Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Nicole_admin on Sep 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Often times, a life-threatening illness can leave you with a different outlook or perspective. Since being diagnosed with cancer, or caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed, what have you learned? What has cancer taught you about yourself, others and how you live your life?
 
16d686a6da1a0566768cc14fc19537c1-huge-le


Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by iarstacy on Sep 24, 2014 3:17 am

My mother was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and through this journey I have learned to live by the serenity prayer. I have learned the following
Money and financial success is not important
To appreciate each day like it could be my last
To put away my fancy dishware and use my grandmas
To appreciate the beauty in nature 
To take time for myself
To see beauty and positivity in everything
To forgive
To be kinder to all
To be more giving and generous
To start doing things I always said I would do and do them
To smile at others
To say hello to others
To be thankful for everything
To look at every negative as having a positive 
To get my rest
To not react to harshness with harshness
To dance in the aisles at concerts when others are sitting down
To jump in a bouncy castle at my nieces birthday party
And most importantly to live life to its fullest

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by darlin on Oct 26, 2014 12:54 am

I'm still in the grieving stage knowing my life has been changed forever. But I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. Nothing else matters. I also have learned that I am so loved by Many!!!!! So many people are rooting for me. I have learned that I am a good person and people love me for that. When I get better I plan to reach out and give back. I am learning to take help when offered and it's ok to not always be ok or be tough. I am learning to rest. I am getting to know the new me. I am learning that it's harder than I expected but I will win!! I am learning to open up and share. No one deserves to do this alone. I am learning to feel lucky. I have the best husband in the world. I also know that I have a long way to go and that it won't be easy but I have so much to fight for!

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Wanderful on Nov 13, 2014 1:21 am

All of those things written by Darlin and irstacy are so true. But.. Since I was diagnosed in April of 2014, I think my outward mental appearance is quite different than the inner one. I can be brave and upbeat on the outside, while on the inside I'm not quite sure who I am anymore. I know I am not the same person I was in March but how do I find myself in this mess. Cancer has taught me that I have many supporters, but I struggle with trying to not be the center of attention. 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by FrannyVolunteer on Dec 3, 2014 10:35 am


I really think that we all have that feeling.For some it is because the cancer effects are visible others because they are not. I think one is as hard as the other. In my case no one beleived that I had Malignant Melanoma and was on treatment. Inside I felt miserable but for some strange reason I looked  well I even glowed. I think it was the effect of the interferon, but who knowes for sure..What learned is that life is sweet, the spring flowers and trees a so much more beautiful after Cancer.And I have 6 grand children which I would not have had if I had given in. And that I really do have  an inner strenght that if I had been told, I would never have beleived.  But there you go THE POWER OF POSITIVE THOUGHT WILL GET YOU THREW THE WORST, IN THE BEST WAY FOR YOU.  (Not always what you want). But all you can do is try......
F.J.Seguin

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by PaulP on Dec 4, 2014 1:19 am

My whole story is a weird one. 
It started by getting lost in the mountains at minus12 and sitting on a snowbank for 14 hours with drenched clothing and not knowing if I would see the next day. It was an excellent occasion to realize that I was not afraid of dying. Of course I did everything to ge out to safety as soon as I saw daylight. An helicopter picked me when I was 200 meters from 3 summer cottages.
Because of that experience I had to see my family doctor. A routine blood test revealed that my PSA was at 300 (anything above 10 has to be checked). A few days later a bone scan lit up like a Xmas tree.
Then the biggest fight was to try to receive some treatments. It took five weeks before I could finally see an Oncologist.
By then my PSA was at 560 . The velocity, the speed at which the PSA increases is also an important marker. Doubling of PSA in a year or two is not good news.
What did I learn:
I still consider myself an extremely lucky man. We can't always have the winning number. Of course I have heavily metastasized (30+ metastases) prostate cancer. However I have been so lucky for so many things. Even the way that my prostate cancer is treating me so far is a lucky event.
I had never realized how lucky I had been all my life. And I am still very lucky. One of my best luck (I was afraid that I was so lucky in this one that it might have used up all my luck) is my life companion.
I learned to appreciate the luck that I had so far and that I keep having.
I learned that each person has to take control of their illness. Keep informed. Demand to be informed. Do not chase for every possible rainbow but we pro active in your cancer experience.
The rest has been very well mentioned on many posts.
Ready for some cancer humor? 
I met a Fairy that offered me one whish. Being on Androdogen Deprivation Therapy for nine monts (chemical castration) I wished that my genital organs would be proportionate to my body. See the attached picture
PaulP
97d08ddb397dcb4970b3216214ccb38b-huge-20

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Bradford on Dec 4, 2014 9:02 pm

When I was first diagnosed 4(?) years ago, I was a mess for about 2 weeks. When I wasn't having a breakdown, my partner would*lol* Thank god we never had it at the same time *lol* I realized I must be getting better with the thought of it when I started  to be more upset about possibly not returning to teach in September and stopped thinking so much about the cancer. Last July, when I was told that I would require chemo, I was once again a mess, but bounced back much more quickly......found out in the a.m. and was laughing by the pm :) Throughout my entire journey with this stupid disease, the one thing I've realized about myself is that I am a hell of a lot more resilient than I ever realized. Stressing over it would not get rid of it, crying would not shrink it, so I decided to start laughing at it. I would make jokes that would make folks laugh and then look shocked as they apologized. I told them, it's my joke so laugh! Does my positive attitude cure me? Not a chance. Does it help me cope? Most definitely! I cry when I have to, but in the end, I focus on the good in my life, the loved ones there to support me, and try to spread joy to others.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by rosetta03 on Dec 5, 2014 11:02 am

Hi Bradford,
i was diagnosed with NHL. 3 months ago and I'm scared out of my mind.
i try to stay positive but at times it's hard and the waterworks start.
i have a great support team in my family and friends and they put up
with my crankiness and highs and lows and I'm greatful for all their caring
and support God knows I'm sure sometimes they just want to run LOL.
i have my second round next week a total of six rounds, I'm losing my hair
but I had a girls night out which I showcased my new and improved hair
had a great laugh with my friends out of this and I have to say it's the best 
hairstyle I've had in years. Yes, laughter does make a difference  and my
friends crack me up but they also have no problem telling me to suck it up and 
don't give up the fight when I'm at my lowest and believe it or not it works!



Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Zeanna on Dec 5, 2014 7:41 pm

I've learned a lot of things since I was told the news that I had stage 4 Squamous cell carcinoma and I cried hard when, after all the pre-testing was done, I was told that 4 years was my number statistically - It's been 5 now, gratefully.

I'm a fan of one of Henry Ford's quotes which says -
"Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't - you are right".
I'd like to add to that.
No matter what you choose to do or not do, it's your life and your right to do what is right for you and you should have that conversation with yourself about what you are prepared to do, or not to do. But keep listening, educating yourself and keep on choosing and don't let your last choice hinder that.
You get to change your mind anytime. It's yours to change.
Without the many small acts of kindness from others, I would not have been as positive about some things on some days.
Let people off the hook when you feel needy. They may not know how to help you, and they have a life going on too. Expectations generally fail you.
It's okay to feel bad and not be strong all the time. Nothing stays the same and you will feel better. Sometimes venting your built up emotions with a short crying session or journaling will help you face the next step.
Remember to breathe and love yourself enough to care about you, especially when you feel no one is there for you. Be there for you. I struggled with that myself.
Yes, I'm changed and modified from my experiences with cancer. I can't do what I once did in many areas, but I can do modified versions of it and I can do new things which also excite me and inspire my soul.
Find your own voice in all of this because that is where your truth is. My truth is my compass and even if no one agrees with it, it only fails to guide and support me when I ignore it.
Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself. Love does heal what needs healing.

 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by HangingIn on Dec 5, 2014 9:46 pm

Very funny PaulP !!

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Owlcare on Dec 8, 2014 8:43 pm

My husband lived with stage IV cancer for 8 years.  He left us on September 21, 2013.  What this illness and trial has taught me is so rich.

It has taught me that:

It's the little things that make a difference
We are not alone in this
How to recognize 'genuine' people
How to laugh at oneself - laughter becomes such a rare commodity at times
How to function on 'robot' mode as a caregiver
Learn to accept help 
Learn that sometimes you cannot control everything
People want to help but don't know how - no one reads your mind
The value of comfortable silence
Appreciation of what a beautiful world we have and how lucky to be Canadians
One is not born a caregiver, we need to learn how to become a good one
Focus on each moment, whether good or bad
Being positive isn't a cure-all.  We are allowed crappy days too.
How to stand up for ourselves
Things have to change for caregivers , we come in all shapes, types, age
We will all be either caregivers or caregiven , sometimes both, in our lifetime

and that there is a lot of good people out there



Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by northernguy on Jan 22, 2015 5:33 pm


I have learned from Cancer
- Life is too short to sweat the small stuff
- I am still me just a little more real
- Find your real friends and let the rest wander aimlessly
- I enjoy everyday more and don't rush around anymore
- I love my wife more now than ever before for being my best friend

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lost on Feb 9, 2015 10:47 am

So far, I have learned that I have never been more angry, more scared, more sad, at times more weak, more strong than at this moment and the moment 3 weeks ago when I first was told that I had cancer. I have learned that in many instances I have to be my own best advocate. I am like the connect-a-dot puzzle book for all the Dr.s now treating me. If I don't hold the pencil the dots do not get connected. What I hope to learn going forward, I'm not really sure. Even if I learn that the old saying, "everything happens for a reason" is true.....at least that is a start.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Shenpa on Dec 21, 2015 9:27 am

Cancer brought a fear of a new sort into my life. I decided at the beginning that my treatment would be successful and I would recover and I have. What I did not realize was how the treatment side effects would change me and I am hopeful they will not be permanent. I have a deeper love for my husband, daugther, son, some family and friends because of their response and depth of love and caring. I am more patient than I have ever been and I am learning to meditate and be more present in every moment. My husband and I are thinking about a different future, a simpler life and more time together, although we have always designed our lives to spend a good deal of time together, it is now more important than ever before. I would like to travel more, our lives have been focused around investing in our property and working together, I am not sure I will be able to return to the same level of work and I am not sure that I want to anyway. I just finished watching this TedTalk, What fear can teach us,  http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_thompson_walker_what_fear_can_teach_us?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=humanities#t-544521 . Much of what was said resonated with me, we all have fears and it takes some courage to step back and assess the risks without foucsing on worst case scenerio. This is what I am trying to do planning my future, I am looking at what is best for me and my husband and trying to determine what will help us create the life we want and ensure our health and longevity. All the best to everyone dealing with their fears and looking for so much more than worst case scenerio.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Deb G. on Jan 12, 2016 10:14 am

My husband was diagnosed 6 months ago with stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma. He has completed 6 rounds of chemo, and just got out of the hospital after having a stem cell transplant. The long term prognosis isn't great, and I struggle with that. My life is not going to be like I thought it was. I have learned that it is OK to accept help from people. It isn't a weakness, it is people showing their love for you and your family. I have learned the importance of being flexible, which I think is important for the kids to see as well (we have 3 teenagers). We haven't been able to make any plans for 6 months, because it all depended on how my husband was feeling. He was in the hospital over Christmas and our youngest daughter's birthday, so we had to celebrate differently this year. I thank God that he felt well enough to celebrate. Our family and friends were amazing. Although I have learned these things, I still have alot more bad days than good ones. All of these posts are very inspiring, and want to thank you all for sharing. I feel better after reading them, and I know I can get to a better place emotionally.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lonely lady on Jan 20, 2016 11:22 am

Cancer has taught me that people are more fake than I realized.
Having cancer sucks but it's the after cancer that is worse because i have to deal with the 'chemo brain', depression, always being tired (if I feel I'm over tired, I don't drive because I may fall asleep at the wheel), everyday excruciating body pains and the expectation that I am back to my old self.
I had hoped this would have brought my husband and I closer together but I have realized recently that he never got it and never will.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Deb G. on Jan 20, 2016 5:49 pm

I'm really sorry to hear of the struggles you're having. People don't seem to realize that life isn't back to 'normal' once the treatment is done. I like to think the best of people, and hope that they just don't know what you're experiencing, or what your needs are. On a smaller scale I can relate, because now that my husband is home from the hospital, there seems to be an expectation that I'm back to myself again, but I think it's going to take a while. Maybe your husband is struggling with how to deal with new realities as well. Perhaps he doesn't recognize or know how to express issues he may be having. I pray that the two of you can connect and get to a good place, and that you have support of friends as well.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by lachine on Feb 2, 2016 4:40 pm

Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by lachine on Feb 2, 2016 5:26 pm

I meant to add I totally feel what lost wrote. Cancer is teaching me am grieving as are my family for what's lost.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by blessed on Feb 16, 2016 12:41 pm

Cancer has taught me and given me the time and space to take care of myself-as a wife daughter mother teacher i spent my whole life in the service of others-and i loved it-and when the cancer came i knew immediately that the journey was mine and mine alone-i do believe in a god and when i got still after treatments i could "hear" the voice that said i was "ok". And "ok" was when i was in pain, nausea or any others discomfort too-the experience was mine-no one could understand and i did not expect them too-so i gave up on having expectations about people-i simply did not have the strength and that was and is now liberating-to be living a life that is mine and not driven by the whims, needs ,moods etc of others-maybe it's hard for you to understand this but i have become a whole new person and why not? my world was shattered-twice-two cancers in less than two years-so i just setteld in for the ride-love to all-blessed

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by prostectomized on Feb 24, 2016 7:22 pm

This cancer experience is making me listen to music much more carefully.  From Sting's ''Fragile'' to ''Rainbow Connection'' sung by Kermit the Frog to Miles Davis ''Round Midnight''.  It all has jumped up into sharp focus realizing there will be a definite end to the life journey.  Does anyone else have any music that is brings up emotions for them that reflects with intensity what their life is about?  I'd like to hear about it.
Joni M's ''Both Sides Now'' does it for me.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by jessie on Feb 24, 2016 8:17 pm

Cancer taught me about miracles. 2001 when I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia). By that time, I don't know what to do except that I prayed very hard to GOD to spare me and give me some form of miracle since my kids were still  very young and nobody will look for them. 2002 when I got my Bone Marrow transplant. After 6 months of the transplant, I got a GVHD (Graft vs. Host disease) meaning that the new bone marrow attack my old bone marrow and killed them all. I nearly died on this complication but I survived. The doctor told me that the percentage of the patients that can survive this complications is only bout 1-2 % and the good repercussion for this is the cancer will not come back anymore since all the old bone marrow, including any cancer cells were already killed. Now, I'm already 58 years old and celebrating my 14 years as a survivor. That is a miracle. God is great. 

Jessie

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Garden Girl on Mar 16, 2016 1:03 pm

I have recently been diagnosis with a cancer tumor locaed on my pancreas. This was a totol shock. I am young, healthy never saw it coming. I have learned that life is precious. I need to live outloud and appreciate everything. I will not take another day for granted.
 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Beaver on Mar 16, 2016 4:16 pm

Ignore the negative and count your blessings. Don't sweat the little things.  When you go to the cancer center look around and you will see that most are very positive - join the group. I received and am receiving excellent care and realized that there was so much to be gained by volunteering and giving back some of what I received.  Strange as it may sound I often say "Thank you God for changing my life".

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by naturelover on Apr 21, 2016 11:53 pm

Wow…..I have learnt so much from my experience with cancer……
  • Change is always occurring and unpredictable.
  • I am much stronger than I thought I was.
  • Self love is the most important type of love
  • Acceptance of this present moment is important
Cancer changed my life completely as I am no longer the man I was. Some say ….be thankful because of what cancer taught you……my feeling is that I would rather of remained ignorant as I wouldn’t wish cancer on my worst enemy. I suppose I still have a lot to learn…lol.