My most frequently asked question.....

KathiM
KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
edited May 2011 in Colorectal Cancer #1
"So, do you think attitude is the reason you survived?"....

Just got it yesterday again at the bank (celebrating my birthday and 5 years post any treatment on both cancers this July)....

My response: "Well, I can tell you that it doesn't hurt. I am very blessed that for a whole bunch of reasons (including luck...heredity gave me a VERY strong immune system so that I didn't miss a single treatment from white cell count) I survived. But, with a positive attitude (as much as possible...there were my awful days, too!), I was able to gather people closer to me that were then invested in trying their best, doing their best, to give me the best possible chance of survival! So, in that way, remembering my 'please and thank you's (I told my gastric surgeon that I thought he was VERY handsome, just before being put under for my bowel resection...*smile*), I got the best treatment I could. The rest, well..."

What do YOU say when someone asks you?

Hugs, Kathi
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Comments

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392
    KM
    That it helps, especially over the long haul with as many years as I've been going against it. If my spirits were not up more than not, then who knows.

    We all know it is a combination of factors when in a cancer fight - and not just one single thing. If it were only about attitude, then we would not have lost so many of our friends here. They had attitude and they had things to live for.

    It's about attitude to a large degree but, it's also about having your brain wrapped around the realities of the disease, it's about patience, persistence, and tenancity. It's about the body being strong enough to take the pounding and it's about the mind being strong enough to step up and take the pounding and not giving in.

    And it's about a good medical team: surgical, radiation oncologist, and surgical oncologist. And being nice to your medical team, does not hurt either:)

    When you mix all of these ingredients together, then you give yourself a fighting chance - and in the end, that's all that any of us want - a chance.

    Nice to see you, Kathi:)

    -Craig
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    Sundanceh said:

    KM
    That it helps, especially over the long haul with as many years as I've been going against it. If my spirits were not up more than not, then who knows.

    We all know it is a combination of factors when in a cancer fight - and not just one single thing. If it were only about attitude, then we would not have lost so many of our friends here. They had attitude and they had things to live for.

    It's about attitude to a large degree but, it's also about having your brain wrapped around the realities of the disease, it's about patience, persistence, and tenancity. It's about the body being strong enough to take the pounding and it's about the mind being strong enough to step up and take the pounding and not giving in.

    And it's about a good medical team: surgical, radiation oncologist, and surgical oncologist. And being nice to your medical team, does not hurt either:)

    When you mix all of these ingredients together, then you give yourself a fighting chance - and in the end, that's all that any of us want - a chance.

    Nice to see you, Kathi:)

    -Craig

    I am still here, my dear!
    Just not posting as much....checking in daily to make sure you all are ok....busy with my mom's passing...sigh...

    I agree, if it were only attitude, there would be many that I wouldn't have had to say 'goodbye' to....but, even in those last moments...they were inspirations!

    You have a point about reality as well. I never once took cancer for granted...I fought the fight knowing that my opponent (cancer) would fight dirty, and so I needed the best team I could find...with me and my body fully on board as part of the team!

    Special hugs to you, my southern gentleman cowboy!!!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • pepebcn
    pepebcn Member Posts: 6,331
    KathiM said:

    I am still here, my dear!
    Just not posting as much....checking in daily to make sure you all are ok....busy with my mom's passing...sigh...

    I agree, if it were only attitude, there would be many that I wouldn't have had to say 'goodbye' to....but, even in those last moments...they were inspirations!

    You have a point about reality as well. I never once took cancer for granted...I fought the fight knowing that my opponent (cancer) would fight dirty, and so I needed the best team I could find...with me and my body fully on board as part of the team!

    Special hugs to you, my southern gentleman cowboy!!!

    Hugs, Kathi

    Kathi!! you should post more frequently you see we miss you!
    Concerning attitude, I don't thing it cures by it self , but it allows you to continue alive!.
    Good Weekend my dear Dutch !
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    pepebcn said:

    Kathi!! you should post more frequently you see we miss you!
    Concerning attitude, I don't thing it cures by it self , but it allows you to continue alive!.
    Good Weekend my dear Dutch !

    Aw, thank you, dear heart!
    I agree with you!

    Good weekend for you, as well, my firey Spaniard!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    the biology of belief and the placebo effect and outward bound
    Dear Kathy what a thought provoking post and then sundance such a complimentary reply.

    Attitiude on its own is too broad for me. So i ask what is attitude and how deeply is it held ?

    i firmly believe i will survive because I have FAITH the treatments, doctors, hospitals, my family and supplements and supports around and within me.

    Real FAITH in my future survival really helps survival. ever thought about the placebo effect? why does giving someone a sugar help them ?
    ever contemplated the nocebo effect ? someone is told they have 3 months left, they die in 3 months. at autopsy its found they did not have terminal cancer. they beleived they would die and did.

    Or if your interested read about outward bound and survival below. i did this course when i was 18, its helped me through lifes challenges and to my greatest this cancer.

    http://www.outwardbound.com.au/about-us/history/6-history-of-outward-bound.html

    hugs,
    pete
  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    No.
    Nobody ever asked me that. If anyone had, I would have said `No'.

    --Greg
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723
    I think the answer was forty something
    Hi Kathi I don't get asked much anymore but I always answer good attitude ,good doctors and good luck,hugs mate. Ron.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    ron50 said:

    I think the answer was forty something
    Hi Kathi I don't get asked much anymore but I always answer good attitude ,good doctors and good luck,hugs mate. Ron.

    Um, 42....
    You know, the meaning of life....thanks for the smile, Ron!

    BIG hugs, Kathi
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028

    the biology of belief and the placebo effect and outward bound
    Dear Kathy what a thought provoking post and then sundance such a complimentary reply.

    Attitiude on its own is too broad for me. So i ask what is attitude and how deeply is it held ?

    i firmly believe i will survive because I have FAITH the treatments, doctors, hospitals, my family and supplements and supports around and within me.

    Real FAITH in my future survival really helps survival. ever thought about the placebo effect? why does giving someone a sugar help them ?
    ever contemplated the nocebo effect ? someone is told they have 3 months left, they die in 3 months. at autopsy its found they did not have terminal cancer. they beleived they would die and did.

    Or if your interested read about outward bound and survival below. i did this course when i was 18, its helped me through lifes challenges and to my greatest this cancer.

    http://www.outwardbound.com.au/about-us/history/6-history-of-outward-bound.html

    hugs,
    pete

    Thank you, Pete!
    For the link!!!!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    PGLGreg said:

    No.
    Nobody ever asked me that. If anyone had, I would have said `No'.

    --Greg

    Aw, Greg! Good to 'see' you!!!!
    How are things in your neck of the woods?

    Hugs, Kathi
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866
    Sundanceh said:

    KM
    That it helps, especially over the long haul with as many years as I've been going against it. If my spirits were not up more than not, then who knows.

    We all know it is a combination of factors when in a cancer fight - and not just one single thing. If it were only about attitude, then we would not have lost so many of our friends here. They had attitude and they had things to live for.

    It's about attitude to a large degree but, it's also about having your brain wrapped around the realities of the disease, it's about patience, persistence, and tenancity. It's about the body being strong enough to take the pounding and it's about the mind being strong enough to step up and take the pounding and not giving in.

    And it's about a good medical team: surgical, radiation oncologist, and surgical oncologist. And being nice to your medical team, does not hurt either:)

    When you mix all of these ingredients together, then you give yourself a fighting chance - and in the end, that's all that any of us want - a chance.

    Nice to see you, Kathi:)

    -Craig

    Attitude Goes a Long Way
    Hi Craig, just noticed the shirt you are wearing...EVERLAST.
    Great one!
    I think you summed things up nicely. There are so many factors involved. I DO believe that attitude (a good one that is) can really help a person a lot. There are some among us who are just miserable as part of who they are and they may do well too but why be miserable?

    I do agree too with being in it for the long haul. If we were complaining miserable people who would even want to be around us.
    -phil
  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    Kathi
    Actually, I never get asked, I get told. Just happened again a couple of days ago, they actually tell me, "You know, it's your attitude." I always pause before answering, "I guess it is." Because I don't believe it's my attitude. A lot of others had a way better attitude then I did that are no longer here. I certainly thought when they said I had six months, I had six months, heck I was busy sobbing, yelling (inside my head yelling, I wouldn't disturb anyone by actually yelling aloud)and feeling burned out. I do admit after a couple of months of self pity, you tend to get tired of it, and then decide your going to spend what time you have left enjoying the moments around you. Why am I still here? My oncologist, my surgeons. And yes, I guess maybe attitude has something to do with it, or maybe we just want to believe that attitude changes the circumstances. I don't know. But, somehow every time someone tells me I'm here, still on this earth, because of my attitude, it just give me a feeling of profound sadness, because of those before me, that had wonderful attitudes before they left us behind. Survivor guilt I suppose.
    Winter Marie
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952
    gets me there
    When I am feeling low, sometime I think: all I have to do is get one foot to cross the threshold of the hospital -- my wonderful nurses and doctors will take it from there.

    Attitude is what gets me to the hospital door, time and time again....and into the hands of those who keep me alive.

    Tara
  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    KathiM said:

    Aw, Greg! Good to 'see' you!!!!
    How are things in your neck of the woods?

    Hugs, Kathi

    Thanks for asking, Kathi.
    Thanks for asking, Kathi. Couldn't be better (though I wish I were younger). No sign of more cancer. Beautiful weather on Oahu, as usual.

    --Greg
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    PGLGreg said:

    Thanks for asking, Kathi.
    Thanks for asking, Kathi. Couldn't be better (though I wish I were younger). No sign of more cancer. Beautiful weather on Oahu, as usual.

    --Greg

    That is GREAT news!!!! (and about the weather, too!!!)
    And, yes, sadly, I think many of us (me, for one...*smile*) would LOVE to be younger...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    KathiM said:

    Thank you, Pete!
    For the link!!!!

    Hugs, Kathi

    just thanks to the person who asked you
    i love these upbeat discussions, with a dash of hope.
    to raise our awareness away from pain, death and treatments to the finer
    things in life.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    My take
    Hmmm...I know a good attitude can help a person deal with cancer or any other tough situation in life. And I think a good attitude can give you strength to keep trying to beat cancer. But I also think saying that attitude makes such a difference in a person's fight with cancer puts an unfair burden on the patient. As Winter said, there are many we have known here who had fabulous attitudes, and they still didn't make it. I feel sad thinking about someone who's on the verge of losing the battle thinking it's because they didn't have enough of a sunny disposition. Cancer just does what it does sometimes, you know...

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028

    Kathi
    Actually, I never get asked, I get told. Just happened again a couple of days ago, they actually tell me, "You know, it's your attitude." I always pause before answering, "I guess it is." Because I don't believe it's my attitude. A lot of others had a way better attitude then I did that are no longer here. I certainly thought when they said I had six months, I had six months, heck I was busy sobbing, yelling (inside my head yelling, I wouldn't disturb anyone by actually yelling aloud)and feeling burned out. I do admit after a couple of months of self pity, you tend to get tired of it, and then decide your going to spend what time you have left enjoying the moments around you. Why am I still here? My oncologist, my surgeons. And yes, I guess maybe attitude has something to do with it, or maybe we just want to believe that attitude changes the circumstances. I don't know. But, somehow every time someone tells me I'm here, still on this earth, because of my attitude, it just give me a feeling of profound sadness, because of those before me, that had wonderful attitudes before they left us behind. Survivor guilt I suppose.
    Winter Marie

    Good thoughts, Winter Marie!
    I agree, attitude, in and of itself, is not a cureall...but, as I respond to the question, it DOES get the 'people in the know' vested in my treatment...and hopefully success.

    Hugs, Kathi
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    taraHK said:

    gets me there
    When I am feeling low, sometime I think: all I have to do is get one foot to cross the threshold of the hospital -- my wonderful nurses and doctors will take it from there.

    Attitude is what gets me to the hospital door, time and time again....and into the hands of those who keep me alive.

    Tara

    This is what I was trying to say, as well....
    Thank you, Tara! Sometimes I write a book when a beautiful sentence such as yours does even better to express!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    tootsie1 said:

    My take
    Hmmm...I know a good attitude can help a person deal with cancer or any other tough situation in life. And I think a good attitude can give you strength to keep trying to beat cancer. But I also think saying that attitude makes such a difference in a person's fight with cancer puts an unfair burden on the patient. As Winter said, there are many we have known here who had fabulous attitudes, and they still didn't make it. I feel sad thinking about someone who's on the verge of losing the battle thinking it's because they didn't have enough of a sunny disposition. Cancer just does what it does sometimes, you know...

    *hugs*
    Gail

    I agree, Gail!
    That is why it needs to be combined with many, many other things, don't you think?

    I actually had a stage IV patient partner, after all else had been tried, share with me a stunning statement:

    "Actually, my passing, and going on to the existence I know awaits me, is the final win for me in the battle with cancer". It took my breath away!

    Hugs, Kathi