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Has Cancer Been ALL Bad For You?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

We all either face the effects of cancer or are caregivers to those who do. I think it's safe to say that cancer is not one the the best things that has happened to us.

Have you found something positive that has come out of your cancer diagnosis that you may not have realized if you were not diagnosed with cancer? If so, would you care to share?

I have found that cancer has given me an even greater appreciation for the simpler things in life. The bird chirping, the sunrise/sunset, the way light highlights my wife's face...

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

"If it wasn't for cancer, I'd say I have the perfect life. If it wasn't for cancer, would I even realize this?"

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Colon Cancer killed my mom, her mom, and tried to kill me. F*ck it, I guess I have learned I am a lot tougher than I ever realized. It did not make me appreciate life more, I always did.

jen58
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2009

my husband has stage 3b genetic CC and our daughter may have the gene -- but i do have something very positive...

long story short -- cancer/chemo and a particularly harsh winter here in KC has led us to buy our first house in beautiful New Mexico, where we have a wonderful mountain view in our front and back yards.

without cancer, we would not have made this decision and would have felt very stuck. My husband feels the same way...we have a chance for a better life in NM to give ourselves and our daughter.

i hate cancer, but it did bring us some good and for that i am thankful

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

We are on the "short list" for finding the silver lining with the dark cloud for sure. Glad you can find some good out of your post-cancer life.
-phil

pamysue's picture
pamysue
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

the balls to to the the president of the board of directors and tell him I was not going to tolerate my Executive Director's abusive behavior. Precancer I would have sucked it up for 3 more years until his retirement, even though I had been his personal whipping post for 8 years and my life was miserable pre-cancer. Fighting for my life has drawn a line of just what sh*t I won't eat.

My son lost his job due to the economy... warehouse work. Going nowhere at 20. Now he is in nursing school and headed into a great career because of my chemo nurse who is male. We are close friends with him and his wife. My son heading towards a successful career would be something good that came from this.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I've grown three more balls (now I have six but that's another story!)
I'm similar, I don't take crap from people who are full of crap. I get what I need to get done and I do it in a nice way 99% of the time. I have NO problem with calling people on their BS.

That's great your son is getting into nursing. I have a buddy who took that path years ago, he's not a chemo nurse but still he's in the biz.

Great post! I'm happy for you Pam.
-p

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Cancer reinforced for Bill and me what had hit us slap in the face in June of 2000, when he had a sudden cardiac arrest. Suddenly we knew very definitely that you never know how long you have in this world, so you better make the most of your time.

When I was diagnosed with cancer just over 2 years ago, it was a reminder to hold onto what is precious in life, like family and friends, and to let go of hatred or whining or negative thoughts and feelings. Not that we don't backslide on all that constantly.

I also had a chance to be the recipient of a lot of love and care from my family and friends. We had moved to NC about 5 years before my diagnosis, and I was still struggling a bit with finding my place here. When I got sick, I was completely showered with love from people at church and people at my grandsons' school. And family, too, of course.

I always tell people that they might smile if they see me walking around (my favorite form of exercise). Since the cancer, I have that deep gratitude for still being here, and I usually walk with head tilted up, smelling the fresh air, enjoying the feeling of being ALIVE.

*hugs*
Gail

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

...mixed feelings and thoughts.
Like many of us, I appreciate the small things in life, but I've always been that way. I sweat the small stuff less...sometimes.
But I worry a lot sometimes. I am alone financially. I have a boyfriend and we're a good team but we don't live together and I carry my financial burden alone. I've realized that I have to save about $500 a month to cover out of pocket costs since insurance does not cover it all. (e.g. the upcoming PET scan will cost me $680 in deductible/copay, and if my surgeon wants to do a biopsy after that? And this is the "easy" part of care. What happens if there's recurrence and I can't work and no insurance? Whew!...it takes a lot of energy to be a worry wart : )
On the flip side, I'm grateful to have a job/career in which I can currently afford my cancer. Gotta start a cancer fund. Forget vacation and Christmas. Can't go see my Granddaughters in Germany -- had to put that off.

And I don't worry all the time. I've learned the one-day-at-a-time thing, believe it or not. I've learned that denial is a useful tool, at times, as long as it doesn't prevent you from getting the job done.

Mortality has a different taste in my mouth. We all keep the Boogeyman in the closet or we'd go nuts but cancer forces us to face it head-on.

Thanks, Phil, for the question, and the insight.
Aud

lcarper2
Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

I have learned to be more understanding with stupid people , I spent over 30 yrs arresting them but now I just feel sorry for them and hope they don't cut me off when I am driving...

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

GREAT comment!
I'm the opposite I think, I have less tolerance for stupid people but I've gotten more experience dealing with them.

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Holy crap! Judging by the amount of posts and strong feelings associated with them, in perfect Phil style, you have stirred up another big bowling pot of discussion stew. I like the perfect life post and especially like the man behind the the big giant spoon that stirs things up. You are not just Phil. You are THE Phil. Enough said.

Eric

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

You said that perfectly. Thank you, I agree.

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Kimby

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

I understand things aren't always easy, being in your shoes would be tougher. This is a big financial burden.
I'm glad I've gave you food for thought.
-p

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Twelve years of chronic ill health. Several doctors telling me I'm gonna die. The fact that I can no longer do the things I enjoy in life. A pharmacy bill that would match the gnp of many small countries.
If I catch that bird chirping outside my window he's toast. Heavy overcast suits my mood. I can't remember the lines of my wifes face because she left me three years ago because I was sick all the time.
The only reason I'm still around is that I am an eternal optomist and one night a little green guy is going to pop out of his space ship armed with his interstellar anal probe and fix all my problems.
Anytime now would be fine little green guy!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

I know you've been dealing with this a very long time. It's not easy at all I'm sure. We all have our own point of reference and if I were in your shoes I may not be the same person I am now. You've given me plenty to think about over the many posts you've made and have been a great contributor on the board.

I hope the little green man is a great shot with his interstellar anal probe.

ADKer's picture
ADKer
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Ron - I am so sorry that you have been through so much. I appreciate your ability to inject a little humor and suspect that is the reason you are still here fighting the good fight.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad people thought a little bit about this and I hope some positive things came out of hearing other people's stories. I found it VERY interesting.
Best health to us all

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

All of you are so wonderful. Damn my man JR made me cry. The truth is he has been here for me with my battle and I am here for his.

I have to say this as a partner who cares so much is that I wish I could take the cancer for him. Not that I want it a long with MS but, well I think you caregivers understand what I am saying.

I have found that since his dx there have been very few moments that cancer doesn't creep into my head. I hate it and I am so thrilled at the end of a day when we have laughed and cancer has only creeped into my mind a little bit. Gee thanks Phil for this one. Paula

Mchapp's picture
Mchapp
Posts: 96
Joined: Jul 2009

Have cancer wasn’t something that was on my to-do list. It’s not something that I think I would have chosen. But if I had the opportunity, I don’t think I would go back and change it. I think it has made me a different person. I am stronger than I knew I was. I think I’m more compassionate. It’s given me a different outlook on life.

Cancer blows.. . . But like the old saying goes don't cry over spilled milk. I HAD cancer but now I am on the Road To Recovery! ! !

Cancer has taught me the irony of life, to think outside of myself and that there are many people from all backgrounds and all walks of life that are affected by cancer. Cancer has taught me that none of us are alone in the fight for life. Cancer has also taught me what it cannot do – it cannot kill the relationships with my family, or friendships we have. It cannot kill your hopes and dreams and passions.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Great post, even greater Avatar photo

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
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thready's picture
thready
Posts: 475
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Just a few weeks before I was diagnosed my husband was up set because I am always doing 40 things at once. He told me in very matter of fact turms to either pull it back or something was going to make me stop. Little did we know how right he was!

I am more anxious to get on with the things that are important to me. I hate to see my kids waste time, and I know now what is important and it is not all the things I was doing in the past.

I can actually say for the fist time in my life that I know what I want to do and how I want to live.

Has cancer been worth it-the jury is still out with that one. But I know no matter what made me face the facts of my life it would have changed me.

I have also learned how couragous people are especially those on this board, and I am truly humbled
Jan

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Beautiful Craig - simply beautiful. I love the line "No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I've been in" The words roll together nicely and off the tongue bittersweetly. I used to be in a hurry all the time. Now I try to be mindful of the moment that I am living in. Every moment has an infinite capacity for happiness. Thanks for sharing.
Roger

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Craig. What happened to your poem? Did you get censored? lol Bummer, I thought it was good.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
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There's no time to kill between the cradle and the grave
Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save
Legal tender's never gonna change the number on your days
The highest cost of livin's dyin', that's one everybody pays
So have it spent before you get the bill, there's no time to kill

If we'd known ten years ago today would be ten years from now
Would we spend tomorrow's yesterdays and make it last somehow
Or lead the cheers in someone else's game and never learn to play
And see the rules of thumb are all the same that measure every day
The grass is green on both sides of the hill, there's no time to kill

If we had an hour glass to watch each one go by
Or a bell to mark each one to pass, we'd see just how they fly
Would we escalate the value to be worth its weight in gold
Or would we never know the fortunes that we had 'til we grow old

No time to kill, even I've said it, and probably always will
But I can look ahead and see that time ain't standin' still
No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I've been in
And quit this work and worry lookin' back at where I've been
If you don't look ahead nobody will, there's no time to kill

-Craig

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

"Time Waits for No One".......

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

Reading all these post really makes me think. I really enjoyed reading everyones experiences or how they have dealt with this beast. I have really struggled with this subject, and I have to honestly say I am a bit ashamed of how I am feeling, maybe more confused I dont know. I have read so many stories and a few books, all of which led me to believe that once you got cancer, some big revelation was supposed to happen to you, some big wake up call that drastically changed your life. I feel like I missed that part, again I dont know if I am making any sense here.

Yes my life is different in that I am always scared and I have a harder time of hiding my feelings than I did before. I have always hid my feelings, always thinking of others before myself, it just made my life easier that way. I know its a cop out but that is how I live. I have always worked (many hours a day, law enforcement job) I found that work was so much easier than raising a child, keeping a household, or maintaining a relationship. Work was my hideaway, have you noticed I use the word HIDE alot???

I have always been grateful for being blessed to have had a child, having a job, being able to pay my bills, having food and having some really great friends. I have just always been a grateful person, a caring person, one that would do so much more for others than for myself. Which when I was DX'd, the WHY ME question hit me pretty hard.

My head is spinning, I am not even sure what I am saying makes any sense. My point is I feel like I am waiting for that wake up call feeling, the one that like so many of you have experienced and are now out there working out, eating right, stopped smoking, looking at life totally different....WHY DIDNT THAT HAPPEN TO ME????? I am left feeling scared, even more afraid than ever before, and alone.

I am in the HATE category, I HATE CANCER, I hate what it has done to my body, my mind and my family.

Now I am scared for writing this, because I dont want God to get mad at me or think I am not grateful to be alive. I have my scans on Monday and I am really like Freaked out, more so than I can express.

Well, I am thankful for this board and for all of you here. If I had to say one thing positive about having cancer it would be that it brought me here and I have had the pleasure of knowing and sharing parts of our lives with one another.

Thanks for letting me ramble, but most importantly thanks for all of you being there for me!

Thanks
Beth

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

And since God knows your thoughts, He won't be surprised by what you just typed! We are human, we have to allow ourselves to be less than perfect! I think the stupidest comment we all hear, and it just grates every time I hear it, although I always smile and thank the person offering it is the standard "You are so strong!". NO I'M NOT STRONG! I want this beast to be gone, and I want my old life back! Oh yea, that's not possible, and I am certainly still here, so I appear to be stronger than the beast, at least for now! I cry sometimes, but I don't think I've ever been angry about getting cancer. I feel sad for how this has changed my daughter's lives, how much security was wrenched from them at 16 and 19, and for all my loved ones, especially when they have to hold vigil while I recover, yet again, from a procedure or other. But I don't kid myself, WHY NOT ME? Who else would I wish such a situation on? (well, maybe my ex, but we won't go there ;) ) Life has it's ups and downs, and we all have our burdens to bear. All you have to do is look around to see that so MANY of us are suffering. At the same time, all you have to do is look around to see that so MANY of us are enjoying life DESPITE those burdens we carry! We just have to decide that we can let it win or we can decide, as Kimby always says, to enjoy life every.single.day. Remember to enjoy the tiny things, but also remember you are allowed to be mad, sad and whatever else you feel for WHATEVER reason; be it your cancer or the loss of a dear friend or anything else. Let the emotions out, just remember to reel them back in and pick yourself back up again. The rainbow ALWAYS comes after the storm.
mary

kimby's picture
kimby
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"You are so strong" Well, what choice do I have? You just have to keep going, right?

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Kimby

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

"I have read so many stories and a few books, all of which led me to believe that once you got cancer, some big revelation was supposed to happen to you, some big wake up call that drastically changed your life. I feel like I missed that part, again I dont know if I am making any sense here."

I wa trying to explain to my sister that I feel like I'm failing the "How Cancer changed My Life" course - that I haven't decided on the "BIG THING" I will do with my life to make the cancer meaningful and "worth it"....it's an odd wierd thought process

Peggy

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

While there are some positive things that came out of this experience for me, it certainly has not been like a Disney film with birds singing and flying round my head and everything smelling like roses. I've just stopped to smell the roses MORE and to notice the birds MORE. Yes, once in a while the birds drop a load on my head too. I remember one time right after my dx when I was driving into work the morning after a pretty good snowfall. The sun was starting to rise and the way it hit the snow on the trees made me stop my car and get out to look in awe at the beauty of the moment. To see what Mother Nature provides us with is amazing. Scenes like that will go on with me or without me.

There have been plenty of times when I've felt this is possibly the absolute worst thing in the world. The only thing I can think of that would be worse is if my kids had cancer instead of me. I've have numerous operations and almost all of them had me in the hospital for 2 weeks at least. I've had so many treatments of assorted chemo and I've thrown up everything I had eaten since the forth grade. It's caused fear in my wife and kids. Yet, while I've always known I'm going to die at some point, being so close to it and putting it off (at least from cancer for the time being) has given me new eyes to see things.

There have been quite a few religiously based replies to this question. I know that many do not believe God gave them cancer but there are also some people who believe God did give them cancer. Do you think that possibly God wanted you to see something positive from this?

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
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Always one of the biggest philosophical questions there is in the world, right Phil?

To quote you:" Do you think that possibly God wanted you to see something positive from this?"

Harley got me up early this morning, so now that I'm up, I'll throw in my opinion (good thread BTW).

As I get older, I'm not sure that we were given Cancer, rather I believe it boils down to the basics of chemistry and metabolism. We are living cells and when the programming goes awry, then cancer settles in and takes hold - our immunne system can either battle it off or not. I think this depends on many factors: Heredity, Genetics, Environment, and Lifestyle.

If the premise that God were to give Cancer to people on purpose, then there are two many mean and evil people, who are getting away with it. Murderes, rapists, child abusers, corporate embezzlers, spouse abusers and the list is endless...while we don't have their CT scans to review, if they had Cancer, they did not know it and certainly did not learn from it.

I look for no further evidence than my sister, Suzanne - 18, young and beautiful, with a brilliant mind and a wonderful heart and spirit. She believed in the Lord 100% and was a virgin, who was saving herself for her future husband "when she got married." Imagine that, a good old fashioned girl. She was the better half of us - if you like me, you would have loved her.

Anyway, she was about to graduate, and her prom 2 weeks away (her dress hanging in her closet) when she was brutally murdered and tortured by a 4X serial rapist. Her life, full of goodness, with a lifetime ahead of her of being a good person, snuffed out in a horrifying 2 day event.

My point here, is that God no more gave her death, than he gives us Cancer.

Things happen, because the world is a random, dangerous place at times. Look at the quakes in Haiti and Chile. Mother Nature nearly killed us in an F-3 tornado with 200 mph winds and we walked away.

Again, there are NO ABSOLUTES in this world, except that the "meter is running" and "you better have it spent before you get the bill."

Now, what I do believe, is that we are "challenged" at various points in our life - these trials and tribulations lay the groundwork for how we deal with adversity in our lives, how we respond to them, and how we work to overcome a bad or life threatening situation and make it better. This is the true test of a Human Being. How we handle these challenges totally rely upon each individual and what they can or cannot do.

For me, I have always chosen to fight - if I go down, I go down with the knowledge that Craig gave it all that he had - and all that he never knew that he had. That way, I can go to sleep at night.

Cancer is a mixed blessing - what has tried to kill me, ultimately changed my outlook on life and forced me to realize there are "others" out there besides myself - and for whatever reason my Cancer has been more about me worrying and trying to help others from what I've learned. Sort of a "cathartic experience for me, so that I'm not consumed in self - I learned that Cancer is an "Equal Opportunity Destroyer."

Anyone who watched my TV news clip, heard me say, "I never went into Denial - always straight to Anger. Sure, I'm pissed of what it did and tried to do...there were a real couple of times, when it looks like we were going to "turn off the lights" for ol' Craig. And honestly, that was scary...you think you are ready to die, but this is the bravado that you paint on, to get you mentally prepared in case this were the scenario.

On the other hand, Cancer taught me how to appreciate the simple things in life, and to not get too caught up in the BS that is all around us.

Cancer has helped form who I am today - and who I am today to each one of you on the board - whether I mean something to you or I do not - I will still be your friend and try to help you. I love the good side of humanity of people loving and helping each other.

So there you have it, Phil.

Man, you got me awake now! Take care, NY'er, Tex still loves ya'.

WTG again on your 6-years...Craig

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Again, I am so sorry for what happened to your sister. It is just so tragic.

I believe that cancer is caused by a combination of genetics, environment and lifestyle. Maybe throw a little good old fashioned bad luck in there too. I think it's that simple. Others do not. I don't know if I'm right or not, it's just what I believe. I was asking those who do believe that cancer is a God-given disease (and some believe it and they may be right) if there might have been something in it that God wanted them to see. A sort of bigger picture if you will.

I agree that there are no absolutes in this world except that birth is terminal. I've also noticed that I do not know of one person who does not have some sort of miserable thing happening in their lives be it something with their kids, or their own health issues, or financial issues. The list goes on and on but everyone seems to have a challenge. It's just part of being alive I believe, nothing more, nothing less.

"On the other hand, Cancer taught me how to appreciate the simple things in life, and to not get too caught up in the BS that is all around us."
Simple, to the point, and true Craig...

I know you guys had some snow earlier this year. Well, we do things BIG in NY too! We got 3 feet of it!
I'll have to post some photos in the expression page later.
I've got a ton of emails to answer!

You're a inspiration Craig! Love ya bro...
-phil

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

Craig - I echo your sentimetns - "Now, what I do believe, is that we are "challenged" at various points in our life - these trials and tribulations lay the groundwork for how we deal with adversity in our lives, how we respond to them, and how we work to overcome a bad or life threatening situation and make it better. This is the true test of a Human Being. How we handle these challenges totally rely upon each individual and what they can or cannot do. "

I don't believe God gave us cancer.

Craig and Phil - you are wonderful thought-provoking beautiful men- I think what you give us here is EXACTLY what you shoul be doing - it's a gift we all treasure...

So get your****** to Chicago so I can meet you!!!!!
Peggy

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Craig,
Your sister was obviously a lovely young woman. What a tragedy for her to be taken from all of you at such a young age and in such a terrible manner. I agree, God had nothing it all to do with her death. I also agree that God does not give people cancer or autism or epilepsy. God can help us and bless us with beautiful people and gifted doctors and help us find peace and courage.
Anyway, what I meant to say is that was very well written.
Take care friend.

Aloha,
Kathleen

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Those birds aren't supposed to fly around your head. When I stick my finger out they land and give me kisses. You need to try it!

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Kimby

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

That is exactly how I feel, its like I said almost embarrassing or makes me feel ashamed that I dont have this big story to tell or share about how cancer changed my life. I have a story about how it changed my life, but nothing good in that story.

Thanks for understanding, and for letting me know I am not as crazy as I thought I was.

If you figure it out please let me know and I will do the same for you..

*HUGS*
Beth

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

I certainly did not start the thread to make it seem that if everyone isn't "happy" about getting cancer there was something wrong with them. All things being equal I could have done without it.

It doesn't have to be an earth shattering moment, it can be as simple as noticing sunsets more or appreciating being alive more. Again, it doesn't even have to be anything. There are many things people on this site experience that I do not. That's what makes us unique, just like everyone else.

But I had this thought once:
"If it wasn't for cancer, I'd say I have the perfect life. If it wasn't for cancer, would I even realize this?"

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

I think for some it's too hard to see through the clouds to search for a rainbow. (Like that one? I thought of it myself). But I think they all have had there rainbow moments that they haven’t seen or noticed yet but it will come. I'm so lucky to be here RIGHT NOW for my kids!! OMG, I could be dead! Everyday is a gift and now I see it as what it is... A GIFT!! Hunter starts T Ball next week. Now how cool is that?

Life is funny sometimes
Brooks

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

What compassion, love, and hope you have for others!
thanks,
Aud

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you, great quote. SInce you put it that way, there are somethings that AI have changed, mostly because I had to, but for the good. I will continue to search, but keeping my eyes open in the meantime.

HUGS
beth

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

I never had that "big moment" either. It's just boring day to day stuff. It's those quiet, important conversations with my sons. It's the fun calls from my son in TX about a new girl he met, the text from my son in Columbus, OH about the new job he starts tomorrow, the planning for HS graduation with my youngest son. I'm a great-aunt again as of yesterday and she's beautiful!

I chase the sun from window to window. (I don't live in AZ anymore - hahaha)I nap with my 3 dogs. Simpy things make up those life-changing moments. Just start stringing them together.

For the record, I HATE cancer. I won't capitalize that word, ever. It doesn't deserve our respect. cancer isn't what gave me any of these blessings, really. It isn't a "gift". If I wouldn't wrap it up and give it to you for Christmas, it is no gift! I would return it if I could. I do think most chronic illnesses effect people profoundly. I would say that the uterine cancer (stage 2) that I had 7 years ago didn't effect me in the same way. I've been through a lot more now with no end in sight. stage IV sucks the big one, for sure!

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Kimby

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

I have been reading for the past few days and I appreciate everyone's words so much. My perspective is from the caregiver view. If I could take cancer away from Dick forever and take the fear of him getting it again away from everyone who loves him I would do it in a second.
That being said we have been blessed over and over again throughout this past year. So I would not say the past year has been all bad (that was the question). Many things have been incredible about the past year. The neighbors who have supported us by driving our kids and bringing us meals. Dick's friends who have flown in from all over the country to spend time with him and hang out. Our families who have been unbelievably loving with their time and generosity. Seeing Dick with clearer eyes on a more regular basis, I admire, respect and love him so much. Meeting all of you and feeling your support and love.

At the same time, we have experienced fear and sorrow like never before. Would I choose cancer for my husband.... NO WAY!!!! I want him to be cancer free and healthy. I want him to be around for decades.

Thanks for asking Phil. Good discussion.

Aloha,
Kathleen

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GOOFYLADIE
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

I had 3 boys ages, 10, 7 and 4 when I was diagnosed. I had been sick for
1 1/2 years. My medical bills were outrageous. I had to file bankruptcy after all my treatment was done. I was alive but we were broke. Now 12 years later, still on medicine for the rest of my life about $200 a month with insurance for just me and being off work for over a year. My great health which isn't always great since we still don't know when I get to go back to work. They say maybe July.It is looking like I may have to file bankruptcy again!!!! I know of no other way. My bills are way too high each month we go back wards. My boys all work. One full time the others part-time and all go to school full time. 2 in college , 1 in high school. I don't see anything except being SCREWED by the beast.
Goofyladie (Cass)

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I was also awaken to a new way to live.....'not to stress the small stuff', and believe me and I am sure all of you can agree, it is ALL small stuff compared to hearing those words..'you have cancer'.

I didn't realize until recently how good my life really is. Not that I was a whiny baby before but I always was searching for the bigger house, more kids, a better job and blah blah blah.... Well after coming face to face with the devil himself, I love my life and took alot for granted.

I felt extremly guilty for a few years because we were having trouble having another child. That put ALOT of stress on me because it was like everyone was having their second child and we were not getting anywhere. (Even though it was weird...my first happened very quickly...??) Now, I don't care if someone has 1 or 12 kids! My family of me and my daughter and my husband is perfect. And will stay perfect because I will stay healthy!

Not sure where I am going with this, just that I appreciate my life more now and the people in it. I have had to weed a few out...but they were taking too much valuable time anyway.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

You are so right, that has got to be one of the biggest benefit; facing the fact that some people are just drainers, and need to be weeded out of our lives! I had a few that were just too taxing and once I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no problem leaving them behind. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
mary

kkkelley1's picture
kkkelley1
Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2009

My name is Kim 5yr. First yr was completly oriented on my family. My kids were ,boy and girl 10, boy in 1st yr college 19,(when you look in your childs eyes, and you see the pain, the fear, the absolute emotion you pray you never see out of your kids) and a husband that is more amazing every day for his love and compassion. I would have kicked myself out a while ago. That 1st yr even first 2 yrs all the treatments and emotions and that will to fight for yourself not because you want to or even thought about if you want to. Then the leftovers that take your mental and physical fight. Then you wake up one day and its five yrs.
'HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT CANCER, HAS IT BEEN ALL BAD'?
I'd have to say no because I'm a fighter, I'm 50 yrs old and this is the first thing ever that has actually whipped my a__. It has taken so much from the dreams I had. I have wondered, if I had not been left with severe neuropathy that reminds me every day, would I feel more grateful or would my kids of suffered less. When I think that my mind will probably never be as sharp as it once was. My body will never be as strong as it once was. My feet and legs will never give me the simple pleasure of just being there without torment and pain, On those days NO I can't see that cancer has been anything but what it is.
BUT, on the days when I watched my twins start high school. When I saw my oldest graduate from college, when I look in my husbands eyes and see more love than even 5 yrs ago. On those days even if they seem rare at times those are the days I try hard to grab onto. Thats when I have to make myself realize that God has not taken away my dreams He has just made new dreams. Sometimes new dreams are more precious when you realize you almost were'nt able to have anymore dreams.
I'm trying hard to live and stay in the moment or day that still feels and sees HOPE and when I'm not in that day I'm trying to give myself permission to be there also. There is no big or small revelations when it comes to all of us with this THING its knowing we are all now living miracles trying to cope.
kim

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks

Life is funny sometimes
Brooks

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

What a brave, wonderful soul you are! And you've also helped me to stop feeling sorry for myself in this area when I read -- and I'll quote -- "Thats when I have to make myself realize that God has not taken away my dreams He has just made new dreams."
(I was having a good ol' pity party for myself, knowing it would be financially smarter to hold off seeing my granddaughters (they're in Germany) until I save up more money and pay some current, and potentially future, medical bills.)

Here's to New Dreams!
Aud

kkkelley1's picture
kkkelley1
Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2009

I know it's not all bad because all on my own I figured how to add this picture. For me folks this is huge. So see there is still some learning after cancer. Have a great day my new friends out there.
kim

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