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Human Resilience
CentralAB
1024 Posts
I recently read of a woman who wrote a book called How Cancer Healed Me. After reading about that it occurred to me that perhaps there might be a place on this forum to focus on that somehow. For both cancer patients and their caregivers, this seems to me to be an essential area to focus on. I thought I would share thoughts, quotes and a few pictures to help sharpen our focus on whats important. After losing my wife in April; what I will post here will reflect some of whats been keeping my head above water so to speak. I hope people will find some encouragement in this.

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“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.”
― Elizabeth Edwards

I have been amazed lately at how true all this has been in my own life.
93 Replies
Brighty
7042 Posts
Very thought provoking  as always CentralAB‍ .    Most humans will show resiliance in some form or another.        Yours has really amazed me.  I think  it partly has to do with personaliy , inner strength,  willpower, self diciplane...all of which you have .    Some people s hardships brings out their inner strength and they use the challenge to better themselves.    If we didn't have  challenges we would never learn anything.     I think also to be reliant,  you have to have purpose in your life, or meaning.   Sometimes your job gives you purpose, a hobby, perhaps religion.    Something to fall back on when tragety strikes.    After Dan went , my purpose  was Vinnie was my job.    Now I have no job due to covid so I have to find a new purpose.    We need purpose to function.      I'm so glad that you were able to find such a beautiful  home in Jasper and you are finding some joy in life.    This shows resiliance on your part, you are able to be adaptable , and stronger after everything  you have gone  through.     You deserve all the happiness  in the world.  You have all the character traits I truly admire.    
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Brighty‍ As far as I can see, you turn your pain & grief into caring & compassion for others.

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Rayline
275 Posts
CentralAB‍ thank you for your beautiful photos!
CentralAB
1024 Posts
As I experience the people on this forum; I am continually amazed at the resilience that shows through. Many here have been an inspiration to me in my own caregiving, and grief journey. The journey, for me is filled with winding roads and dark valleys; yet light in every cloud. As I stood last night, looking out over this mountain and the mighty Athabasca River, coming down from the mountain glaciers, (Columbia Icefields), tirelessly carving it's path through the wilderness, its hard for me to think of anything more powerful; except, perhaps, human resilience.

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SpeedyStill
570 Posts
CentralAB‍ 
It is so true that we learn a lot about life with every challenge we face. I know that I have learned a lot and am still learning about the dynamics of life itself.
We grow as human beings and are able to see and understand some of the difficuties that other people are faced with in their life.
I know that when I comment in the this Community it is not from book knowledge but personal experience.
We become or at least I have become more empathtic.
Human resilience is seen when people survive the cruelest of situations. 
Resilience is harder the older you get but it can happen with the right support and the inner will to survive.
Your pictures are always amazing and remind us of the beauty that surrounds us.
Keep your pictures and your posts coming they are an inspiration for me and I am sure for other people.
Thank you for sharing
Speedystill 
CentralAB
1024 Posts
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One of the dictionary definitions for "excellence" is taken from Word Web dictionary, and reads as: "An outstanding feature; something in which something or someone excels," and it seems to me I see a lot of this excellence here on Cancer Connection forum. The resilience of people in adversity is everywhere here.
 
CentralAB
1024 Posts
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Einstein also said:

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

This is the true definition of resilience, and IMO, there are many examples of this kind of thing here at Cancer Connection.
CentralAB
1024 Posts
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Trillium
1369 Posts
Beautiful photos, CentralAB‍ . Thanks for sharing them! Brings joy to my day. This is such a good topic, resilience. Every time you fall, get back up - is the essence of resilience to me.

Hope everyone has a peaceful Father’s Day and summer solstice day.
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Thank you so much VioletFlower‍ I appreciate that feed back and its a major blessing to know that my photography is blessing others as well. The last pic above is intended as a tribute to summer solstice, as seen by that gorgeous sun back-lighting the lake. For Fathers Day I got online and ordered me a small wood-lathe to use in my work shop!

VioletFlower:
Beautiful photos, CentralAB‍ . Thanks for sharing them! Brings joy to my day. This is such a good topic, resilience. Every time you fall, get back up - is the essence of resilience to me.

Hope everyone has a peaceful Father’s Day and summer solstice day.

 
SpeedyStill
570 Posts
CentralAB‍ 
You continue to inspire me with your pictures.
Einstein had it right.
A respected Canadian Author Malcolm Gladwell in one of his books said to become an expert at anything you need to practice for 10,000 hours. This would include people like hockey legend  Wayne Gretzky or famous piano player Lang Lang.
These people know that they have to fail over and over again until they get it right.
Being exceptional requires a lot of time and hard work.
Cancer Survivors know that the journey is filled with hills and valleys, the fair days, the not so good days, the emotional challenges I could go on. For us the fortunate ones we reach a point where we have become different in so many ways. And as we all know the journey never really ends.
Here is where I stop and take a minute for those who put up the good fight but were unable to overcome this terrible desease.
My heart goes out to them and their families.

VioletFlower‍ 
You have a great way of putting this in one sentence.
Short and to the point.
Love it
Speedystill 


 
SpeedyStill‍ 

I read with despair Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours. If I paint watercolour 7  hours a day, 5 days a week, it would take me three years to reach the time.   I'm not sure if I have the time to do that. So I just do what I can and take encouragement from the small improvements that I see. I think it is the journey more than the end goal of being a master.

CentralAB‍ 

I have come to take your beautiful photos for granted. I see them and think - another beautiful one. And I still haven't painted the early ones that I grabbed to try and reproduce. Please don't take my silence as lack of enjoyment. In this one I am one of the silent lurkers.

Angus
CentralAB
1024 Posts
WestCoastSailor‍  "Silent Lurkers" are an essential component! So NP there. 😀
CentralAB
1024 Posts
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A different attitude is sometimes needed if we are to achieve resilience. Our attitude is at times revealed by our words, but sometimes by our actions. An attitude of indifference or resignation to a pre-determined fate will drag us down. We will wish for resilience, but not achieve it. My life has to change; and I am the only one who can do that kind of change. No one can do it for me nor tell me just how I should do it. The best impression I can give everyone, is the impression I give of myself. I think that's why the verse says: "be of good courage." (Deut 31:6).
 
SpeedyStill
570 Posts
CentralAB‍ 
Another great picture.
I love what you say "My life has to change; and I am the only one who can do that kind of change. No one can do it for me nor tell me just how I should do it."
Change does come from within.
You are a wise man and provide a lot of insightful information.
Speedystill 
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Thanks, SpeedyStill‍ I don't feel quite as wise as Id like to today because I have been digging up sod by hand and building raised flower bed things for the yard here. My back said to me: "I remember doing that a reeeeely long time ago." lol
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Earlier today, I received an affirmation from a friend which turned out to be a major epiphany, well for me anyway. I thought I would describe the message I got and the conclusion I reached through the enclosed photograph below. While I have mentioned resilience as having to come from within; it can be equally true that we sometimes run out of steam, and can then draw on someone else's resilience. Accordingly, it can be called "bearing one another's burdens." I see a lot of that here, and it is truly inspiring. resilience is just another word, unless we do something about it. One of my long-time mentors, if you will is Anne Frank, and so I enclose this picture with a quote from her:

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CentralAB
1024 Posts
This video I did of all the birds I photographed one year, seems even more appropriate today, and for this topic of Human resilience." It is truly an amazing subject to contemplate; and especially as we look at the many lessons in nature about human resilience.


 
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Well, I just had to say something. But this will be it until Wed next week. Am enjoying a much needed break from the daily grind:

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Resilience is experienced in the quiet moments...
 
CentralAB
1024 Posts
Resilience, isnt about being "strong." Its not even about knowing what to do or not to do. Its simply finding what refreshes your soul. No one else's. I found my little Eden about 20 km from the small town where I live, in the middle of the wilderness. And I come here now to just sit.  Sit and watch. Sit and watch and think. Sit and watch and think, and listen to my soul, and what I am surrounded with, what I want to be filled with. And then, I walk away refreshed.

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MCoaster
632 Posts

Okay CentralAB‍    How did you know that I am feeling very unresilient (if there is such a word) today?      I feel a little better already.
Thank you.
MCoaster




CentralAB
:
Resilience, isnt about being "strong." Its not even about knowing what to do or not to do. Its simply finding what refreshes your soul. No one else's. I found my little Eden about 20 km from the small town where I live, in the middle of the wilderness. And I come here now to just sit.  Sit and watch. Sit and watch and think. Sit and watch and think, and listen to my soul, and what I am surrounded with, what I want to be filled with. And then, I walk away refreshed.

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CentralAB
1024 Posts
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Trillium
1369 Posts
The bird video is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.
Missytigger
10 Posts
My name is Audrey Ethier from Saskatchewan. I have not been able to sign in until now when I responded to this post... Not sure why its so difficult.. Anyway It's my husband who is on his second attack of lung cancer. We both had it 6 and 7 years ago and thought we had recovery with surgery. All was well until 5 weeks ago when it was found in both of his lungs and because of deadly Covid, he is on oral chemo now after many calls to and from the Cancer Clinic in Saskatoon, He has had a few side effects which we have been able to deal with so far, but it's the emotional rollercoster which is the most difficult for us both. Would like to be on a chat with someone who is going through the similar feelings, etc. I understood when I signed up with Cancer connection that I would be able to do that easily. Can anyone help? I am 80 yrs old doing pretty well except for adhesions and nerve pain from the surgery to remove my tumor from my right lung.6 yrs ago. It was necessary to remove a rib as well in order to remove the tumor. 
Brighty
7042 Posts
Welcome Missytigger‍ .  Im so sorry you find yourself  going through  this.     You've come to a very supportive  place.    There are may people her who can relate to what you are going  through.      Do you  have anyone  helping you care for you husband?    Someone who might be able to help with dropping  off meals or groceries?    Do you have any other family members or close friends  you can confide  your feelings  to?    I'd like to draw your attention to some discussion groups on the forum.     Under 'forums' and 'cancer types' there are lung cancer  discussions.     There is also a caregivers discussion under 'forums'  where caregivers share their tips on coping. .... some common themes on caregiving. ...self care.... ask for help...support  system. ...take breaks... distractions when you are able.    I'd also like to introduce  you to a few people  who have first hand experience  with lung cancer WestCoastSailor‍ 
Faye‍ 
Kuching‍ 
as well as Cynthia Mac‍ 
who was a caregiver to her dad with lung cancer.     They will share with you their tips, how they coped and answer any questions.     If you need anything  else,  we do have an information line .  1888 939 3333.    Very friendly  individuals will answer and talk to you for as long as you  need.   Thank you for reaching  out and welcome.   
    

 Missytigger

Old Saskatchewan boy here despite the move to the West Coast twenty years ago.

The docs couldn't do surgery so I have had chemo/radiation and immunotherapy.

I'm currently on a targeted therapy drug taken orally called Afatinib. There is a whole thread over here.https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/68/60213?post_id=285666#p285666 There are several others. Feel free to post in the thread with your  questions. Is your husband experiencing any side effects?

The Canadian Cancer Society had a Peer Match program that allowed people to talk directly to another trained patient to receive support. Unfortunately I believe have had to suspend the program.  Here is a link to the support services https://www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/support-services/how-we-can-help/?region=on

Another option is to call the Canadian Cancer Society hotline directly.  1-888-939-3333 or email even, since the phone lines are likely crazy busy, That is info@cis.cancer.ca

A final option is to use online chat textbased chat accessible on the any page on the cancer.ca website by clicking the "Need more information" in the bottom right hand corner.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you make out.

Angus
Faye
222 Posts
Missytigger‍ 

Im sorry your husband is facing another recurrence of lung cancer. 
Although I am a recovering lung cancer patient, very different as I was in operable
Can you tell us what chemo drug he is on.
Sounds like you are having trouble negotiating this site so I will tag our admin people who may be able to help you with that
Lacey_adminCCS‍ . Lianne_adminCCS‍ ..can you help

We are here to support you so hopefully you can figure how to respond. 
Missytigger
10 Posts
Hello, thanks for your offer of help. My husband is on Afatinib an oral chemo. Some side effects such as diarhea, rash on his body, feet and hands. He us now on a break for a week after which blood work and a phone apt with oncologist. He is in good mood but tired. I’m his care taker when he lets me! He’s independent and tries to do too much. Our kids are in their 40-60’age range and don’t live close by. Closest is 90 minutes others are days away. We are in touch almost daily for support. 
i, too,  am a recovered lung cancer person. Mine was operable and so far I'm cancer free 6 years. 
 
Cynthia Mac
3229 Posts
Missytigger‍ , I’m so glad you reached out here! As Brighty‍ Said, I was caregiver for my 80 year old father. Dad had cancer in his right lung, too, and, like your husband, his came back. Surgery was done in late 2017, and his metastasis was found a year ago. Dad went back into treatment, but we all knew that this treatment was palliative, that he might go into remission, but he would never be “cured.”

I’m pretty sure WestCoastSailor‍ has some experience with Afatinib, so I’ve “paged” him back into the conversation. My Dad was on a different immunotherapy drug.

I can also empathize with you about him wanting to be independent. I have an uncle who is also 80, and he still wants to pretend he can do more than his capabilities will allow, and my Dad was a titch on the stubborn side, too. Be grateful for the good days, and  enjoy those to the fullest.

If you want to tag someone, as I did you and others, type the @symbol right before the name (as I just did, with no space). After a few characters, a list of names should drop down, and you should be able to pick the person’s name from the list. When the name turns blue (and you can’t see the “@“ symbol in front of it), you’ll know they’ll get an e-mail to come back and chat.
 
Thanks Cynthia Mac‍  Engaged and talking over in the Afatinb thread. Thanks.

Angus
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