Soccermom2boys wrote:Ugh, sorry to hear that you not only have to deal with your gene mutation, but also people who just don't realize what they say can be so insensitive. At least you can always come on here and we will totally get your frustration and have no problems listening to you or anyone else let off some steam and share your thoughts. Your feelings seem about right on par for where they should be given your situation. In my opinion, we should never have to justify our feelings as we figure out our new path that life has thrown at us (sadly that is not always able to be understood by our family and friends, but doesn't mean we can't want it).
I must say that whole mentality of "no one is promised tomorrow, I could get hit by a bus, blah blah blah" just makes me want to say well thanks, now I have twice the amount of uncertainty--if I don't get hit by a bus then I always have cancer for my back up anxiety attack, thanks for reminding me of that!
We do go on to live our lives, just not quite the way we hoped or planned to before cancer intervened. Was just having a heart to heart talk with my dad tonight and try as they might, those without cancer just can't understand our new reality. I kept trying to assure him that I am living my life, but hell yeah there are some rough days and eventually I can get back to a closer version of my old self but just not able to see it while I am still stuck in the suck (aka chemo).
Again, I feel you on how hard it can be to interact with people who just don't get it and don't realize they don't get it so therefore proceed to say stuff that to you is insensitive. Maybe take a break from them for a while--give them the old "it's not you, it's me" (but we'll all know it really is them! LOL). We got you!
Ragman wrote:Agreed, definitely not crazy, Lydia, but this is a losing battle that none of us will ever really win, I'm afraid. The fact of the matter is that people don't really have a way of accessing or understanding in a real way the challenges of others. There is just no way for another human being to access the experience of another whose circumstance is different from their own. Just as I would be pretty much clueless in listening/understanding the plight of a blind person or a paraplegic who lost a couple of limbs because I've never experienced it before, the average person does not have the ability to completely understand or empathize with the challenges that a cancer patient goes through. It's human nature and there is no way around it. We can't take it personally because most people are just trying to help out and understand.
I'm 44 now with colon cancer and trying to get other people to understand the experience is something that I have more or less given up on -- I just try to stay positive and provide reassurance to the friends and family members who are interested. But when I was 20 years old and had cancer, a lot of surgeries, lost weight, lost hair, etc., it was very difficult trying to explain to my friends and other 20-year olds in the prime of their youth about something so foreign and "weird" such as cancer. To many I was an outsider, an alien, because of this disease. Ultimately, we are all alone in our battles and experiences. Ultimately, the fight for survival and dignity is ours alone, as individuals. The power to trudge onward comes from within. I am not saying that to make anyone feel worse or more alone, but only to point out that while there are similarities with different human experiences, we are all in the end alone in our particular circumstance (cancer). It might be different for others, but for me I never started getting better or healing until I realized that only I could drag myself up from the mud, and when I stopped looking for others to do it for me. Don't get me wrong -- I am alive today because of others (my family) but I am the one who made it happen. The strength and will to survive comes from within.
But on a lighter note, what I find most amusing is when people ask me if I have started a "foundation" or some other non-profit to help cure the disease. As if while on chemo or recovering from surgery I have extra energy to spare after getting my kids off to school, going to work, and somehow making it home and putting dinner on the table. In other words, just getting through the day can be a major victory and a job unto itself. "Healthy" people don't understand that. I do find it amazing how some cancer survivors DO have the energy to start foundations, etc. To me that is a super-human feat.
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