A twitter bowel cancer fellow patient put me onto this link. Alison. I think unanimously we all said "hell yes that's how I feel" when reading. The author follows up with an article on what you should say. I tried to articulate my feelings a year ago but only received abuse because I was "obviously talking about how wrong x,y and z got it". Family fell out with me, yes the dying one (the people who saw themselves chose not to put things right quietly and think "thanks for telling me without face to face hurting my feelings")
I'm putting this out there because people keep getting diagnosed, 5 years of this crap and I've got used to a lot. Newbies into this adventure will be very raw and should be treated with more kindness. Comments in brackets and at the end are my own and accordingly more acerbic
You've lost so much weight. You look fantastic!
Thanks for noticing! My doctor says I'm malnourished.
You're strong and I know you can beat this.
Are you going to be disappointed in me if I die?
(also people will insist in fighting with me but how? It's in my body and I endure everything)
I read that kelp/almonds/asparagus have magical anti-cancer properties.
You should definitely eat some, then.
I know what you're going through.
Your grandfather's colostomy bag does not make you an expert on my medical situation.
(a classic - the number of people who know what I've been through because someone else had a totally different cancer even - I only know what I'm going through, my experience is unique to me, my family situation, my prognosis, my cancer)
That reminds me of when my dog/cat/gerbil had a tumor on her leg.
I'm sure that was heartbreaking for you.
God doesn't give us more than we can handle.
(god is a non entity to me, I find it offensive you think he would hate me and my children this much should he exist)
OMG, I have/had cancer too! Let's be best friends.
Please stop weeping on my neck.
I know you don't want to talk about it, but I really need to.
Get a therapist.
Cancer rates go up the less you exercise.
You're right. It's my fault I got cancer.
I am so impressed by how fearless you are.
Actually, I'm scared shitless, but I've gotten really good at hiding it.
(sneak round at 10am, 2pm, 10pm, 4am and hear me sobbing in bed/on sofa/in bathroom because I think no one can hear me. Who do you think I'm hiding it from and who am I protecting by taking this in my stride?)
I'm praying for you.
That kind of grosses me out.
(3people are, it does nothing for me and as I don't believe just let them get on with it. I know it's a waste -my attitude and strength got me this far)
I feel awful, too! I have such bad allergies this time of year.
Everything happens for a reason.
I'm beginning to doubt your intelligence.
(yes I've been a terrible person I need to die so the world can be relieved of my poison)
I had a friend who died from that same kind of cancer!
Wow, what a coincidence. Fuck you.
So do I, 2 friends Bec and Peter who were wonderful, beautiful people and I knew my path would follow their's that I am next from our group of Bum Bandits as we called ourselves half a decade a go. We met on MacMillan forums where I sought information from others. I diagnosed and staged myself from my endoscopy the day I actually was confirmed to have cancer and before lab results from hours on google images.
The others remain clear (and will remain so please) , if a little pleuritic (take more time off you loon and rack up more photo albums) and prone to hangovers in random European cities. Taking Caribbean holidays. They are really living, working, playing hard. Raising money obsessively - Peruvian treks, Killimanjaro, putting on cabaret events, the things I'd love to have done yet never got fit enough to do 3 peaks! Working stupid hours because they can. Trying to make sense of the fallout now 5 year sign off is here for them.
I'll be included in the 5 year survival rates (if I make it to June) weird isn't it, surviving can be pretty hard work.
They didn't have rectal, it was bowel cancer further up which gave them much better odds. I want them to go on living properly, working less in some cases. Relationships and babies when you've had cancer and chemo are possibly the hardest things to deal with and the deep hurt that never goes away with the potential consequences is something I'll not know.
I am thankful daily for the decisions I made - marrying and having kids so young. My life may be cut in half but I crammed it all in and can leave my fledgling adults behind knowing they can take care of themselves. More importantly I know I have the exact sort of loving, caring relationships with my children that I never had with any parent. All my sacrifices paid off, all my hard work, scrimping, working 2 jobs, never doing any housework when the kids were with me so it was all our time together. My only pain is that I'll not meet any potential grandchild and I adore babies. I have so much I'd like to teach them but then I read up on that too and had my plans for routines in place before I got to hold my first live baby. Both were happy babies and toddlers, slept 8 hours from 4 weeks, 12 hour nights from 3 months. I asked my mum during my last breakdown and depression if I'd ever been happy as a child. She replied, after a few moments too long "well I have got that photo of you smiling with a toy watering can". Says everything.
Virginia C. McGuire received her first cancer diagnosis when she was ten years old. She has heard everything on this list at least once.