Archive for the ‘Friends & Family’ Category
Cancer does not only touch our lives. Cancer touches the lives of those closest to us. How to we handle the relationship challenges and losses? Continuing in a series on Life After Cancer.
by Lynne Hartke
“Will you die like Grandma?” my then-sixteen-year-old daughter asked when I told her I had breast cancer.
“One day [my son] saw me struggling to sit up,” Tina wrote about a time after her mastectomy. “I couldn’t hug him due to the pain. He stood against the wall, and I saw fear in his eyes. No child should ever have to fear the appearance of their mother… but there it was…that look of fear. Even as I write this, the tears start welling up.”
Cancer does not only touch our lives. Cancer touches the lives of those closest to us.
What does cancer look like? You might be surprised. This is Caitlin.
“I’m sitting at the doctor’s office for a check up and came across this picture as I wait. I can’t believe that is was over a year ago. I was just finishing my 5th round of chemo, barely any hair on my head and soon to deliver our little Lilian. It feels sometimes like that wasn’t my life, that surely at age 30 I couldn’t have gotten breast cancer. The last two years have been hard. So hard. I have felt indescribable exhaustion and huge waves of fear that my cancer could return. But above all of that I have seen the strength & courage that God placed in my soul. I have seen unwavering support from everyone around me and have gained the most beautiful gift of all, a new perspective. Thank you to those who continue to walk side by side with me.”#pregnantwithcancer #youngbreastcancer
No one should have to make a decision between, “Should I pay my mortgage, utilities, buy groceries or miss out on a medical treatment?” This is especially true when you’re a single mom who is battling Stage 4 cancer. This was exactly the situation that Arizona mom, Tiffany, found herself in several months ago.
“In 2004 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I found out I was five weeks pregnant right before my mastectomy was scheduled,” she shared. Tiffany had her daughter, Ezri, in February, had her mastectomy and went on Tamoxifen.
In 2010, “My oncologist said I was ‘considered cured,’” she said. “He didn’t really base it on anything scientific. It was just his opinion.” Then in January 2011, she asked her regular doctor if she’d run a tumor marker test. “In February 2011 I found out the cancer had metastasized to the bone, and I was Stage 4.”
She started immediate, high levels of chemo. During all of this, her daughter’s father left, and Tiffany was a newly single parent on disability struggling to pay the bills while fighting cancer. “I used up my savings. My family had a fundraiser to help me out while I waited for the disability payments to come in,” she said, adding, “I was living on less than half of my income with 100% of the bills being my responsibility along with my treatments.” (more…)
by Tania Meek
Today I spent the afternoon with a friend going through breast cancer. She was pouring into others, as she always does . . . shining a light into other people’s dark places.
As we drove back home, I asked a pointed question. What had people (friends, family, and acquaintances) done right or wrong over the last few weeks, as she battled this horrible fight? (more…)
A new breast cancer diagnosis can be extremely overwhelming with a tremendous amount of information to process. There are many factors that will play into deciding how you will tell your children about breast cancer.
This video will discuss children’s development, behavior and common reactions as well appropriate language and sample dialogue regarding treatment. We hope the following information will help encourage and empower you to talk with your children about breast cancer. (more…)
by Jan Owen James When someone you love has cancer, you may feel as if you don’t know how to help. The following list was developed by cancer survivors.
Each of us has a primary “love language.” Think about your love language, as well as the love language of your loved one who has cancer, to determine the best thing to do. To discover your love language, observe how you most often express love to others. If you hug everyone you see, your love language may be Physical Touch. Determine what you most often complain about not getting from others. If your spouse goes on a business trip, and you say, “You didn’t bring me anything,” your love language may be Gifts. What do you ask of your loved ones most often? If you crave getting together for lunch or coffee, your love language may be Quality Time. (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/) (more…)
by Jeff Tomczek
Your relationships are about to change. All of them. Some will get stronger. They will probably not be with the people you would expect. The people you want to handle this well might not be able to for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons will be selfish. Some of them will be entirely innocent and circumstantial. All of them will be forgivable because no one plans for cancer. Carrying bitterness or anger won’t help your recovery. Fighting for anyone to stick with you won’t cure you. Those who can, will. (more…)
by Jan Owen James
Many of you have been through chemo or have walked alongside those who have. But nothing prepared me for the mountain of learning that I’ve had to gain in order to safely journey my way through chemo. I figure that if I didn’t know some of the following tidbits, there are probably some of you who didn’t either. So as a public service, here’s what I never knew about chemo. (more…)
by Jan Owen James
Yes, I have had breast cancer. And I fought it. I probably had surgery. I might have had radiation. I might have had chemo. I might have lost my hair. I might have looked differently. I might have acted differently. Thank you for supporting me through that season of active treatment.
But now what? I look “normal” to you. I “seem” like I have good energy. I am acting pretty close to the way I used to, or so it seems. I may be back to work or back to the regular routine I had with the kids before cancer hit.
You say, “I’m so glad you got through it!” “I’m so glad that’s over!” “I’m so glad you’re DONE with that!”
But guess what? I have a secret to share with you. (more…)
After we’re diagnosed, all of us experience “losing” friends to cancer. The following article explains why the people we “think” will be by our side might not be during cancer …. and why others we never expected take their place beside us.
I Lost a Friend Today
by Beth Whitley
I lost an old friend this week. Not in the idiomatic sense that he passed away, nor in the literal sense that I misplaced him in a crowded supermarket and never found my way back to him. Although, metaphorically, perhaps that’s exactly what happened: we lost each other in the crowded supermarket of life, and by the time we realized we’d gone astray, there were just too many aisles and trolleys and shelves of tinned goods to find our way back. Of course, if I hadn’t been pushing a wheelchair maybe I’d have been able to keep up a bit better. (more…)