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Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by naturelover on Aug 19, 2016 10:49 pm

I too have learnt so much from my experience with cancer…….things like the importance of self love and acceptance……patience and living one day at a time………..appreciation and risk taking. My biggest lesson was to not take anything for granted………..as there is no time like the present………thank you for this opportunity to share.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Aug 21, 2016 11:09 am

Hey Naturelover,
You're absolutely right!....I feel the same way. I definitely look at the world in a new way!

Lacey :)

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Javier on Aug 22, 2016 2:37 pm

I was diagnosed with cancer on March of 2016. I say that I believe in prayer and in the love and mercy of God. Reading a book in Spanish about how to be successful in life, I met with some powerful sentences, that I created a prayer of them.
The prayer is: “God knows everything. Nothing happens if He does not allow it. If he has allowed it, He knows why. He could not let it happen. If He has allowed means He has a plan for me. He loves us and does all things for our good. He loves us and does nothing for our evil.” Really I do not know if my translation from Spanish is good. Here is in Spanish, “Dios todo lo sabe. Nada sucede sin que Él lo permita. Si lo ha permitido por algo será. Él podría no haber permitido que sucediera. Si lo ha permitido debe ser que tiene también un plan en nuestro favor. El nos ama y todo lo hace para nuestro bien. Él nos ama y no hace nada para nuestro mal.”
This prayer has helped me to be in great peace and take advantages of all the help for cancer people that exist in this great country we live Canada. Reading a book I learned that cancer is meaning of love. This happens to you to change the way you are living. You have to do each day the things that give you peace and happiness.
I also read about how to practice relaxation, imagination and praying to live each day the best day of your life. The stress applying these techniques will be decreased almost to zero.  Stress is nothing good with sickness and especially with cancer.
Take advantage of all this treasure that exist in Canada and you will be happy and enjoying your life every day. 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by vanbcman on Oct 24, 2016 10:16 pm

I always was a spiritual person and I know everyone I have ever know that has passed is waiting on the otherside. But what I did experience learn during my diagnosis and treatment is that Angels exist.

The day of my initial scan I was waiting in the prep room looking at a picture of a waterfall. In the waterfall I saw a girt holding a basket. Nobody else could see her. After my treatments during my follow up scan I went to the same room but this time I could not see the girl anymore. She was gone. I didn't need her help anymore is what I thought.

Also during the deepths of chemo in my hospital bed I saw my cat which had passed away run past my bed!

So I just want everyone to know if you see things during your treatment it is OK. It doesn't mean you are dying or crazy :)

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Dave_admin on Oct 25, 2016 2:01 pm

Javier and vanbcman thank you for having the courage to share. Someone very close to me once said that prayer is just as good for us as it is for the one's we pray for. Having that inner dialogue with your faith is really important.

It's really nice to hear that you've found some comfort in your faith and that you're finding ways to remain centred. 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by vanbcman on Oct 25, 2016 9:04 pm

I have no designated faith but I am a spritual person. Sorry to here of you wifes passing.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 29, 2017 12:56 am

Oh my what a good question.  What has cancer taught me? Well, first of all I am still grieving the loss of my dear mom in March and my mother-in-law last Jan.  Finding out I have cancer was a real surpirse.  One thing its taught me though is not to take anythng for granted.  Appreciate every day and be thankful we have a good medical system here in Canada and can get the help we need.  It's also helped me put things in perspecive.  I've also learned I have to be patient with myself and just take it one step at a time.  I always like to "just get things over with" but I am glad my surgeon is very thourough and is putting me through all the necessary tests.   It's been a real learning curve.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by mchesher on Jan 30, 2017 10:41 am

I could pretty much just say what scaredysquirrel just posted.  Very well said!
- not taking things for granted - 100%!  "Every day above ground is a great day" - not my quote but I try my best to live it
- keeping things in perspective - also 100%.  I find very few things really rattle me anymore given that my initial first though is to be happy to be here just to experience it at all - weird I guess but I can live with the logic
these are my 2 biggest "learnings" from this "experience" - I rarely if ever use that nasty C word :)

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by dino on Mar 7, 2017 4:35 pm

Cancer taught me that life can be cruel and life can be kind. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in October, 2015. Had resection surgery, then radiation. Last spring during my radiation treatments, my brother in law started experiencing the same sort of issues. He was diagnosed with the same colon cancer a short time later. We took our treatments in the same cancer clinic. For a few months late spring into summer 2016, I would occasionally sit with him during his chemo and he would sit with me from time to time during my chemo. My treatment regimen appeared to be working as planned. His not so much. They tried a new chemo drug, still no positive change. They put him in palliative care, then transferred him to a hospice home where he passed four days later. So unfair. I would have traded him spots in a heartbeat if I could. Why did my treatment work and not his? We will celebrate his life in the next few days. I have attended many funerals over the years. This is going to be the toughest by far. We were brother in law's yes, but had also become good friends too. Gonna miss that guy. :-(  

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Roll-On on Mar 10, 2017 5:51 pm

Hi Dino,
So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-in-law and dear friend. We sometimes focus on the why or why him not me. Almost like survivors guilt. The key is to treasure the time you spent together supporting each other and it sounds like you both did that very well. He was fortunate to have yor friendship and support.

Roll On

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Kolombe on Mar 10, 2017 7:50 pm

So many heartbreaking moments, and so many great lessons learned. I don't know that I would say cancer has taught me much so far other than you just do what you have to do. I think I already knew that. I do go to bed each night and wake every morning with thanks to God for the health I do have and for the support and treatments I have access to. I guess I also learned that more people at work actually care about me than I knew before.

dino‍ I'm sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's death. Nothing about cancer seems to be fair does it? I am sure he benefitted greatly from your experience as his diagnosis and treatments began and it sounds like you were able to spend some quality time with each other along the way.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Mar 10, 2017 8:00 pm

I have to add a little more to my previous post about things cancer has taught me.  I went out for a couple of errands today on my own.  I felt a little like "the old me" and little like "the new me" at the same time.  As I've made this journey, I think I have grown in other ways.  I think I've become more aware of what others are going through.  Not that I was oblivious to the suffering of other people in my pre cancer days, but I feel more empathy now for people who are less fortunate than me, people in wheel chairs, or some other mobility and health issues.  I also didn't feel in such a hurry to get where I was going and back home again.  I took my time, rested when needed and felt thankful for a small measure of good health.  Even driving my car again was a great feeling.  I was a little nervous as I made my way down the street, because my husband was not with me and I walked a little further than I've been going lately, but I made it!  It felt like a major accomplishment strange as that sounds.  I picked up a book at the library called "The Intelligent Patient Guide of Breast Cancer" that a friend of mine (breast cancer survivor) recommended to me.  I'm just reading it now.  It's very good.  I keep thinking "had I kown then, what I know now" maybe things would be different.  I guess the main thngs cancer has taught me:

I am not on this journey alone
I am stronger than I think
I have more empathy for others
I am thankful for each day and even a small measure of good health
What I thought was important before is not really now
I have a wonderful, loving husband who is standing courageously beside me
I also am blessed with friends and family who are sticking by me and encouraging me
Having a sense of humour can help even on a bad day
Connecting here with others who understand what I am going though is a great aid

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Mar 10, 2017 9:16 pm

Dino - I'm so sorry for your loss. When was the funeral? How are you holding up? Thinking of you, Lacey

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Beaver on Mar 10, 2017 9:47 pm

I think this story from a nurse turned patient is worth reading by spouses, family members and friends of patients.  It might just teach them about cancer from our point of view.



Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Roll-On on Mar 11, 2017 2:30 pm

Hi Beaver,
wow, read the nurse/patient letter..... thanks for sharing that... not sure if I can share it with my family.... We lost my mother and sister both to cancer in the last ten years... not sure how they would react to it... For me awesome perspective..... Thanks again.
Roll On

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by sundog on Mar 12, 2017 9:58 pm

As someone who frets about everything I have learned from cancer that when there is crap at work it doesn't matter near as much as it did before. It will pass, or not - nothing I can do will change it. 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by hkjudy on Jul 29, 2017 10:12 pm

Just found this thread.   All of your words ring true to me.  Cancer has taught me to live one day at a time and to truly treasure every moment.  

It has also taught me how much love surrounds me.  I found friends to be incredibly supportive and acquaintances came out of the woodwork with some form of support (whether a quilt to keep warm, free reiki sessions, drives to the hospital, or flowers and cards) - everyone was wonderful. 

We just had a "celebration" to thank them (now that my treatments are over) and it was a wonderful party.  Interestingly....an acquaintance who was there talked to me this morning and said that many in the neighbourhood are talkng about how great it was to celebrate life - not a life lost.  
Judy (Nanoose Bay, BC)

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by MommaBear on Jul 30, 2017 4:19 pm

Gripping topic!  I found myself nodding and/or tearing up reading them. 

Javier‍, I'm with you on accepting/trusting in God's mercy and compassion, that's for sure and have to keep reminding myself of His great power, grace and love for all of us. 

sundog‍, yeah, I am with you on not sweating the small stuff at work when I return!  I'd even welcome a golden handshake, as they sweat over minutiae...boring...what do you expect of a bunch of lawyers...LOL!

I found myself thinking of the book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" (by Robert Fulghum) and thinking that I never learned until now how very precious relationships are, how very fragile life is, and how even our seemingly most insignificant thoughts and choices orient us to different paths.  I have become more consciously aware of the influence of my emotions and subconscious mind on my consciousness and conscience, specifically, how anger and frustration can physiologically alter our body chemistry.  I wish I had learned all this in kindergarten!  Well, never too late, as the saying goes.  Hopefully! wink
- MommaBear

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by sundog on Aug 1, 2017 4:20 pm

Momma Bear‍ I am still working on not sweating the small stuff at work. Some days I can do it, some days I just want to pull my hair out - but I won't cause it's new and curly and soft. 

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Aug 1, 2017 4:55 pm

crying LOL sundog‍ 

It sounds beautiful please don't pull it out!

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by cc74 on Aug 11, 2017 1:32 am

Well I have learned alot. I finished chemo almost 3 years ago. I have learned that it is okay to grieve. I wouldn't allow myself to for so long because I thought I was supposed to be grateful that I get to live. The difficulty of overcoming chemo has surpassed any of my expectations and I'm doing it as a single mom. I am constantly reminded of my physical limitations. I find it really hard... And it took me a long time to be able to realize that is okay to grieve. I am grateful for my treatment but it is important to deal with the disappointment too.

Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Aug 11, 2017 9:27 am


Great to hear from you. You bring up a great point sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grieve, be angry, and have down days. Those days are all part of getting to the other side.

I can't imagine being a single mom and going through cancer treatment. How old are your kids? Did you have help from anyone?


Re: Let's discuss things cancer taught you

Posted by cancertakesflight on Nov 4, 2017 9:15 pm

There are many excellent learnings throughout this post. I agree with them all. I didn't realize this post was here or I would have 'borrowed' some of your ideas to include in my blog post. 

"Having breast cancer is really a learning experience. You’re not limited to learning lots of medical information. You learn about life in general and about your relationships. You learn a lot about yourself and how you react to a stressful situation.
Before I had cancer I never…
  • Thought that I would get cancer in the first place.
  • Knew there were so many more signs of breast cancer than a lump.
  • Fully appreciated what other people with cancer were going through.
  • Realized that cancer is a family disease because its impact goes well beyond the patient.
  • Knew that I could be so emotionally strong.
  • Understood that a positive attitude is essential, but so is letting out and dealing with emotions as they surface.  
  • Believed that losing my hair and wearing a wig could get me more compliments than my real hair."

Here is the link if you are interested in reading the rest of my blog post.
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog