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I Had Cancer Guidelines

We're all here for similar reasons - we've been touched by cancer in some way. It’s up to all of us to show each other that no one is alone. Your IHadCancer profile is your own place to call home during this crazy thing called cancer, we just ask that you keep these simple guidelines in mind when participating.

1. Always Be Nice. This is a place for connections and conversations – we encourage you all to talk openly but please remain considerate in all of your engagement. Don’t post obscene, hateful or objectionable content. Abuse and disrespect will not be tolerated in the IHC community and is subject to deletion and user removal at our discretion.

2. Be a Good Friend. The IHC community is a family. Please remember to be a good friend to the connections you make on IHC. Ask questions that you wish someone would ask you; if you can’t find the right words to say, send a hug, it can speak louder than words. A simple gesture goes a long way.

3. Don't Spam. This includes sending unsolicited messages of any nature, posting links to unrelated content, promoting a survey, fundraiser or product where it shouldn’t be promoted. If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate to post, e-mail us and we’ll let you know.

4. Think Before You Post. Everything you post on IHadCancer is secure, but it is up to you to monitor how much or how little information you are sharing about yourself and your experience. Please don’t share personal or identifiable information like your mailing address or your full name and don’t share other member’s information.

5. If You See Something, Say Something. We work hard to make sure these guidelines are followed closely but if you see something that doesn’t’ feel right to you, please let us know. We review every report we receive and will take anything you say to heart. We promise.

6. Be Open. Welcome newcomers and help guide them through this journey based on your own experience. Whether you are a survivor, fighter, caregiver or supporter, you have valuable information that can very well help someone else who is just beginning the cancer journey. Be open to sharing experiences and give someone else the gift of your time.

Thanks for being a part of our community. It’s up to all of us to ensure that IHadCancer remains a place for us all to call home when dealing with the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis.

Tinamm's picture
Tinamm Connect

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Dear Cancer I want to talk to you about my search for enlightenment... I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2011. Too many of us have heard those words in stunned disbelief. I sat thinking “no”… not even with an exclamation mark behind it…just a quiet little “no.” As the days unfolded and the reality started to sink in I had a glimpse of what that might look like. The surgery, the treatments, the drugs… what I was unaware of at the time were some of the deeper implications. I am a voracious reader and I did the only natural thing – I picked up all the books I could find on having cancer. I was determined to be the “good” patient. Unfortunately, at least for me, along with all of the advice offered from various experts, there was frequently a theme. It was of finding enlightenment. And it was echoed in the well-meaning advice of people around me. Apparently in between throwing up, pain and exhaustion I was supposed to use all the time I now had on my hands to find my true calling and become a much higher being. I am an overachiever so I tried. I tried to find it in meditation. Every day I spent as much time as my body would allow on my yoga mat. I breathed. I contorted. I relaxed. One day I thought I finally caught a glimpse of it. I had the sense of being watched over. Then I saw the shadow at the window and realized it was the neighbour’s cat. Admittedly she looked very zen. What did she know that I didn’t? She also got that look on her face after I would catch her digging in the flower bed. I flirted briefly with the idea that I could find it in the kitchen. Some people seemed to find peace and joy in cooking. Apparently there is a kind of meditative quality to creating nutritious meals from scratch. I almost made it into the room before I came to my senses and realized I haven’t been in here for years and probably couldn’t find a pot if my life depended on it. I am not sure I own a pot. I must… I searched for inspirational messages around me that might have some meaning. You know the ones. On the bill boards, sent to you through facebook, pinned above customer service desks. Everything happens for a reason. Just let it go…Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Never wrestle with a pig you just get all dirty and the pig likes it. (I kind of liked that one.) Surely one of these pithy sayings might resonate and the lights would go on. One day while having a latte accompanied by a piece of chocolate two things occurred to me. The first was my moment with that really good piece of chocolate might be as close to enlightenment as I ever come –and the second was I remembered vowing to myself a few years ago I would stop taking life advice from the sides of take out coffee cups. That’s when I bought myself a to-go mug. I visualized white light, I visualized healing, I visualized myself right out of this predicament and onto a beach in Mexico. When I stopped visualizing I was still in the middle of it. Maybe I was simply not strong enough? Maybe I was doomed to fail? In a vision it came to me what I needed to do was stop putting so much pressure on myself to become something better than what I am. I am not perfect but I am good enough for now. Maybe it is not cancer patients who need to seek enlightenment but the world around us who is made so uncomfortable by the glimpse into their own mortality. Let us be ourselves. The people you knew before. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad, sometimes we are angry. Sometimes we have flashes of enlightenment.