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My most frequently asked question.....

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

"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

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

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's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

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's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Concerning attitude, I don't thing it cures by it self , but it allows you to continue alive!.
Good Weekend my dear Dutch !

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I agree with you!

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

Hugs, Kathi

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

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

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

l agree! hahahaha!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

This is what I thought....it's tough to offer support on a continuing basis when there is not a spirit of hope, not just negativity, even just occasionally a glimmer of fight....I still do offer it, but it's a challenge, to say the least...

Hugs, Kathi

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

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

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

For the link!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

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.

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

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

--Greg

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Hugs, Kathi

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

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's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

And, yes, sadly, I think many of us (me, for one...*smile*) would LOVE to be younger...

Hugs, Kathi

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

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

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

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

BIG hugs, Kathi

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

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

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

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

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

Winter Marie, you have read my mind.
Judy

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

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

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Thank you, Tara! Sometimes I write a book when a beautiful sentence such as yours does even better to express!

Hugs, Kathi

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

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's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

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

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

a a big walk today in the city and did lots of pics of Barcelona thinking in the CSN family, I will hang it tomorrow in my expressions take a look tomorrow !.
Hugs!

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

That's awesome, Kathi.

*hugs*
Gail

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I hear comments on attitude. I hear things like "you're doing so good because you have such a good attitude". I smile as I'm thinking to myself "did you see me when I was tearful receiving my chemo?" or "were you feeling my pain after resection or with me learning to change my iliostomy bag 4 times a day" or "was it my good attitude that got my weight down to 115 pounds" or "maybe it was my good attitude that made me cry when I had to pee after 5 weeks of radiation". Did I say any of this...no....I just smiled and said thank you I'm trying. Deep in my heart I know it's my family and friends that just showed up to mow my lawn, bring my kids burgers, or stop by with everyday neccesities like shampoo and paper towels....without asking. Or my daughter Tara who spent hours sitting and watching TV with me or just watching me sleep or shopping and cooking for me and her brother and sister.

Like you said Kathi....it was at times other peoples investment in me that I put one foot in front of the other.

Gail

Oh...the other thing I heard a lot of was "you look so good". I heard this even when I weighed 115 and looked sickly. lol....I just said thank you but I thought whatever you're full of crap. lol

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

....I hear..."You look too good to have gone thru everything you have!"

To which, ever the smart a$$, I reply with a big smile..."Would you like to see my medical charts? I actually have 3 volumns!"

Hugs, Kathi

Marianne313
Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

drugs can help you have a good attitude. When I first learned my aunt had stage 4 all I did was cry and then cry some more. I wanted to be there for her but didn't want her to see me unhappy. I made an appt. and told my Dr. you need to give me something so I don't cry all the time. (I think it's depression medicine though I don't think I'm depressed, but, it does keep me from crying when I am with her during all the Dr. appts).

Maybe folks say "it's your upbeat attitude" because they think by saying that it will help you maintain a positive attitude. Most people don't know how to deal well with such sad news and maybe they're just amazed that you have (anyone with cancer has) a good attitude. It is impressive :).

I read so many posts here and everyone just amazes me with their will, strength, determination and knowledge and yes---let's not forget their upbeat attitudes ;-). (I'm totally serious though). You guys (and gals) ROCK!

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

the upbeat attitudes are wonderful, i deliberately sourround myself with positive upbeat people, i don't have the luxury to let downbeat depressed people get me down. many on this board are positive, in fact the word is inspirational. they all love and live well.

attitude is so broad, but i wanted to add this story to this discussion. my friend with crc stage3 as well on chemo now believes he will die, his onc gave him 30-65% odds of surviving. its just his view and its his life and body and i respect freedom to feel and have his belief. I on the other hand have firm faith i will live well and beat the crc, not wishy washy faith.

two completely different attitudes. i make no apologies that i hope my faith helps me. and at the same time i have compassion for those who believe they will die from crc. if you don't program your subconsious mind how can it help you, in fact if you must get all negative thoughts out of our mind.

hugs,
pete

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