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What's wrong with people? What's wrong with people?

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Unread 06-28-2004, 10:44 AM
What's wrong with people?

I agree with MoeKay- I just think most people aren't trying to be rude, they just don't know enough about cancer and the varying degrees of it. Of course, the world is full of jerks, too! I've found a great thing to do when people get too personal with me. When they ask where my cancer is, I just stare wordlessly at them for a long time and then say, "why do you need to know?" It shuts them up immediately!! When I went to the hospital for 3 internal radiation sessions, I had to park in the ER parking lot, but you have to stop at the security guard's little booth and tell them why you're there. All three times when I told the guard I was there for radiation, she would say, "Oh" in a very somber tone. Everytime it made me chuckle, because I'm probably a lot healthier than she is!! Maybe this is our opportunity to help educate people!! Carol
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Unread 06-28-2004, 12:31 PM
What's wrong with people?

Dear Linda:

It is hard sometimes - I too got some interesting comments after my surgery - classic was "did they find something" almost with a morbid interest - so I chose who I would tell and who I wouldn't. However, as the other ladies have noted people sometimes aren't sure how to react and often open their mouths to change feet.

I go to a wonderful cancer support group and a little quotation (I don't know from where) was very encouraging to me. Here it is in part:

"People with cancer pass through a doorway into a different world. .... when people with cancer meet it's different. They don't have to explain how it feels. They don't have to explain anything." It's so true - we know how one another feels to some degree. We are quite the little group!!! Sending you lots of s
Unread 06-28-2004, 02:20 PM
What's wrong with people?

I do think that people just freak sometimes when they hear that you've had, or presently have, cancer. They don't know what to say, they're frightened, and they just say whatever cliches or half-truths they can grab. That's why it's so important to be well-informed about the particular cancer that you have.

Just to get in my since my cancer of almost 4.5 years ago, I have a fuller, more active, more grateful, and more grace-full life than ever. (and my life was great before it happened!)
The word cancer has a way of waking you up like nothing else. Every day is a gem to be enjoyed.

I believe in eternal life, so it's not that I think this is all there is. I know that what lies ahead is wonderful beyond description and is the ultimate goal of each person, no matter how long or short our life here may be. I know that God is as present in the cancer experience as he is anything else.

But having had a brush with cancer helped me to see the God wants us to enjoy the journey towards our destination...that every day isn't meant to be a sort of endurance test, a set of flaming hoops to jump through and then judge ourselves on.

So I'm not at all sorry to have had the cancer experience. It became a source of blessings that will be with me forever.

OK, lecture's over ...next???

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Unread 06-28-2004, 02:21 PM
What's wrong with people?

When I was pregnant it seemed people couldn't wait to tell me some pregnancy horror story. When my 2 year old broke his leg, people would see him in a cast and they couldn't wait to tell me some horror story about bone cancer or some other horrible disease that their husband's, third cousin twice removed, boyfriend's, nephew, had, and step by step how horrible it was the child. It happened over and over. I was always left speechless and in tears. When I had a call back on a mammagram my less-than-dear sister-in-law said "you better get that taken care of because this lady in my office knew someone younger than you who died from breast cancer". (Just how was THAT helpful?) When I had miscarriages I heard horrible things again, or was just told 'it wasn't meant to be', 'get over it', or "it wasn't a 'real' baby anyway". The last one was from my own mother who thought she was being helpful! (If not a 'real' baby, then what was it? A cabbage patch doll?) SSSOOOOO, when I got cancer, I knew what I was in for. As soon as the horror stories began, I would say, dripping with scarcasm "gee, that sure cheered me up". Then the person would get all flustered and usually flee, which was fine with me! I think I have figured it out. These dopes are trying to make a connection with us. They are trying to say they know something about what we are going through, even when they don't. If they know someone who has had cancer, no matter how distance and how unrelated to our cancer, they think they are making a connection to us and our experience.

Soranna is right, only cancer survivors understand. Everyone else is waiting for us to lose weight, go bald, and die. OR, they treat us like we had a tooth pulled, because their mother or cousin or someone once had a basal cell skin cancer and it was no big deal. We should see the doctor, get treatment, and move on and never mention it again.

I loved how good looking I was when I had cancer. EVERYONE told me how great I looked. I finally asked someone what she expected me to look like. She said 'pale, thin, wan, sickly'. I finally realized that if I didn't look dead, then I looked great! I saw a woman on television this weekend, Tammy Baker Something. She's suffering from lung cancer and is in treatment. The poor thing looked awful, thin, pale, wrinkled, just awful. I felt so bad for her. The interviewer told her how great she looked! Yikes! Now I am thinking, just how bad did I look last year? I guess people just can't think of anything else to say so they say how great you look even if the opposite is true.

When I had cancer, the LAST thing I felt like doing was educating anyone, nor were most people interested in being educated about gynecological cancers but it is a laudable goal to try and educate others. Some are interested in learning more. My best friend was interested in all of it. Most men don't want to hear anything about it. Thank goodness for this board and our cancer support groups.

Unread 06-29-2004, 06:18 AM
What's wrong with people?

When I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and while going through treatment, I also couldn't think about educating anyone about endometrial cancer other than myself. I was totally focused on myself and doing everything humanly possible to get the best available treatment to maximize my chances of surviving and ensuring that I would have the best possible outcome.

As time passed, however, and the trauma, both physical and emotional, of my cancer diagnosis and treatment faded, I felt that it would be unconscionable for me to keep all the information that I had acquired about endometrial cancer to myself. My position was even more galvanized after learning that more and more women are dying from this disease every year. I heard more stories of delayed endometrial cancer diagnoses than I could have imagined. I truly believe that with all the pitfalls inherent in the medical care delivery system, the only way women are going to ensure that they receive better medical care is by making noise and demanding it. I also believe the only way they are going to be able to demand better care and treatment is by having knowledge and information about matters affecting their health. I believe women like myself who have been there and done that are in the best position to educate, if they are so inclined. While this is not the right path for everyone who has survived cancer, it is the right path for me. I believe gynecologic cancers, because of their nature, have existed in the dark ages for much too long.

Besides, there is no better feeling in the world than to think that by educating someone you may have played a part in saving their life or ensuring that they have a better treatment outcome than they would have had otherwise.

Best regards.


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