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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Why are we whispering?

Cancer. There I said it. This seems to be one of the most powerful words in the English language. It can bring a person to their knees and makes others quake around them. It's this power that makes people not want to talk about it but that's the entire problem. We need to be able to openly talk about one of the biggest problems facing our society.

When I received my diagnosis I felt like the only person in the entire world facing this battle. But the more I talked to people and the more I got them to open up I found out just how many people I knew that had fought this awful disease and won. This was hugely important for me, it gave me hope. 

I implore you. If you know someone that is facing cancer please talk to them. I'm still shocked every time I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone close to me and they feel the need to whisper every time they say "cancer." I'm not contagious, you can't activate it by saying its name three times, it's just something I'm dealing with. 

The best thing that's happened to me was a local policeman that faced stage 3 colon cancer last year reached out to me. He had a couple of phone conversations with me and then had me over to his home to talk about what I can expect and what I should do to stay sane and rested. It's one thing to have your friends lend you their support, but it's an entirely different thing for someone who had actually gone through treatment to sit with you and talk. I left Dean's house feeling empowered and even excited to start chemotherapy.

Please, all of you, take away the power of the word cancer by talking openly about it and not using hushed voices. And survivors, please share your story of hope and reach out to someone else that will benefit endlessly from your kindness. 

This blog was heavy but I think it's important for everyone to hear this. But here's a joke to lighten the mood:

A man walks into a psychologist's office wearing shorts made of nothing but Saran Wrap. The psychologist looked up from his desk and said, "well, I can clearly see your nuts!" Wocka wocka.

2 comments:

  1. you are absolutely right. The first person that I met after my diagnosis here in Edmonton was of the same opinion as I. My wife and I went to their house for a meal between my surgery and the flight back to the North. His teenage daughter was sitting with us for awhile and then stood up and said - all you guys are talking about is cancer, this is depressing. My reply - if we treat it like a big dark dirty secret - it becomes one.
    I won't let this become a dark and secret part of my life - I will start a blog too. My mental health guy thinks it is a good idea to talk to the world - I haven't met anyone since I moved to Edmonton.

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  2. I love this! You're right...the more we talk about Cancer the more power we take from it! We live in a small town where my husband and I are both teachers. In the beginning the kids in my classes didn't know anything but as word spread, they started to whisper asking things about my husband. So one day I just sat them down and talked to them about it. I let them ask questions and answered them to the best of my ability and now they are so open to ask about Sean. It also makes it so much easier when I have to be away...they always ask why are you out, now when I tell them, it's no big deal.

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