I spent the last 30 minutes starting this article and deleting it over and over again. I just don’t know where to start. I wish I could find the right words so people would get right into these few lines that I really wish to share, without leaving the page. I wish everyone could just take the frickin’ red pill for once, like in The Matrix, and look at things how they really are.
With that thrown out there, I’ll just start, and maybe end, with a list of what I really want people to know about cancer. Let’s raise some serious awareness together by sharing this article with everyone around you! (please)
Now, imagine this being you:
- When you first think you have cancer, and some of your cells are sent in for a biopsy, people tell you: “Awww come on, it’s nothing! Everything’s gonna be alright. I’m sure it’s just some weird stuff growing in your chest. Don’t always be so negative.” People are de-dramatizing this very first step to a ridiculous level. If you join that level as a cancer patient, then here’s your first emotional high or low, depending on how you take it. Welcome to the emotional roller coaster, your journey begins.
- After that, you get your results. Bam. You got cancer, and oh hey…it’s a pretty rare and aggressive one. Great stuff, thank you Life. Then you announce it to your close ones, and they go:” Awww come on, it’s only breast cancer. I know so many breast cancer patients, they’re all alive and happy now”. First, they are de-dramatizing it (yet again). Second, they just don’t listen to your explanation that for example, your cancer is way different, even if it is located in your breast.
- Then you talk to your doctors, a lot. They will tell you that you have let’s say, a 15% of survival. So, 15% left for de-dramatization…perfect.
- Now it is already beginning. Life is filtering people for you. You don’t have to do anything. Many people will leave. Many won’t understand. Many are not strong enough to see something so alienating happen to you, or anyone for that matter.
- Some people will see you as a strong person, thankfully. Many will see you as weak and ill. At your work place, they will start to ask less of you, and they won’t know how the heck to talk to you anyway.
- You’ll have surgery. People around you will think it’s over now, but it hasn’t even started yet. The big fight are the countless therapies and the emotional roller coaster, all that while having a life, losing friends, building a house and raising some kids. You will still have to pay your every months’ bills and such. The world is turning and it won’t stop for you.
- Now, doctors will tell you that you can’t have any children anymore (depending on your therapy).
- You still feel physically ok. Since people can still see you with all your hair, and all your energy, they won’t understand, nor feel what you’re going through.
- The battle starts, chemotherapy is on.
- Depending on your therapy, you won’t feel a thing for a few days. Then it’ll kick in. As said, depending on the therapy, you might have only a little energy left to lay on your bed for about a week. If they used Neulasta (Pegfilgrastim), then you will suffer some unreal pain in your spine, have chills, fever etc.
- Between therapies there are tests.
- Between tests there are more tests.
- After your first therapy, when the side effects lay low, you will feel pretty normal again. You’ll go to an amusement park with your children, and while paying at the counter, some of your hair will start to fall on your purse or whatever you’re using.
- You will randomly bleed out of your nose. It can happen anywhere, anytime.
- That is something no one will understand of course…IF there is anyone left to understand in your circle of life, because their de-dramatization has drifted them far away into some distant land beyond reality. So far that you’re not seeing them anymore. They don’t call. They don’t write.
- But, 98% of them all wrote something at the very beginning: “If you ever need me in your battle, don’t hesitate to call me ok?”. Now imagine fighting on the front row of the great 300, dashing and slashing. All you wish for is that you don’t have to call someone when a sword is coming dangerously close to your head, you just wish they could come and defend it. You don’t have the time to be asking around for help. And, you are too gentle to call someone. And, you don’t want them to see you like that, because you’re ashamed. For all those who really wish to help someone who has cancer: Go physically knock or ring on your friend’s door and ask them the following thing: “Hey, I can’t fight for you, but would you let me cook for you today? Would you let me clean your house for you today? Want me to go to the post office for you?” And after having asked that, you insist in helping them!
- Therapy after therapy, you will look worse. You will feel worse, and somehow your brain will only function at about 20% of its ability. You will easily forget things, so write everything down.
- You will see many cancer patients everyday at the hospital. You will make new friends there, but then they suddenly won’t show up anymore…In some cases they’re all done and healed, in other cases they died. You will be involved in discussions like: “Yeah, I got like 3 months to live, I gotta see what I’ll do with my insurance to leave something for my daughter at least…”. With others, you won’t have any discussion at all, because all they can do is cry their heart out.
- Your partner may leave you at this point, or right about after your countless therapies. Because, maybe he can’t take anything of it, or maybe he/she doesn’t want you anymore, now that you look like a hairless, bald monk with a blown up face and glass like eyes. You will probably not look physically attractive, and your mind is too full of misery to be any mentally sexy. Losing your eyebrows and nails is, for your look, worse than losing your hair.
- You will speak of cancer only, to speak your heart out, and to raise awareness. People will get tired of it.
- You are still on your emotional roller coaster, don’t forget that. You will not get off of that in a long time, even after the therapies.
- Your partner, if he stays, suffers in a different way than you. But he suffers no less. Most people who stayed close to you in your fight will go a little nuts at some point. They need as much help as the cancer patient.
- You and your partner will probably need psychological help.
- All the therapies and tests can include radiotherapy. Its side effects will cause your skin to locally burn, get brown and change its texture.
- After your therapies, doctors and people will kind of let loose and you will feel like falling into yet another dark pit of loneliness. You will probably get depressed.
- People around you will start celebrating the end of it with you, being all happy. You will most probably not be that happy. You don’t cure cancer, you just push it away hoping that it doesn’t come back. In many cases, cancer eventually comes back. No one will understand that your life has now changed forever. You will never be the same again. You now know fear. You know life. You know what friends really mean, if you still have some left, that is. You will always make decisions in your life thinking these could be your last days.
- The day you need a bank loan for a house, or something that big, there’s a chance you won’t get it. It’s too risky for banks and insurances.
- You are now officially tired of life, even if for others you seem like being THE big fighter, a strong person having a positive state of mind etc. Yes even if you would fight well again, you’re just tired.
- You will ask yourself why the heck that thing came into your body. Because your immune system should be strong enough to fight off your own cells eating healthy ones. But why wasn’t it? Not enough sport? Not enough healthy food? Too much pollution (air and soil) where you live? You will ask yourself a lot of these questions. And they will ultimately change your life, forever. And of course, that of those around you.
Let me just add something by not treating only symptoms here. Many kinds of cancer can be prevented with sports, healthy food and a healthy environment, and of course stress reduction. Yes, I know that it is easier said than done.
– 5 minutes of sports is better than 0. (And, try sitting less).
– Organic food is more expensive than dead food, but please try to help us all together, kill the dead food market. We are poisoning ourselves.
– Try using less electricity, water, cars etc. with small acts in everyday’s life.
– Try having less stress because you only have one life. Is all that you do in your life (most of it to get money) really worth the stress? Use less social media and the internet in general. Forget your smart phone from time to time.
Now, this is pretty much how much it really happens. Pictures on the internet just cannot explain what people with cancer go through. Yes they look physically devastated, but you don’t see into their mind (and also, often the ones around them get no attention at all).
I hope I could raise some awareness about this delicate subject. Good luck and live well!