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Thoughts and Questions?

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Everyone,
I started chemo today,again and as usual the emotional stuff is more difficult for me to deal with. Yesterday, while talking with my therapist and complaining about not wanting to go back on chemo, she made the comment that she thought that I had not fully accepted the fact that I have cancer. After thinking about it, I have to admit that she is right. So my questions are:

Can you fully accept the fact that you have cancer and fully fight cancer at the same time? If you can, how?

Thanks for your replies!

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

As I sit here and think and try to provide a response, the only thing comes to mind is I really don't think I accepted the fact that I had cancer and will continue this battle for the rest of my life. It's like your mind doesn't want to except the DX, at least mine doesn't.

When it comes to strength, there is a saying that comes to mind to me all the time, God does not give us more than we can handle.

Determination comes from within ourselves and believe it or not, we are a lot stronger than we actually realize.

Believe me you have the strength, you just need to find it. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS

davidsonxx's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

My answer is yes, you can accept that you have cancer and still fully fight it. Accepting you have cancer does not mean you give up hope. It just means you recognize you have a disease and just like any other disease you make alterations in your life to deal with it. My friend has heart disease and had to go on a low cholesterol diet and have regular checkups. I have cancer and had to have chemo and regular follow ups. We may both eventually die from our diseases but as someone else said "Not Today".

For me accepting that I had cancer was part of the fight. It all seemed so unreal at first. It was hard to follow through on the surgery and treatment because I didn't feel sick. I wasn't until I accepted that I had cancer that I could really get serious and focus on beating it.

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Jamie, I think you can fully accept that you have cancer and be fully engaged in beating it. For me, I fully accepted that I have cancer but I also fully beleive that my body will right itself and with chemo, diet, exercize etc... I will beat it. Now i have gone NED 4 times and am currently on chemo for the 4th time as cancer is still not in the past for me. I feel I have keep the same believf I had in the beginning. I will beat this beast. You will too.

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I had trouble with this also.
One day while saying The Lord's Prayer ... "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy will be done...
"Here is where the revalation came to me. As a friend used to say "Oliversuddenly" I realized that it wasn't my will, it was about His, and I just needed to do as much as I could, but I needed to accept His will and help. It just wasn't my call and I can't control everything.

Pretty simplistic but very powerful. Why did this happen to me? Good question. I look around at the people in my life that this disease has touched because I have cancer. Maybe I can help some of them, and focus on what is important because I am in this place at this time in my life. I also learned that it is not always about me. Its made me much more humble.
I hope this helps, and you will start to fight against the disease instead of the diagnosis. Yes its scary, but God is there to help carry the burden.
This sounds a little preachy, but it is a message from my heart.
Jo Ann

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

You accept it but that doesn't mean that you cannot fight it.Last night I was telling my husband that I am tired of felling tired, tired of the pain (something is always hurting ), tired of thinking about the disease, tired of questioning myself how long I have left....but that doesn't mean that I rather give up. I rather live with these issues the rest of my life than crossing over....so, that doesn't mean that we are going to stop the fight, what it means is that we are humans and somethings we DO feel like is to much to handle....wh me ??? because thanks to that my 22 year old dauther had a colonoscopy and they found some pre-cancerous cells....that makes the burden ligther....
God bless

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Jamie,
That really infuriates me. First of all, you do not have to accept you have cancer, because if memory serves me, you do not have cancer. You are NED at this time, right? You have to get it in your head that you NO LONGER have cancer. I would not go to that therapist anymore, who is obviously a defeatist! Now, maybe you have a good relationship with him/her, but there is no reason to think that way. You were fortunate enough to have your cancer removed. Some are not, as you know. Your doctor should be encouraging you, as any good shrink should know, your attitude can influence your overall outcome.
As for the chemo, did you ever ask your oncologist about the risk/benefit analysis of even having chemo at this point? I know that myself and Jana, who were in similar situations to yours were both given the choice to do chemo or not. We took different paths. Since you have chosen to do it, you have to just plug through it and hope that it was the right decision. You can continue fighting without "accepting" that you have cancer, because you should be convinced that you do not have cancer and it needs to be your mantra.
Best wishes,

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Jamie -

I agree with Susan (while perhaps not being quite so infuriated - although the more I think, the more infuriated I get!).

I don't know if I ever "accepted" having cancer, but I do know that I have never been able (ok, for the most part) to believe I had a death sentence here. I actually don't technically have cancer now since no tests can find it. And either do you. We both have the threat hanging over our heads - always will, I guess. But, what we need to accept is going on with life. In your case, makes sense to me, you have chosen to do follow up chemo. But, you've had successful surgery and think of the chemo as something you are doing to ensure that success.

I don't discount the value of therapy at all, but being told you haven't "accepted" your cancer almost sounds like being told you haven't accepted your ultimate decline and death. Sorry to be harsh - but that is ridiculous. Please find another therapist. You just had successful surgery, a great Alaska cells and now you are starting a few rounds of chemo to ensure the ******* cells die for good.

Good luck, Jamie.


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Of course, I meant to say "a great Alaska CRUISE". Sorry about the type.


JoyceCanada's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: Mar 2006

Jamie: I know I HAD cancer I was fully awake during my colonscopy and saw the bleeding cancerous tumour. I know I DO NOT HAVE CANCER because I was awake during the last colonoscopy and saw where the surgeon took out the tumour.

If I had not seen the bleeding tumour with my own eyes I would have had some difficulty believing that it was cancer...I wasn't sick!!

Now staying awake during a colonscopy is not for everyone (it is painful) but for me I needed to see what I was up against.

I will fight with every ounce of my existence to stay NED.

Everyone deals with thing in a different way.

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Everyone,
Thank You for your responses. They have definitely given me something to think about. I put this out more as a philosophical question than anything else.

To answer some of what was written:
I absolutely have the strength to continue treatment.
I always have the choice to stop chemo at any time. I choose to have chemo, though that doesn't mean that I am happy about doing it.
Yes, I am NED at this time. I've been NED many times before. I've had 3 surgeries since June 2004 and this is my 4th round of chemo since March 2004. I always have hope, though each time I am told that cancer has shown up again that hope changes. I believe that I have done everything possible since my diagnosis to fight my cancer, yet here I am starting my 4th round of chemo. That is definitely something I need to think about!
As far as my therapist is concerned, she is an excellent therapist and is a cancer survivor herself. A whole conversation led up to the one sentence that I posted. She did exactly what I would expect her to do. She gave me something to think about and a different perspective on looking at having cancer. I may be NED at this time, but I still consider myself to have cancer. My history tells me this. I would have to be NED for several years to believe that I really don't have cancer. To me that's not negative, just realistic given my history.

Is acceptance important? I don't really know. It seems to be a matter of what works for each individual person.

Take care,

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