A few weeks ago some of you may remember I mentioned I had been in the hospital. Results came back, Cancer.
That is a scary word and I have had friends and family tell me how lucky I am that it is ‘only’ stage two. That I may ‘just’ need surgery that will remove entire organs. That I should be grateful I am out of a job right now so i don’t have to worry about going to work while recovering…
Instead of being grateful for all those things I am beyond angry at all of them.
It’s okay to feel angry, scared, or however else your body decides you need to feel.
Years ago i read an excellent book by the journalist John Diamond. C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too
He writes candidly about his experience, from initial diagnosis, through all the treatments, his tracheotomy, the removal of the cancerous growth on this tongue, and so on. It wasn’t a fight; he hated that people called him “brave”.
If you feel up to it, do give it a read. But if you don’t, that’s perfectly fine.
If you need a friendly ear, or the need to scream into the void, do feel free to post.
I found a link that will allow you to preview some of it.
He was a very witty person, and i enjoyed his monologues on Radio 4’s Fourth Column. He was a regular on there, then he missed a lot. When he came back, he sounded unrecognisable; it turned out this was not long after he had part of his tongue removed. He spoke candidly about his cancer, about how frustrating his “mechanical fault” with his body was frequently taken to be a fault with his brain by those who didn’t know him, and they would speak to him as if he were simple. His voice was his tool, being a journalist and presenter. He spoke about the frustration of answering his wife (the TV chef Nigella Lawson) with “yes”, when what he really wanted to say was “absolutely”.
The book is really good, and i learned so much about cancer treatments, the emotional and physical pain that the patients go through. Yet the book is still imbued with humour. But there is something you do need to know. I wish i could say that John’s story has a happily ever after, but he died of cancer in 1992.
My apologies; i realise that what i should have done in the first post was say “there is an excellent book, but the author died soon after publication of cancer. Do you want to know what it is?” But like an idiot i went ahead and recommended the book (which really is very good) and then realised too late that i should have said something.
I think that in scary and difficult situations, friends and family often just want to try and make you feel less sad and scared.
Unfortunately, in rushing to point out all the ‘it could have been worse’ they’re denying you the time you need to come to terms with and grieve for how bad it actually is.
The road to the toasty place is paved with good intentions… I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this diagnosis and life changing treatment, and that the people who should be supporting you and sitting with you in the emotional place where you are, are trying to hurry you out of it instead.
My brother was recently diagnosed as well, and he’s actually getting his first chemo tomorrow, after being operated on a few months ago.
Yes, we are happy that he has an 80% chance he’s already clean, which will increase to over 90% after the chemo.
But getting cancer is never lucky!!! Even worse is the part about your job, which just astounds me.
Please, do you want to trade? No? Then apparently I’m not that lucky, so F** off!!!
I hope that you will recover and recovery will go well. Best of luck (no pun intended) and please take care of yourself! I hope you also have better friends that can help you get through all this!
First of a Im sorry that you have been dealt such an unfortunate hand.
Im a firm believer that no one on earth believes they are acting illogically. Everyone is following some kind of thought process or internal logic.
That logic might be wrong, based on bad assumptions, or any number of things.
My thoughts are those around you want to help. But when it comes to cancer there really isnt much the average person can do. So they try to offer optimism and hope thinking “silver lining” kind of thinking will make a tough situation better.
For some it might. For you it sounds like it didnt.
But it does sound like there was likely good intent.
How much good intent weighs against negative results is a personal choice on your part though.
@Edem You have a right to be angry. However, your family and friends also need to process this. People process things in different ways.
Yes, cancer sucks. Yes, it is stage 2. But think about if you hadn’t gone to the hospital, you would not have caught it this early. Stage 2 has a higher recovery rate (though that also depends on the kind of cancer).
From a healthcare perspective as a healthcare worker, a good attitude towards whatever the diagnosis is results in better outcomes. Once you calm down and process things slightly, talk to your family and explain that you feel they may be coming from a place of love but their advice is not helpful and then tell them what you need them to do in order to help. Do you need them to set up a meal train for the days that your treatment (whatever it may be) causes you to not even want to think about cooking? Do you need them to help you cook/clean/do laundry? They may not want to step on toes and it is always good to get all the emotions out there. Just remember that they are processing the diagnosis too.
What’s that game you found? I may need it for other reasons.
As @Stephen said above if you need / want to vent, feel free to post. We can’t do much but we can listen and we can interact and sometimes just not being alone helps as much as anything else.
Best Wishes in your fight!
Thanks. It can be especially frustrating at times. Tried to hand my parents some papers a bit ago, They Requested, about the surgeries needed and had them thrown on the floor while being told 'I don’t want this sh**" because they were watching a tv show on Hulu. Sometimes you just need to scream into the void.