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What runs through your mind . . .?

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

I am curious to know what any of you find running through your mind in the following instances:

  1. When you are watching TV and a character is portrayed as having cancer and you see either treatment happening (i.e. chemo) or some outward signs of treatment (i.e. scarf, no hair, etc.)
  2. When you read or hear about someone you know -- or don't even know -- has died, and the death is attributed to cancer?
  3. When you attend calling hours and/or funeral for any death

I am doing well at this point in my life; but I find it weird how these types of situations stir my inner being.  I am not afraid of a return or cancer or of death; but it seems that I am extra sensitive to things of that nature.

What say you?



rainsandpours's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2013

1).  TV portrays everyone as either ridiculously groomed with full makeup, and super quick recovery or on their death bed within days of diagnoses :(.  Not very realistic I don't think.


2) it tends to seem abstract.  I normally find out aquaintances are sick after they've passed, and I wish I'd known sooner (so I could help in some way!).  While I feel sad and empathetic, I ty not to internalize it,if you know what I mean.  It's difficult dealing with my own illnesses..


3) I havent' been to a funeral since 1996.  My uncle, who succumbed to brain cancer.  It was horrible and depressing.  No one knew he was ill until 3 months before his death, as he was a bit of a gypsy, and never stayed in touch.  Sorting his personal belongings was the saddest thing I've ever done.  My mother, brother and myself were his only family. 

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

with TV commercials about cancer centers etc. I get a bit teary eyed....but I then think I had it easy compared to most-at times I feel guilty saying I had cancer.


never thought of myself as a survior-yet I know I am!



Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

I know what you mean about feeling fortunate at not having things as difficult as so many others do, even those with the same stage of bc as I had.  Like you, I feel that I really am not much help or encouragement to them.

I forget that I am considered a survivor, and that I ought to be proud of that fact.  If it weren't for little things here and there that are reminders, I would not even think that I have been that route so many others have taken -- surgery, chemo, rads, and hormonal therapy.  (I am currently doing some PT because the scar tissue has exascerbated a problem I had from an old sports injury.  What has been slow has been dealing with the scar tissue-related challenge rather than the previous injury.)


GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008

One thing on TV that irritates the heck out of me are the ads from the Cancer Hospitals.........and for the life of me I can't really say why.  It's just that it doesn't seem right somehow to advertise that one place is better than another in this Battle with Cancer.   I know for a fact that there are wonderful doctors and nurses all over America.......and I was greatly blessed to find some of the best.          I don't think you would be human if you didn't feel a little uncomfortable though....like today learning that Joan Lunden has BC........I pray that she will be a Survivor but the truth is that none of us know what the future holds.   I was 66 years old when I was diagnosed....I did not think I would reach 70...but I did... and my little sister was there with me to celebrate that birthday...EIGHT YEARS AGO.  She was 7 years younger than me and in perfect health...but since that time she was diagnosed with Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer and she died 4 years ago at the age of 67 and she is the one who did not reach 70.    I often agonize over the WHY of things.......but it is not something I can control except for just trying to live in the NOW and holding on to Jesus Christ.     OH... and going back to my Oncologist every 6 months for bloodwork and PET Scans etc.....  :)

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

Compared to the survival rate of many cancers, ours is quite good -- if caught soon enough.  Two of my aunts and a friend had pancreatic cancer, and they were gone in a matter of weeks or months.

I don't care for those ads either.  I guess if I lived nearby one, then maybe; but I think it is important to be around family and friends.  I would have to travel 200 miles or more to get to one of those more prominent cancer hospitals.  I am satisfied with what I have here.  As it is, I have to travel about a half hour; but that's not bad for a person who lives in a very small town.

I choose not to worry about the future.  That was something I worked through at the start.  I know that God is in control.  I do what I need to do, and I just go on with my life. 

Posts: 579
Joined: Dec 2010

It is upsetting when children with cancer pop up on the TV.  The other stuff doesn't bother me.  Though I wish they would just get the definite causes of all these cancers.


i also will accept recurrence and even expect it but worry for my families reaction, especially my husband.  My intention being not to fight it next time.  I suppose they will make sure I do, not my choice though.  But as usual we do the best thing for others, that's why we are females.......  I do always love seeing a lady giving birth on TV, I find it amazing and a miracle every time.

camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

...mainly because the play off our sympathy, especially the ones for St. Judes. Don't get offended anyone, I love St Jude's and they have been my main recipient of charitable gifts for many years and always will be. I just do not like how terribly sad they make people look to bring in more money! Kind of like the commercials for the abused pets, where they play songs that are used mainly at funerals... I want to scream that I send you the money anyways. Soke of the movies I like, even if it is about someone dying of cancer, especially the ones that show the patient living a full life up until theynare too sick to go on. I find a kind of inspiration in some of the movies when they show just how strong so many people when faced with life's little blessing (cancer). It also gives me a sense of hope for my family when they portray the children, parents, or spouse/partner getting on with their lives when their loved one has passed on. Sometimes I cry and other times I will watch and think 'where did that writer get his/her story from?'

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008

Roz I know what you mean about not fight it next time............heck.....I said that the first time even....but when push came to shove I fought and fought hard.   Now I am 78 and I think no...I won't go thru that again and I say that too.   But..........we really don't know what we will do until faced with it.    Just like nobody knows what it is really like to fight this terrible cancer except those of us who have it.    I believe in Miracles...and sometimes the biggest Miracle of all is the peace that we can sometimes achieve.  :)

Ballerina's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2011

I have mixed emotions when I see TV commercials. Sometimes I get agitated, as was previously mentioned, I feel it's exploitation to get contributions and with so many funds and medical advances really, no cure yet! Then, at times I donate and want to encourage everyone suffering or who has suffered from any form of caner. I guess yoyo emotions are normal.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2014

I find the tv's portrayal to be so inaccurate that it angers me. They dont show how hard it is for some of us and our families. I am one of the unfortunate ones who had the rough route. Diagnosed at 31 with stage 3b breast cancer, with no family history. At the time my girls were 14 months and 4. I went through a mastectomy, 8 rounds of rough chemo, 33 treatments of radiation, and now a lupron shot every month along with anti estrogen pills. And I just found out I have a 1 in 3 chance of it coming back in my liver, bones, or lungs. Not easy at all, but im still cancer free for almost 2 years. 


When I hear about someone being diagnosed or dying from cancer it reminds me that life is short. I always wonder if it will ckme back and if I will die before I get to see my kids grow up. I just participated in relay for life and it is always emotional remembering the day I was diagnosed and the thoughts and feelings that came along with it.


I thought as time went by it would get easier but instead it getting harder. I went to my oncologist for my shot last month and had a total breakdown. Seeing all of the chairs full of people there getting their chemo, remembering how it felt to be there. I found myself hurting for them, wondering why anyone has to go through this. I just kept thinking it wasnt fair, for any of us, wondering if mine wojld come back and send me back to the chairs. Then at one point, I wondered why I was chosen to survive and others were'nt. I almost felt guilty being there. But then I remembered when I was in for chemo,  how I felt when a survivor came in...it put a smile on my face and hope to know that maybe I would make it to. They were an inpiration.

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

Your sharing I find interesting.  Such variety, but that I like because I am reminded how all of this is soooooo individual -- how we get through the battles, how we handle the aftermath of the battle, etc.

cati0314's picture
Posts: 203
Joined: Jun 2014

Sorry but I am just plain scared every time I am reminded of this disease.  It gets me to thinking that I am stage 2b, grade 3 and seeing others go through cancer gets to my head in a bad way.



Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2821
Joined: Jun 2010

By all three of the scenarios.  I often get that hollow feeling in my belly.  It's tough sometimes to be reminded that I had 2 ugly things growing in me that might have killed me by now if they hadn't been diagnosed and treated when they were.  95% of the time I'm just fine and dandy and the experience is now sort of like a story I heard or read, but then something will bring it back to the surface  and it's sometimes just hearing about someone being diagnosed.  If I hear someone has had a recurrence or died, it really does effect me.  Sometimes I feel guilty for being a survivor.   Strange to feel blessed and guity at the same time, but then, cancer does take its toll on our psyche.

I think we all experience this illness differently, but similarly.  Tomorrow I have an appointment for my mammogram.  I'm really no longer nervous about them but I wasn't nervous 4 years ago, either . . . I really think I'm fine, but I might not be and having been told 4 years ago that I wasn't fine when I thought I was sort of sits there in the back of my brain and comes to the front when some of the circumstances you describe come up. 


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