Life is not about just surviving, we all do that in some form. It is about how we thrive after we survive that matters~Carole Sanek

National Cancer Survivors Day

It is National Cancer Survivors Day and I say ROCK ON ROCK ON ROCK ON.

I am approaching 20 years of hearing “You have breast cancer.”  20 amazing years, 20 years of sadness for those who are not here, 20 years of joy for those who have stabbed the beast in the heart, stepped over it, and are still moving on – to you I will raise a glass today.

Today I am compelled to write an article about someone who is no longer a part of my life who has twisted beliefs on why people have cancers especially women with Stage IV breast cancer.

I am a treatment based person.  I believe in doing all that one can to stomp the beast out of one’s body.  I believe that all those who have been given the diagnosis of a Stage IV breast cancer are truly the bravest people I have ever met.  They are in treatment every day of their lives.  They do things to stay here not just for themselves, but for their families, for their friends, for strangers too.

In my world of cancer I know many who are diagnosed with a Stage IV breast cancer.  I know angry women, I know women who rock on, I know those who celebrate daily, I know those who write with humor.  They come in all sizes and shapes of emotions in living daily with Stage IV breast cancer.

They would be appalled if I had continued to have a relationship with someone who says that it serves one to have Stage IV disease.  I was appalled.  The first time I heard those words I had been discussing a lovely young woman who was dying.  She was surrounded by support and love.  She had people visiting, cleaning her house, cooking for her family, taking her to doctor appointments, and I was so touched by the outpouring of love in her life.  Imagine my shock and awe when I shared this and was met with “It serves her well to have cancer.”

I asked why those words were said and I was told that my dying friend wouldn’t have all the support if she did not have cancer.  That having cancer brought more love and friendship into her life and that it served her.

It happened over and over again.  I mentioned that someone we both knew had chemo weekly and her friends would come with her.  They would dress up, have a lovely catered lunch, and put themselves in a different place in their minds than a chemo room.  Once more I was told that it served this lovely woman to have cancer.

Appalling isn’t it?  I was eventually told these women did not “need” cancer, they could get it out of their lives but it served them to have it.

Needless to say we don’t talk any longer.

There are other people who feel this way, I will never understand how anyone can say this – would you want cancer to be loved, supported, taken care of – please share your feelings.Film 311w SwordBeast National Cancer Survivors Day

 

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6 Responses to National Cancer Survivors Day

  1. I have run across this same “idea” in the world and I never understand it either. I am HONORED , BLESSED, GRATEFUL to be a survivor, but I have never thought of myself as “well served”. I was amazed to know that there were those who were out there telling people they did not need chemo, or radiation, that they had THE CURE and that they could fix me. Before entering this “world” I would never have known that there were such people. I also would never have known the capacity for entire communities to come out and support those with Cancer, I would never have known the amazing people that grace my life, even though many of them unfortunately are only in it for a short time while they end their journey on earth. In that sense, yes, I have been “well served”, but I also think that if that same woman had her husband die in a car crash suddenly that the same love would be there, the same caring, the same companionship, because most people are loving, caring beings that while they may have a lot in their own lives, also have empathy for what others are going through in theirs.

    As far as those that both you and I have mentioned, I have always looked at people as everyone having something to teach us. Sometimes that lesson is a reminder that not everyone has empathy. Not everyone has tact and not everyone can appreciate people for who they are without having their own bad natured judgements. These people I learn my lesson from and move on. The people who teach me the amazing positive lessons in my life are the ones who remain, and I love them!! ROCK ON WOMAN, ROCK ON!!!!

    • admin says:

      Sadly Clarice this same person and I had a discussion about someone who had gotten argumentative with me, and I was told “let it go, a diseased mind shares diseased thoughts.”

  2. Carole, I too am appalled. This is taking the notion of a positive outlook to ridiculous proportions, just to remain positive. That outlook does not serve anyone, particularly the cancer patient.

    It is highly likely that the women who have such outpourings of love and support had the same love and support before cancer from these very same people, just not in this way because it wasn’t needed. They were loved before, which is why so many are there for them now.

    • admin says:

      Well what if you looked at it this way Eileen – being around those being cared for, supported and loved upsets someone why? Because they aren’t? Just a thought as off the wall as it sounds – who knows?

  3. Her Mom says:

    Thanks to all of you for your very astute observations. You are correct in that the love and support were there prior to the diagnosis, but expressed in different ways and as needed.

    We have been assaulted by the very view that you describe, Carole, via email, while my daughter was sitting in the chemo chair, fighting for her life by subjecting herself to painful treatment.

    I was appalled and I was angry. Someone with no knowledge of my daughter’s aggressive Stage IV cancer and no medical experience, was disparaging the medical community and stating with “authority” that my daughter’s cancer was self inflicted.

    The email concluded with an offer to come teach the correct way to rid herself of cancer thru the non medical, positive mental attitude techniques that the writer had perfected.

    I very much appreciate the insights into what could cause a person to prey upon others (yes, I read your previous posts re narcissism ) and inflict such cruelty on those who are suffering. God bless you, Carole, for helping me to understand, overcome, let go of and move past my own anger.

    Cancer doesn’t “serve us”- We fight every day to dominate it. And every moment of every day that we are able to beat it into submission, physically and mentally, push it into the background and find true joy, laughter and authentic zest for life is a victory..

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