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What your friends with cancer want you to know (but are afraid to say)

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“Image used with permission by Jen Lints Photography (hyperlinked) of Kara Tippetts.

People with cancer are supposed to be heroic.

We fight a disease that terrifies everyone.

We are strong because we endure treatments that can feel worse than the actual malignancies.

We are brave because our lab tests come back with news we don’t want to hear.

 The reality of life with cancer is very different from the image we try to portray.

Our fight is simply a willingness to go through treatment because, frankly, the alternative sucks. Strength? We endure pain and sickness for the chance to feel normal down the road.  Brave? We build up an emotional tolerance and acceptance of things we can’t change. Faith kicks in to take care of the rest.

The truth is that if someone you love has cancer, they probably won’t be completely open about what they’re going through because they’re trying so hard to be strong.

For you.

However, if they could be truly honest and vulnerable, they would tell you:

1. Don’t wait on me to call you if I need anything.  Please call me every once in a while and set up a date and time to come over. I know you told me to call if I ever needed anything, but it’s weird asking others to spend time with me or help me with stuff I used to be able to do on my own. It makes me feel weak and needy, and I’m also afraid you’ll say “no.”

2. Let me experience real emotions. Even though cancer and its treatments can sometimes influence my outlook, I still have normal moods and feelings in response to life events. If I’m angry or upset, accept that something made me mad and don’t write it off as the disease. I need to experience and express real emotions and not have them minimized or brushed off.

3. Ask me “what’s up” rather than “how do you feel.” Let’s talk about life and what’s been happening rather than focusing on my illness.

4. Forgive me.  There will be times when the illness and its treatment make me “not myself.” I may be forgetful, abrupt or hurtful. None of this is deliberate. Please don’t take it personally, and please forgive me.

5. Just listen. I’m doing my very best to be brave and strong, but I have moments when I need to fall apart. Just listen and don’t offer solutions. A good cry releases a lot of stress and pressure for me.

6. Take pictures of us. I may fuss about a photo, but a snapshot of us can help get me through tough times.  A photo is a reminder that someone thinks I’m important and worth remembering. Don’t let me say “I don’t want you to remember me like this” when treatment leaves me bald or scarred.  This is me, who I am RIGHT NOW. Embrace the now with me.

7. I need a little time alone.  A few points ago I was talking about how much I need to spend time with you, and now I’m telling you to go away.  I love you, but sometimes I need a little solitude. It gives me the chance to take off the brave face I’ve been wearing too long, and the sil1ence can be soothing.

8. My family needs friends. Parenting is hard enough when your body is healthy; it becomes even more challenging when you’re managing a cancer diagnosis with the day-to-day needs of your family. My children, who aren’t mature enough to understand what I’m going through, still need to go to school, do homework, play sports, and hang out with friends. Car-pooling and play dates are sanity-savers for me. Take my kids. Please.

My spouse could also benefit from a little time with friends. Grab lunch or play a round of golf together. I take comfort in knowing you care about the people I love.

9. I want you to reduce your cancer risk. I don’t want you to go through this. While some cancers strike out of the blue, many can be prevented with just a few lifestyle changes – stop smoking, lose extra weight, protect your skin from sun damage, and watch what you eat. Please go see a doctor for regular check-ups and demand follow-up whenever pain, bleeding or unusual lumps show up. Many people can live long and fulfilling lives if this disease is discovered in its early stages. I want you to have a long and fulfilling life.

10. Take nothing for granted. Enjoy the life you have right now. Take time to jump in puddles, hug the kids, and feel the wind on your face. Marvel at this amazing world God created, and thank Him for bringing us together.

While we may not be thankful for my cancer, we need to be grateful for the physicians and treatments that give me the chance to fight this thing. And if there ever comes a time when the treatments no longer work, please know that I will always be grateful for having lived my life with you in it. I hope you feel the same about me.

Kim Helminski Keller is a Dallas-based mom, wife, teacher and journalist. She is currently receiving treatment for thyroid cancer. 

 

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93 comments

  1. This is so so true!!!

    • And don’t call ur text us at 1 or2 or3 or at 5:30 in the morning sometimes we don’t sleep well…. I have a sister that does that..had to put here in her place and giving out my health report to other people..if I want them to know I will tell them not there bussiness..not for her to tell others ….

      • I agree. This is the very reason I and my sisters never told our mother that I have breast cancer treatment. She has psychological issues and doesn’t have any commons sense. She would call at all hours and then tell everyone everything she knows. None of us wanted to deal with her. And I don’t have the mental or physical reserves to deal with her and the drama. The last time I told her I had surgery, she called 5 times daily and I found out she was telling every thing she heard-she was loving the attention. So my sisters and I talked it over and decided it was in our best interest to be silent. Cuz if I didn’t answer the phone every time she stated calling them and our husbands.

      • Absolutely, privacy was everything to my Mom, some didn’t understand that.
        Hugs. H

      • My daughter told me this. If I want them to know. I’ll tell them mom.

    • What a great article and so true ..my second time around with cancer and most of your friend and church family put you in the too gard basket so you have to learn to try snd kuce without their support .. thanks for the truthfulness of this article

    • Please do not share with the patient all the wonderful stories you’ve heard about alternatives to chemo, great diets, great doctors, etc. so that “you shouldn’t have to go through all that horrible chemo.” We already have whom we have determined to be the very best doctors we can get, and they have told us that we do need this treatment, PLUS all the healthy diets, whole foods, juice fasts, etc. that we can add to the treatments. Chemo is rough, it is “unnatural” but my doctors did everything they could to save my life, not make it worse on a whim.

      I had several recommend to me this wonderful doctor that a very rich lady in our community had gone to and he had cured her miraculously just by drinking loads of carrot juice and alternative treatments. I could not afford him, I went through the whole chemo process, and I am still here fifteen years later. This other woman? She died shortly after the miracle treatments ended. And I saw this doctor listed by the American Cancer Society as one of the well known frauds.

  2. One thing to add: “Please don’t ever PITY me, say “Oh, you poor thing”, or act like the fact that I am still living is a miracle of all miracles. Let me be who God meant for me to be whether it be healthy or ill, and when I kick cancer’s ass, simply say “you rock!”

    • I hate when ppl say “I’ll pray for u”!!

      • I loved it when people said they would pray for me, I was given a year to a year and a half to live in 2011 and I am still here so to me prayers work.

    • Aloha Amy, life is to precious to waste on pity. I have yet to hear of anyone who was cured with that thinking! When you get a chance read, “YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE” by Loise Hay, “DYING TO BE ME”, by Anita Moorjani! Both women managed to concour this illness! We are more powerful then we know! Fighting usually isn’t the answer either! Learning, forgiving, and loving are much better weapons! God Bless! You are never along! Aloha Works🌺⏳🎉🌈❤️🌹🕊o

    • Another thing to add: If someone tells you by letter or email or whatever that they have cancer, please acknowledge the message. A simple “I am sorry to hear that” will do. Ignoring the message and later saying you didn’t know what to say is not good enough.

    • Rasheedah miller

      Omg yes you are so right I never wanted to hear that word/s! No pity part it’s all about Praising and Praying parties🙏🏾💃🏽💃🏽

  3. Depressing. I am opting out of treatments and everyone thinks I look great so I feel very lonely.

    • Alternative treatments should be legal. Three years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and standard treatment is not an aption, but have been trying to control it’s growth with diet and hormone therapy. So far I’ve lived a year & half beyond my expected expiration date. Although this article doesn’t resonate 100% with me I believe it may be helpful to pass on for those interested in learning how to better cope with friends, family, etc… with cancer. I wish you love and comfort ♡

      • My grandmother was given 5 years to live, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer! She live 25 years longer! A life time is not based on years! Read, “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay! You are not alone! Aloha Works🌺If possible, a week in Maui is also powerful! ❤️🌈🌹

    • Find someone to talk to. A support group if not a true friend or professional. Good luck

    • I’m so sorry you feel like that. Feel strength in the fact that you’re not allowing cancer to steal anything else from you . You’re also making a very strong Statement in that you’re showing the people around you that there is another way to fight and beat this Horrible disease. May you continue to look great and not allow yourself to become a victim. Love and respect to you xx

    • What they see on the outside they don’t understand what is on the inside. They can’t relate till it happens to them. I have uterine cancer and everyone is saying I look great. Then I don’t hear from them because they see me as the same person before the illness. But inside I am different.

    • Roxane, everyone has to decide what is right for them. Opting out of treatments may be best for you… maybe telling close friends would help ease your loneliness. All good wishes for you.

    • Me too, 2 yrs now and my health is better than ever.

      Cut carbs, I take Ground Kolanji, Ginger, Turmeric+Black Pepper, Cayenne, and as of last week iodine.

      Stay positive and never quit trying to heal yourself, There are probably many things you can take that your cancer hates. Google “Kills cancer” and get to work.

    • I have considered doing the same, if this should happen to me. I watched my daughter -in-law bravely battle breast cancer for 4 1/2 years, and I don’t know if I could do it, nor would I want to put my family through all of that again. She died 2 1/2 years ago, and my son will never be able to pay off all the debt. It so overwhelming I so many ways…….

      • Strange sounding…but arrange a “benefit” for him for the continuing debt. I can be as simple as a fish fry or more elaborate. Simply state that it is going to the medical debt. Also use it as a celebration of your daughter in law even 2 1/2 years later. Share home movies if they have small children, or simply use it as a way to thank all those who supported them during her illness and as a way to honor him in his commitment to paying the debt. Just trying to offer ideas because he will try to say no, no, no.

    • I did too and was treated like a leper by my oncologist people avoid you sometimes because they are uncomfortable about cancer

    • I’m so sorry you feel that way. I’ve not gone through this, but friends if mine as well as family members have. What do you need?

    • Hi Roxane, I know exactly how you feel! I was just weeping yesterday to my husband about this very topic!
      I had a malignant tumor in my colon. I had surgery on July 30, 2015. My PET scan came back with no new sign of cancer, my CEA was normal and my lymph nodes that were removed and biopsied were free of cancer.
      The oncologist still wanted to do 8 rounds of chemo. I chose not to. I am seeing a holistic Doctor who is making food my medicine. I am in a new state so my support team are not here.
      I am so thankful for this article because there are so many things I wish people knew about the journey.
      I agree…because I look great people think I don’t need help. It is a bit of a lonely path.

      Holding your heart…

      Sending you big Texas hugs.

    • So sorry your feeling lonely….please know that I’m thinking of you and sending loving, healing, warm thoughts!

  4. Thank I really enjoyed reading that article, me to I was diagnosis with stage 3 cancer Aug 12,2015. Thanks God I don’t look like what I been through, and my journey with breast cancer is still not over.

    • I also enjoyed the article. I am in my 9th month of being “cancer free” , I will never be cured of cancer as I a a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor. But you would never know it by looking at me. I feel great and thankful each day. If I had chosen not to fight my doctors say that I would not be here today. Attitude and support is what got me through it. At one point in chemo I said no more….I had but one more treatment to go through, and thank heavens I did after encouragement and giving it a few more days…

  5. I have breast cancer and I just want to say thank you so much for sharing this. It’s touching and extremely well written. All the best to you through your cancer journey.

  6. Very nice article. We are brave because we have to be. I do it for my kids and my mom. The battle is not easy but I want to live!

  7. Beautifully written!!

  8. What you are going through just sucks and I am sorry. Scream if you feel like it, punch your pillow because it’s there and cry whenever you darn well please. My prayers are with you!

  9. We will not ask for money and we wouldn’t take it if offered. But this is expensive, if you could leave a couple of dollars laying in the hospital room were we could find it. Would be greatly appreciated.

  10. I am one of the lucky ones with mine it is simple prostate,and I am going into my mid 60’s my sadness is with the children who have not even had a chance to live yet I have, that is sad me it is natural, accurrance

  11. Never forget.to tell cancer victims how much you love them, how beautiful and sexy they are, hug and kiss them often, pull them close to you and treasure holding them in your arms because they are so precious.

  12. Thank you so much for this. As I have lost one sister and another just diagnosed. I need this. It helps. I understand, some what, how you feel. I try every day to reach out to those with cancer. I have 2 friends also with cancer. I want to HELP in ALL ways, rather that be cry, laugh, hug, push away, I’m there.

  13. My words and thoughts exactly!! I want more to share to bring awareness to our “cancer patients” real thoughts and needs from our friends.

  14. Thank you for posting this. Although my experience was easy, I opted to let them take my breast until my margins were clear instead of dealing with chemo/ radiation, the fear is real. All the “what ifs” that go thru your head, daily. I watched my Mom suffer with breast cancer 40 years ago. She lost her battle, I’m determined not to lose mine. If I could add one thing to the above list it would be “Leave your drama at home.” Gossip and negativity can drain the life out of a healthy person. It has no place in a healing home.

  15. Two years ago Xmas day diagnosed with terminal cancer, given two months to live, still here,don’t give up!!!

  16. Thank you so much. I lost my brother to lung cancer. I thought I could fix everything for him if I prayed and believed enough. I often wonder how he truely felt when we called or after he had a dr appointment. This has helped me so much. Bless you.

  17. Thank you for your wonderful article, even though I wish that you didn’t have a reason to write it!

    I wish you the best!

  18. Good Luck with your fight and thank you for writing this article. I was diagnosed with Stage III EC in November of 2015 and today I really needed to know I was not the only person that feels what you describe here. Thank you

  19. I know this is well written and appreciate the thought that went into it. I am a cancer survivor. When the kidney cancer was finally discovered, the only option was to remove the kidney. The cancer was contained in the kidney and the fat surrounding the kidney. I am over one year cancer free and hoping it won’t come back. I have also had Squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer that are an ongoing concern.

    I pray everyone living with cancer will be cured, but know it will take time and we will lose some, but eventually it will be beaten. God bless everyone with cancer and make their life easier.

    • I’m not really so sure it is easier to survive, I sometimes, more than not feel very guilty for surviving when I have friends that are still fighting or have lost the fight. They have children, I have children adults, and I have grandchildren, and I love them with all my heart, but I still feel like it should have been me and not them, so they could have the joys that I have had in my life.

  20. This is probably the most accurate and realistic article I’ve read about cancer and what we as survivors experience.

    Thank you, Judy
    3 year endometrial cancer survivor😄

  21. I have several friends fighting cancer now. This is very helpful. Thanks!

  22. Thank you for sharing this. I have a very close friend who has been a great support for me through some very difficult times. I’m glad to read this insightful article to know how I should approach conversation and visits.

  23. I listened…and I heard…yet fully didnt understand…and now after you have gone…treasure the photos of our treasured moments together …making missing you,easier!!!

  24. Beautiful. Thank you so much.
    Also, a dear friend of mine had thyroid cancer, surgery to remove it, and was able to avoid further treatments because of the way she used an essential oil. Her story is really profoundly moving, and since you’re fighting the same cancer I thought I’d mention it.
    Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to connect with her.

  25. As a married forty year old mom of two young daughters who was diagnosed with bilateral lobular breast cancer this past September 2015, this article said all the things I have been thinking since my diagnosis but didn’t know how to say it. I shared it on my Facebook page for all my friends and family to read. It felt good to hear the response from them. I also believe though that some good has come from such a terrifying diagnosis. I’ve met some amazing women and made new friendships, I took a leave of absence from work to tackle chemotherapy and have spent a much needed time with my daughters. Only four more weeks of chemo and then a bilateral mastectomy. I have realized I am a lot stronger than I thought and after this chapter of my life slows down I want to really live life as if it could end at a moments notice. May those of you who are on a cancer journey of your own be just as blessed as I am and I pray you find the good in your fight.

  26. The picture with this article is of Kara Tippetts, who documented her battle with cancer at her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. She was amazing. She lives on. And her love lives on. :)

  27. I lost my mother in 2008 to cancer, but I am so greatful that I was there for through that time. And this artical made me realise what she actually went through. Thank u so much for giving us inside info of how it is to live with cancer. Its much appreciated. God bless us all…

  28. Thank You I lost my daughter 4 years ago and reading this has answered a lot of questions for me .

  29. Forgive me, listen , ask “what’s up,” call me, let me feel my feelings….such great stuff, all so true!!
    #keepfighting

  30. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing, I would like to know why Sault Ste Marie Ontario has the highest rate of Cancer in Canada! This has given me great inspiration for the 12 friends that are in stage 4

  31. Another thing people tend to say that is NOT the right sentiment is, “No problem. You will beat this!”. Yes, I hope so but what we want to hear is, “I care about you and I’m here for you.” Saying you will beat your cancer comes off cavalier and discounts the seriousness of what you are experiencing. It is not that simple–nor are you! I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer 3-1/2 years ago. Chemo was rough. I’m lucky to still only have few side effects but they ARE EFFECTS!!! My surgeon said in my last follow-up visit 2 months ago, “I don’t know what you are doing but keep doing it!”

  32. When I have dug deep into my heart for the last, final, agonizing erg of strength
    to present a face of cheerful well-being
    please do not praise some deity for “bearing me up.”
    It is frankly insulting.

    • I wish I had read this before my beautiful aunty slipped away to the other side. I’m sorry aunty, please forgive my ignorance and inability to deal, for not being there when I could have, for thinking we had more time than we did. Love you always x

  33. JUST, is the word I hate the most apart from cancer, Dr’s, friends, say over and over.
    It’s JUST high grade pre-cancer after your original cancer has been removed by another operation, and the high grade pre-cancer has returned 3 times after being operated on and with clear margins.
    We’ll JUST do another operation.
    I’ll just take another 3 cm from your vagina.
    You’ll JUST have to wait for test results.
    It’s JUST another day until you know.
    JUST think of good things.
    It’s JUST the nature of this beast, an oncology nurse said to me on my way into theatre :(
    JUST get a good nights sleep.
    The fears that we go through JUST being us each day is overwhelming, we have to struggle daily with our fears, emotions, hormones, family and friends. I want to run and hide, but there’s no running and hiding from Cancer.
    People have no idea how their words impact on us.

  34. I found so much of this related to my situation. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last April. I had bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction followed by 6 chemo.It was a hard fight but I knew I just had to do it.I stayed at home when I wasn’t feeling good but when I felt well enough I’d put my wig and make up on and get on with my life.Everyone was always complimenting how well I looked but I never knew how to reply cos inside I knew how hard it was to put on the show,to hide the sickness and fatigue and feeling of helplessness.i thank god that I’ve come through this stage in my life but the fear is still so real😢keep strong everyone

  35. Cancer is an elephant in the room. I am cancer now. I am not Dianne, you call me your friend with cancer. Once strong and brave, I am now weak and frightened. My every waking moment is full of thoughts of cancer. Nightmares of death appear with the darkness. My bald head, numb feet and hands, scars, and chemo port can’t be hidden. Enormous medical bills destroy my hope.

    Please don’t look away when I pass you by. Please don’t stop calling me because you don’t know what to say. Sometimes I can’t call because the phone will not recognize my numb finger touches, or I just can’t stop crying. I just need a hello or a hug and a smile from you.

  36. Thank you for saying this. It’s so true! I’ve lost friends since I’ve been sick. In addition to the salivary gland cancer I also was diagnosed with several issues in a span of 3 month’s. People always commented on my healthy lifestyle (vegan, personal trainer, fitness instructor). But cancer, pacemaker, autoimmune disorder…it’s all too much to bear, but I tell no one how I’m REALLY doing ,never ask for help. This is something everyone dealing with an illness not just cancer should know.

  37. Thank-you! This is just that sort of advice that should be given automatically to family and friends in the cancer hospitals.

  38. People, well-meaning people gave me pink ribbon gifts. I know they were thinking of me, and that the gifts were a generosity.. But I am a person first. It may not be true for everyone, but I got to a place where I felt that I was the cancer. Give me a lap throw without pink ribbons all over it.

    I had Triple Negative breast cancer. 8 years ago Last month was my last chemo. I treasure everyday. The week of my chemo I had no spoons. None. Breathing was my goal. A lot of people did not realize that i had down days because I did too much the day before. I could wake up and only have one spoon that whole day. (Look up Spoon Theory). Just before my next treatment, I would often have good enough days I could be up, doing chores (seven spoon days), and then it would be back to square one again. I wasn’t able to have guests. I just couldn’t do it. Some didn’t understand. Tell people what you need. “Please go by the grocery and pick up milk for me.” People will ask, “How can I help you?” Make a list. Tell them. Do what you can that suits you. I had to sleep A LOT. Everyone is different. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Forgive yourself. This is a time in your life when you can give yourself the gift of grace.

  39. EXCELLENT !!! Makes people aware of how they feel and what they need!!! LOVE !!!!!!!

  40. Love this. It took me a long time to think of many of these things, and you filled in many blanks. I’m a survivor of malignant melanoma, the fucking cancer that doesn’t hurt but is so incredibly deadly. Oh, I found swearing helps a lot, too! I didn’t tell my mom all the details, I had enough to get through without getting through her getting through it. I had to tell her to stop telling everyone everything so I just stopped telling her anything.

    After my last surgery I had two experiences that I truly hated. The biopsy results from the tumors in my neck came back while I was still in the hospital. It was late evening when the surgeon came in to tell me the results were benign. Through an IV Dilaudid haze I called my mom. She said, “You know the reason the cancer isn’t back is because of all the people praying for you.” So the guy across the hall now has cancer because no one prayed? Don’t think so. Maybe it makes her feel better, not me.

    The other one was being being put second. Mom insisted on picking me up when I was discharged. Last big dose of morphine, paperwork signed, and looking down the hall for mom. No mom. Hours went by, no one. Already discharged so no more pain meds. Hours later, my neck throbbing and almost seeing stars, she sauntered in. “Oh, I was with Marjorie and she didn’t want to leave and I didn’t want to offend her, sorry!” In the car I silently cried from the pain and the disappointing loneliness. I should have called a cab.

    This taught me the importance of independence, and the importance of putting me first and if it means others may choose to get their feelings hurt, so be it. I’m the one with the fucking cancer.

    • Jim I love to here I’m a a survivor congratulations. I to have a newly developed potty mouth. I’m sorry for your experience and wish you could have had a better support system. I had moments where I felt like screaming I’m the fucking one with cancer I just didn’t have the energy for the fight that would follow. Mon-Thur every week I was pretty much incompasitated I did good to make it to the couch from my bed and every Wednesday without fail my husband would leave me with our 2 toddlers to go to the bar with his friends because HE HAD to get away. I get it and he deserved it but I could hardly take care of myself that really makes a mother feel like a piece of shit not being able to care for her kids also this was one of my hardest days why the fuck couldn’t he and his friends reschedule bar night for his wife who’s at home fighting for her fucking life and he needed to get away. Sad to hear your story but glad to know someone else understands about the family members that obviously didn’t. I really hated being told it’s just as hard on him and he’s fighting with you. Pretty damn sure he never got poisoned or burnt until his skin wiped off didn’t attend appointments because they upset him didn’t stay in the hospital for days on end I fought he coward in my darkest hour he was gone half of it because it was hard to watch his wife going through this but what about how hard it was on his wife laying bed thinking she is going to die and he was to much of a coward to hold her hand. I did have my children though I found my strength in them

      • I felt like I owed my husband a little bit more here he really is a wonderful man who tried to be by my side when I was sick. I wanted someone to be strong for me to let me cry I
        didn’t want to be strong all the time I needed to make plans and get stuff in order I needed to tell him my wishes and talk about my death I didn’t realize how much I was asking he didn’t know how to approach me he didn’t have the heart to push me but couldn’t watch me fail either later he told me while I was scared to leave my family that was only temporary for me
        for him however he knew one day he would have to say goodbye and then go home to our children and tell them their mother was gone and he would never be able to fix that for them and he would have to help them learn to live without me but he didn’t know how to do that himself how could he help them do that. We both needed each other more then ever but I was to selfish to see his pain and he didn’t want to show me how much he hurt.

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  42. When you come over to visit while I’m going through my chemo don’t bring your drama with you. I’m trying to keep everything positive and calm. Please don’t talk about dying love ones and what they went through. I am fighting for my life, I got a husband and 5 kids that need me. The youngest was 8 at the time and really did not know what mommy was going through. Just hear my needs. I would drive myself to altunative medicine Dr. The manager would look at me and ask how I got there, because I looked awful. At the time I didn’t feel comfortable asking friends to take me because of that incident. Leave your negative feeling at the door please because it doesn’t help us heal. Healing was my number 1 concern because I had complication after my bilateral mastectomies with infections. If you come to visit I would hope it would be to allow me to talk or if I did not want to talk about my treatment. Let’s talk about positive things and funny things. The last thing the was not positive going through cancer are surprise visits from other state without letting me know. Because my health is compromised I need to know you are coming so I can get help cleaning the house. I was raised in the day the way your house looked was the woman responsibility. Even though having cancer I do know you come to see me and not my house, I don’t like surprises. The main things that got me through my recovery were my friends and family that did listen to needs and help get the kids to school when I couldn’t drive. Made meals for us and prayed without ceasing .Now I’ m going through a battle to get my wonderful husband through his battle with rectal/colon cancer. Having already been through it makes it a little easier but it’s my husband that I adore. My husband has a harder time asking. But our friends and family are there whenever we need them and I praise God for that and all there kindness getting us through this period of time.

    .

  43. I don’t have cancer but my son was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 17. He has had 37 months of treatment and still has two more months to go. When first diagnosed the two things he hated most hearing was “you’re so strong” and “how are you feeling”. I have learned through him what I should and should not say to other cancer patients. He is doing very well but does have some long lasting side effects from his treatment but we are dealing with it.

  44. Please remember that people really don’t know what to say or do. Inform them kindly and be thankful that you have friends that love you. They really want to feel like they are helping, so asking for some little things is good idea. Make a list that you can refer to if they ask.
    I did have to set a firm boundary with a person that sent me all sorts of stuff about natural remedies. And no, I don’t know what caused the cancer!
    Keep a sense of humor, even if you don’t always feel good. It helps chase away depression!
    I believe in prayer, so if people are praying for me- wonderful! The article was excellent and I will pass it on.

  45. You have to love it when everyone says, oh, at least you have the GOOD type of cancer??????? in my opinion, there is NO GOOD CANCER..(thyroid cancer -surgery went horribly wrong, paralyzed vocal cord, = no voice for ten months, which meant total thyroidectomy couldn’t be done, 6 tumors on left side that cant be touched until significantly larger, what a way to live your life in worrying what the next chapter will bring……… ths disease is horrible, and when you are all alone its even worse. To have someone visit, send a message that they re thinking of you, can be the greatest part of healing.

  46. Many thanks extremely beneficial. Will certainly share site with my friends.|

  47. Thank you for this article it is beautifully written. I believe we all know something about each other the rest of the world doesn’t, I also believe we are all very different with our experiences. I enjoyed reading all of the comments and relating a little to most. I at 32 years old with a one year old baby at home was diagnosed 4B2 Cervical bones and lymph nodes however my doctors suggested no treatment so I could enjoy the rest of my time with my children. That simply wasn’t an option for me. I am one year no growth but i will never be cancer free my doctor is expecting it soon he reminds me of my miracle every appointment and then discusses what treatment we will do next and how it’ll only be to buy time . I let my friends and family say remission because it’s a nice word for them but my doctor never actually calls it such. They have all moved on and to them this is over like the flu I It’s easier for them that way and I don’t want to cause any more pain then I already have and undoubtedly will again but it leaves me left with no one to tell how scared I am or about the thoughts that go through my head how I was really never brave how my only fight was for my children and towards the end I tried to quit but my doctor wouldn’t let me and how I felt like a failure as a mother because a mother should fight for her children and by giving up I felt like I was giving up on them and just as I could bear no more it let up. I question if I can do it again when the time comes but how can I not. Mostly though I’m writing for the sake of this article and helping a friend or family member of a fellow
    Cancer victim so I really wanted to address a post that I hope my loved ones will never say. Lynne you posted about your brave daughter in law and I’m sincerely sorry for your families loss and please do not feel this is an attack on you. Just a cancer patients view on your view of the last of a beautiful life your son and grandchildren were blessed with. My mother in law was by my side every day she was the only one who seen passed my brave face and I too saw her pain I saw my children’s pain and my husbands pain and I did feel guilty for causing it however I’d like to think that when I leave them they will be grateful for the extra time we got because I fought and that will outweigh the pain they endured watching my fight. I know that pain will never leave them but is that pain not worth the extra year/month/or day? Also I hope that when I leave my husband or his mother will never think of the bills that gave me that extra time with him and our children as such a burden another person would think it wasn’t worth it. Can you put a price on a mother getting to see her babies second birthday, or watching her first born walk across the stage at graduation , walking her five year old into kindergarten on the first day, being there for her twelve year old when mother nature visits for the first time, or meeting her sons first love? These are all the experiences I was blessed with in the year all the pain I caused bought me and it gave my 5 children one more year with their mother. It was hard on all of them I don’t deny a one and five year old should be rambunctious never slowing down but mine laid by my side hours every day fighting when someone tried to get them to go play or be children my older threes teenage years tainted by the fact that their mother may be leaving them soon spending time at my side instead of going and experiencing the wonders our world has to offer a teenager. Will they some day regret what they might have missed because they chose to spend it with the mother they weren’t ready to lose? While medical expenses are unbelievable I could never say any amount was to expensive for another mothers year or any person for that matter. I respect a person’s choice not to fight I believe we will all know when it is time to bow out but please do not let the medical expenses or the fear of the pain you’ll cause your loved ones be your decision maker if they love you you are worth the pain if they do not they are not your loved ones and will have no pain.

  48. We live at the other side of the world from our friend/sister with relapsed leukaemia. We feel that we need to be there physically this time. She knows this. …has always known. It’s hard to feel helpless across the world despite knowing that we would be helpless there. What’s the right thing to do. Just turn up or stay away?

  49. There are some things you should keep in mind, a storage door is made up of many,
    many alternative shifting elements, which you should not think about repairing without the assistance of garage door restore experienced expert.
    Some elements like springs, pulleys, cables, rollers, rails all ought to be handled with care as a result of they can cause critical harm, if not installed accurately.

  50. There are countries where cancer is almost non existent. It has nothing to do with God. It does have everything to do with diet, excess weight, exercise, smoking , alcohol, chemical contaminants and many other things all of which are a direct result of criminal producers making our food and environment toxic and 0f governments who are also profiting and are too corrupt to stop them.

  51. You can get cured from and prevent cancer.

    1. Read up about Dr Otto Warburg who discovered the cause and cure for cancer in 1923 for which he received the Nobel Peace price in 1933.

    2. Youtube “The Science and Politics of Cancer” by Dr Griffiths.

  52. I hate it when people give you a deadline thinking when your hair starts to grow back or that you are at work that you are 100%. also they think cancer is going to get u in a size 5. the healing process is ongoing. then people have overly high expectations of becoming a nutritionist guru. give you suggestions for alternative medicine like marijuana, or expect you to kiss their butts. I am not perfect sorry.

  53. The lines that bugged me the most throughout my treatments and even now are..

    You don’t look like you have cancer… while I know that I looked healthy on the outside.. ovarian cancer is on the inside..

    You are so lucky that your chemo was easy.. yea still hear this today.. 4 years clear… and it pisses me off.. why.. you didn’t feel the bone pain.. you didn’t loose your hair.. you were not there as the acid reflux from drugs was so painful I could not wait till it stopped..

    Just walk it off.. yea heard that with the bone pain.. really.. when it hurts to put your TOES on the ground let alone the weight of your body.. you try walking that off..

    Your so lucky to take a nap during the day… yea… wish I had the energy and didn’t need the nap!

    Your just depressed.. YA THINK! I HAVE CANCER! I AM HAVING A SAD MOMENT.. AND I AM ALLOWED TOO!

    There are people worse off then you… REALLY… this goes back to the “you are so lucky was chemo was easy”.

    “I don’t like your fight phrase” Mine was Let’s Kick This… not popular with some..

    Each person has to fight there cancer in the way that the individual chooses. I went to chemo alone and kept myself busy on social media and had a wonderful group of nurses. Each of us are different and we need to respect each on an individual basis. Peace!

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