happy you can share here. I'm having some new discomforts and wonder if they mean anything. Haven't had a CAT scan since last March but my 4 month check up is in January. Having recently found this site, I am encouraged and often overwhelmed by the strength of the amazing women who fight the battle and give unconditional support to all who enter. What a blessed part of the new normal.

 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 470
Joined: Mar 2013

Amen

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1426
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks for sharing.

soromer
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

it's really not fair to the original author for you to publish it without attribution. Where did it come from? Who wrote it? Clearly this reflection required quite a bit of thought and effort, and that original writer deserves full credit for it. Wouldn't you be annoyed if you wrote something like this only to have it circulated without acknowledgment?

Thanks for supplying that information in another post, or perhaps by editing your original one to include the source info.

And if it is you who wrote it originally, then I encourage you to take full credit for a good effort.

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 424
Joined: Apr 2011

I went looking for this and found the following:

The Things I Wish I Were Told When I Was Diagnosed With Cancer by Jeff Tomczek

Jeff Tomczek is a freelance writer and the founder of C2Bseen, offering consulting services to niche brands and entrepreneurs.

Link here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-tomczek/cancer-advice_b_1628266.html

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1426
Joined: Jan 2009

Jeff is quite a writer who definitely understands life after a diagnosis of cancer.   I clicked on the link you provided and read his other writings.  Thanks for sharing.

hope you are doing well.

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 424
Joined: Apr 2011

The only thing bothering me is the cold weather that Dallas is having.  The first cold happened in Nov and the arthritis in my knees went into over drive.  It sucks getting old.  Granted I am not that old...57... but I walk like I am 100.  This weekend was really bad as Dallas got hit with the ice storm and below 30 temperatures.  Not good for my knees.  Still NED… I go back to my gynonc dr in Feb 14.  Yea! at 4 months now so doing good.  Will be glad when the weather turns warm again but can do without the 100 degree summers, but more use to them than the cold weather.  Hope you are still doing good.  When you returned from your trip, did you return to Florida because the storm we got was going up North East.  If we do not talk before Christmas, have a good one. trish

soromer
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

I feared I might be sounding too harsh, but it's one of my pet peeves, the idea that what's on the internet is just out there for the taking.

However, HuffPo is one of the worst offenders for not paying their writers. So, you win one and you lose one. End of rant!

He is an awfully young guy to have had to go through all of that. Good for him for translating it so quickly.

Stay warm, everyone. It's heading down to zero here tomorrow.

soromer/Kate

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