July 17th, 2015
| Survivor: Breast Cancer
There are certain phrases that people with cancer are used to hearing, including "you'll be fine" "it's the good kind" and "you're so brave." Read more to find out why many people dislike these well-intended messages.
I’ve had cancer two times, and both times, I heard the following three statements multiple times. I know that they were not intended to be negative or to make me angry, but I also know that I speak on behalf of so many fighters and survivors out there when I say that we HATE to hear these things.
"Oh, they caught it early, so it's the good kind! You'll be fine."
"You're a tough cookie and so brave and strong and positive. You'll be fine."
"You’ll look back on this as a gift! You'll be fine."
That's not to say that cancer hasn't allowed me something I would not have ever had otherwise...a sisterhood of survivors that I am honored to have in my life and call my friends. I would not call them a gift, but I do know that had I not moved into Cancertown, I would never have had the privilege of meeting them. The quote, "you don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have" absolutely applies to these ladies. They live it every day.
These women have become a part of my daily life. They get me. I'd like to dedicate this blog to my sisters - the ones in the trenches fighting for their lives and staying strong for their loved ones. We may all come from different places, different backgrounds, social standings, ethnicity, religions but somehow we all ended up on cancer's doorstep. And like being invited to a huge dinner party where you only know the host; we stepped out of our comfort zones, compared war stories, flashed our scars, cheered for each other when the follow-up scans were good, and rallied around each other when they weren't. These are my fellow survivors and warriors, the only women I can truly sit down with and talk about "something only we know."
And they know exactly how it feels to not know what to say when a well-intending friend or stranger says "it's the good kind", "you'll be fine" or "it's a gift". We can smile and recognize that it's just because they don't know what else to say, and then we work together to try and teach the world exactly what we, the cancer fighters and survivors, DO want to hear.
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