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What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by cancertakesflight on Aug 27, 2020 11:00 pm

Thanks everyone for all the great comments. It truly is a learning experience, even for the people going through cancer. As a follow-up to this conversation about what people should or should not say, I have started a new discussion with a slightly different perspective that provides some other suggestions.

The mysteries of cancer...what to say and do
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by triplepos on Sep 10, 2020 11:52 am

cancertakesflight‍ 
I love your post,  You have to decide what you can do to live your life  h to the fullest instead of letting fear be your life.  What if I don't know how?  even how to get started?  I don't know how.  This is what I live with every waking hour.  I get tears in my eyes even thinking about it

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by Kuching on Sep 11, 2020 8:50 am

triplepos‍ , everyone on this site lives with fear at some level.  You can do this.  First of all, look your fear in the face and break it down: what are you actually afraid of?  Dying?  We all die, sooner or later.  And you’re not going to die today.  So don’t worry about it today.  

Are you afraid of being in a lot of pain?  Nowadays, pain can be controlled.  Hospitals have whole pain management teams, who will find drugs that work for you if and when you need them.

Another thing you can do is find a project that will seriously distract you.  WestCoastSailor‍ and I both entered a contest where you have to write a novel in 3 days, and believe me, for those 3 days, cancer was the last thing on my mind!  It was exhausting, but also really refreshing to take 3 days off from “real life”.

Something else you can do is to have a place to go where you are cancer free.  For me, it’s a particular part of the Rideau Trail that I walk most days.  I do a kind of walking meditation on the way there, imagining the cancer shrinking, then when I reach a certain spot, I’m cancer free for as long as I stay there.

Meditation helps too, it calms you down and lets you simplify your fear and think it through, put it perspective.  Go outside at night, look up at the stars, and think about how tiny your fear is in relation to the size of the universe.  

So take a deep breath, and hang in there.  You can do this!  And we are here to walk beside you every step of the way.

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by cancertakesflight on Sep 14, 2020 12:34 am

triplepos‍  I'm glad you liked the post. No one knows exactly what they need to live their life to the fullest and it will mean different things to different people. They key is to know where to focus your attention.

Here's my comparison of the fear of recurrence and the fear of being followed by a bear.

If you were hiking in the woods and constantly looking to see if there was a bear following you, you would miss all the beauty around you. It could be the scenery. It could be the conversation of a friend hiking with you. The point is that if you are look behind you, you are missing some great opportunities and experiences.  

I believe that if you are looking forward instead of always looking behind you, you are living your life to the fullest. It doesn't mean that you have to go on a lot of trips. It doesn't mean that you have to quit your job to do everything on your bucket list. But it can be all those things too. Living your life to the fullest is not the same thing for everyone. 

It's okay to take a quick check every once in a while to see if the bear is coming. The problem is when the bear is your only focus. It's not an easy balance between looking forward and looking back, especially once you have had a run in with the bear before. You have to figure out whether you want to live your life looking for a bear that may never come or deal with the bear only if it comes your way. 

Fear is a very strong emotion. I tell myself that I had the courage to deal with cancer (not like I had a choice) so I shouldn't be afraid to try new things. In my head, I say..."You dealt with cancer. You can deal with whatever comes your way."

cancertakesflight
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Sep 14, 2020 10:53 am

Great metaphor cancertakesflight‍ very well said from someone who has been hiking along this road for awhile. How many years now??

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by CentralAB on Sep 15, 2020 2:44 am

I wasnt sure where I was going to post this picture cancertakesflight‍ but I think this may be the perfect spot for it.

a991eba58ce22c444e7acc52f954ab92-huge-mo
 
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What's OK, not OK, and more than OK to say to someone with cancer?

Posted by SpeedyStill on Sep 16, 2020 2:26 pm

Fear is natural to humans. Fear is our body telling us to react. Our reaction is extremely important. We can give up and give into the fear or we can keep moving forward, always looking for a way to deal with the fear.
One way is acceptance of our situation
Slow way down ingesting information about your situation, all you need is relevant information to you from reliable sources.
Repetition of information can make it more vivid in our mind and is a type of self hypnosis. 
Pain and discomfort has its own language and negitive impact on your thinking and dealing with fear.
That is why it is so important to get the proper treatment whether it be medication or other help that is out there.
Another important thing is sleep. Everyone knows how cranky we can be if we are tired. Giving way to a low defense mechanism fo fear.  We should try every natural way to get a good nights sleep.
Mind calming technigues. I listen to calm music which helps me to fall asleep. I am usually asleep 5 to 10 minutes into the music. If all else fails there are medication to help with sleep but I would only take those from a qualified Doctor.
Fear is natural but fear should not own us.
Always trying to move forward 
Speedystill