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Rides to treatment

Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2009

Why does everyone want to give you a ride to treatments? I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in early June after a colon resection -- 3 of 90 nodes showed positive. Had a port inserted and am scheduled for #2 of 12 chemo treatments 5FU + Oxaliplatin next Wednesday. All things considered, I'm doing great. I was a little discouraged by how tired I was after only one treatment but rebounded a few days later to my normal energy level. I'm amazed by the number of people -- friends, neighbors, casual acquaintances who want to take me to my treatment or doctors appointments but don't call or visit. Some tell me to keep them updated on how I'm doing or say they wondered how I've been when I see them. Some remark on my weight loss but then add how good I look. One neighbor told me I was pushing it when he saw me mowing the lawn and then proceed to tell me how sick I was going to get (he had testicular cancer) but other than an initial offer of a ride when we spoke a month ago he didn't offer to help with any yard work, just said "good luck" when I mentioned possibly hiring the neighbor boy to mow if I got to the point where I couldn't do it.

It would be so nice to get a phone call, a visit, a suggestion of a walk, a day out or lunch. Is there a book out there for us? I've read "Help me live" and "Cancer Etiquette" but those were written for supporters. I don't want to offend anyone but I need people to understand that while I'm feeling good, I need to be (think) I'm in control and that while I appreciate their offer of a ride and will certainly ask when and if that time arises but until then, please call or visit (to talk about something other than me). Thanks for letting me vent, hopefully someone has some suggestions. It's nice to have this board and my heart goes out to those who are on the same therapy as I am and having a rough time from treatment #1.

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...I will say I usually feel funny when they say "call me if you need a ride" or "Call if you need some groceries picked up, or help in the house, I just nod my head and say "Yes, thanks I will" and even though I may even need some help, I still feel funny asking for it, especially since these people are from my kids practices, and activities, I feel maybe if they made more phone calls like getting to know me better, or even come over to say hi, but I barely know them enough to want me to have to have to call them.

I have usually just still done everything myself, I know I can go to maybe 3 people in this town for some help.


lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

I feel awkward when acquaintances offer help. I never know what to say – except thank you. I also have trouble accepting help. ------------- I believe that many of us just simply do not know what to say or do because we have not experienced the situation but do want to help in some way.

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I think people ask these questions because what else are they going to say? "I'm sorry you have cancer...". And that's it? The nicest thing they can do than just leave it at that is ask what it is they can do for us. I'll never forget the looks on people's faces when they first found out i had cancer. It was a look like, "you poor dead thing." Even the very first nurse i saw when i awoke from that fateful colonoscopy that preceded the diagnosis had it. I was groggy, and she was walking around doing her thing, glancing at me occasionally with that 'look'. I was certain of the diagnosis then. People who don't know much about cancer automatically believe those who have it are going to die, and they treat us as such. Besides sympathy, there is guilt. Have you noticed that expression mixed in with the pity? It's a sad look with an empathetic look. "Thank God it isn't me!". I still prefer this attitude to the attitude of, "Oh, you're such a big baby! Did you cry like this every time you scraped your knee?" (i actually had a nurse say that to me while she was poking my surgery wound the day after resection).

I wouldn't feel bad about asking these people who offer to help, for help. I have done so on several occasions when i really needed it, and it seemed like they truly enjoyed being helpful to me. The people who are sincere about it always ask more than once.

I forgot to add that i was thankful people didn't come to visit me because THAT'S what made me uncomfortable. It took a long time for even my friends and family to get used to the idea before they stopped looking at me with such pity. Even still, if i say ouch, or give any sign of pain, they nearly panic! And if i don't feel good, and i can't muster the energy to laugh with them, it makes them feel bad. It's uncomfortable.

Many hugs!

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I guess I was lucky,my next door neighbors father had just recovered from cancer when I was dx,and a neighbor 2 doors down had his cancer in remission,so my neighbor had her teenage son cut my lawn for me after my surgery,and if anybody offered rides I would say ok,just to get out of the house to the store,library,ect.,and it made them feel like they where helping,and some where acually helping.Maybe when they ask you should say ok.

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