Personally speaking, I have been through a lot over the last 27 years. While there are many issues of my life that I have chosen to make public, for the benefit of others, there are many, many other issues which I keep private. I am like this for several reasons: pride, protection of others, to inspire, to not instill panic or paranoia. Simply put, since my diagnosis, I have had good days, and I have had bad days.
But being involved in the world of cancer as much as I am, I have learned so much. I have learned about progress for newer cancer patients, which will some day mean a cure for all cancers. But I have also learned of so many who struggle with survival. Surviving cancer, or any serious illness of event in a life, is not just as simple as “just getting over it.” I am a fairly positive minded person, but I cringe every time I hear someone either tell me, or suggest to someone to “just get over it.”
“Just get over it.” Four of the most hurtful, selfish words someone can say to a person who is experiencing a level of pain, on that person can possibly know. While I may have an understanding, given from my own experiences, I have know idea the level of the pain or the struggle being dealt with by an individual, even if the person explains it to me.
One of our list members on one of my Facebook pages is having one of those moments. And it is quite serious. I can recognize the pain, the frustration, the futility. I can understand when a person asks, “how much more?” The response to the original post was as is expected. Nothing but 100% support by so many who have experienced similar sentiments. Every member offered encouragement that most in the “outside” could not comprehend.
Then one of our members responded with a poem, which I believe echoes what many of us long term cancer survivors feel:
“This is living life after Hodgkin’s.
We will be sad.
And have terrible pain.
And thats ok. And “normal”.
And deserves respect and deserves to be heard.
The fun will happen too.
But we won’t deceive ourselves.
Or so I think, at the moment.”
The majority of cancer patients often make a statement that they will not let cancer define them. But there is a difference between “defining” and “breaking”.
Thank you Dolly for sharing these words of understanding.