A friend's remark, "sometimes all you can control in life is how you respond", keeps returning to me. Acceptance has been a big part of the last year, accepting the diagnosis, the changes cancer has brought to my life and family, asking for help, loss of breasts, ongoing treatement side effects that may always be with me. I choose to remain positive and to look for opportunity in the midst of the disappointment. The bravest person I know, a friend with schizophrenia, tells me he chooses to be positive because he does not want to dwell in negativity, it would be a waste of the life he has been given.
Sadly there are far more things people said/say to me that irritated me than helped me. I think that is a common occurance amongst us cancer "people". (See I don't even know what to call us!)
But let me see.... What helped? These are some things that have been said to me that actually cheered me.
-You did what you had to do for yourself & your children
-you're definitely not alone
-if you want me to take the kids for the day while you rest/ recover from surgery/whatever
-I'm so amazed. You went through treatment and you just keep going on and bouncing back.
-You deserve breaks, whatever you need to do for yourself!
-You've been through a lot and you inspire me
Words really do have power. Words that have helped me have included: "Let me know if there's anything you need." and "It'll be okay"
Actions have power as well. The small kindnesses shown have included things like someone getting the door for me to someone holding me in a warm embrace without needing to speak while I cried. I feel so loved when I feel grateful.
Love, both in words and in actions is often the silent knowing that someone cares and is there however they can be; that your silliness is intact and you can still share a giggle or a belly laugh - and the truth bides the time between with that connection.
Strength comes from much of that and it helps remind me to look for my normal place of being and leave some room for a new normal.
It's ironic that some of the things that people have listed as comforting were words that drove me crazy. I have seen other lists of phrases that drove people crazy and some of them I agreed with and others I thought were totally acceptable. It seems like cancer isn't the only thing that is unique.
I hated when people assumed that they knew what I was feeling and then commented accordingly. I hated when people tried to console me when I didn't need consoling. For me, the phrase "If you are okay then I am okay" made the biggest impact on me. It made me feel powerful. It helped me to recognize the power I had to impact how people felt around me. Instead of hoping that people would help me, I liked to be the one to help those around me. Personally, focusing on other people helped to take my focus off me.
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog
you are strong
I admire you
You are a inspirations
Love your sense of humor
Cancer is not a death sentence
I beat lung cancer for 7 years & going strong
We are here for you.
Vent if you need too
Get rid of negative people
Never give up
Your a fighter
lots more cannot think of them right now