Thursday, January 31, 2008

C is for CANCER

Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells-any cells-in the body. The foods we eat, our genetic makeup and the environment we've been exposed to all impact your risk of developing cancer.
Treatment of most cancers requires several approaches. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or some combination of all three. The success of any treatment is related to the overall health of the survivor. A positive attitude, a sense of humor, courage, having a support system of friends and family and many other factors can have a tremendous impact on your healing and happiness.
Though it is very common to pose the question "Why me?" (as almost every newly diagnosed cancer patient does), there is not exact answer. Individually, each patient must seek out answers to his or her own personal satisfaction. Asking the question "Why me?" is a normal response to grief about cancer, and it is the beginning of healing. According to experts, grief has six stages. As we work through our grief, we move through these stages. And as the word stage implies, we may be in more than one grief stage at a time or we may move in and out of these stages in different orders, depending upon how we work through our grief. Eventually, as we heal, we reach acceptance, which allows us to move forward with our lives. Here's a quick overview of the grief stages as they may relate to cancer:
Shock and Denial. To protect us, our brains use shock, numbness and denial to cope with the traumas we experience, whether the traumas are physical or emotional. And for many, a cancer diagnosis is trauma. During this stage, denying the diagnosis of cancer is common. You may feel as though the diagnosis is a bad dream from which you will awaken and realize isn't true. You may go about your daily routine in a very surreal or disconnected way.
Bargaining. When physical or emotional pain becomes unbearable, engaging in some form of negotiation is typical. Consciously or unconsciously, you may try to negotiate with a higher power, your spouse, your friend, your doctor or whomever you see as being able to help cure cancer and rectify the potential outcome. Bargaining is really an attempt postpone your grief.
Anger. You may become angry about cancer-angry with yourself, family members, doctors and even the world. You may play out your anger as hurt, frustration, fear, helplessness or guilt. Thee reasons and targets of anger are as unique as the individuals dealing with them. You may even surprise yourself with your rage. To help you cope ask others to listen to how angry you feel about cancer.
Guilt. You may blame yourself or others and often may feel helplessly guilty about a cancer diagnosis. You may say to yourself or others, "If only I had or hadn't done this." Or you may think, "What could I have done to prevent cancer?" Unfortunately, there may be nothing you can do or could have done to prevent or change a cancer diagnosis.
Depression. A sense of helplessness and the reality of a cancer diagnosis sinks in deeply and you feel depressed. Symptoms of depression often include loss of appetite, feelings of worthlessness, an inability to enjoy anything, insomnia or difficulty concentrating and making decisions. If depression is lasting a long time, you may want to speak about how you feel with a caring friend, or go to a mental health professional if you feel that's the care you need.
Acceptance. One day, you notice that sun is shining and you have more good days than bad. You have hope, and you can begin to enjoy life again. At first, acceptance can be so subtle that you may not even recognize it. With time, you realize that there is life with cancer and, hopefully, life after cancer.
As you work through the stages of grief, recognizing and talking about your feelings is healthy, regardless of which stage you're in. Talking to others about how you feel is key to healing. And as you heal and accept cancer, you can begin to move on.

Note ~ It's funny (not in a funny kind of way), I am sitting here trying to think what day it was we found out my husband has Cancer (I believe it was Monday). We don't know what kind as of yet... there will be a biopsy this coming Tuesday and then we will have to wait again. It has been the longest week ~ weekend ~ and now ~ more waiting.


  1. thanks for such an informative post it seems like every time we turn around some one we love a friend, family member the big "C" is always intruding it's ugly head. we have dealt with this so many times in the family and we will again.

    I know that your family is dealing with all these feelings you have written about and I know that it is not the first time the family has been through this. we learned a great deal then and we will take that wisdom and use it with LOVE
    support,prayer, etc
    whatever is needed always REMEMBER
    that! (that has always been the way
    your Grandma G raised us and still remains today.)

    prayer requests have already been
    started and will continue.

    Love ya

  2. {{{Angela Marie}}}
    I hope you have more than enough strength to deal with this.
    Keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. I am sorry to hear about the "C"...that is a bummer!!!
    Trust in the Lord....comes to mind.
    Dear Angela, I don't know you, but I will keep you both in my prayers.

  4. Oh man. I'm praying already!

    The one thing I learned last year about those stages of grief? It's not a ladder. It's more like a pendulum. You can swing back & forth between any of those stages. My counselor warned me to allow myself those swings and not to panic if I revisit a few.

    I am praying. Hard.

  5. oh this is horrible! I'm so sorry - both of you are in my prayers

  6. MOMMY

    It's good to know there is a process...I know last time, I was a little girl, and behaved rightly so. Now, I am a young woman, and will be so. We're all in this together. Forever.

    And another weekend begins.

  7. Your wonderful daughter is right, we're all in this together.

    Our good Lord is with you always as are all of us who love you. Remember the special angels you have to talk to as well.

    Please lean on us when you need to. Take care of yourself as well as Charlie and the rest.

    I love you.

  8. It seems to be more and more common. I don't know if it was just overlooked in the past and misdiagnosed or our lifestyle is making the difference. Either way, best of luck to you.

  9. First of all, let me say that so I'm glad you left a comment on my site yesterday. I've been visiting yours for a while as well! I'll be coming back to visit here often.

    Thank you for sharing this information. Now that I'm over 40 I think it's so important to have things checked regularly. I'm sorry this is happening to you and your husband. My thoughts and love and light are with you.

    Have a relaxing weekend.


  10. Dear Angela,
    I know that how worried you are . I went through this with my mom a few years ago. If I can be of any help in any way please let me know.I hope you will allow those of us who care about you to help you along the journey.
    If you have any questions I can answer or help you with being a nurse let me know.
    I will continue to carry each of you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love and a Big Hug,

  11. I am sorry to read this, and I know from experience how scared you both must be.
    Have courage and faith. I hold you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Dear Sweet Angela: So obsorbed in my own things, I hadn't had a chance to read any posts. I am so sorry to hear of Charlie.

    How I am loving and hugging you my dearest. I know this will all be over with Aunt Cassie soon, and then I will be there for you, I promise!!

    Love and Hugs
    Wanda Mom

  13. Angela, I'm so sorry to hear this. Please know that you're all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sending you much love & hugs,

    silvia xox

  14. Excellent post. I'm sorry that you are going through this with your husband.

    As a 3 year breast cancer surivor (and counting), I know what this is all about. Only too well.

    The worst part of all of it is the waiting -- waiting for tests, waiting for results and then perhaps more tests. Perhaps more results. Then treatment. It feels like a never ending cycle.

    But there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am one of those people who sees my cancer as a gift. It is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Did I love it? Did I ever wish this on myself? No. But I stopped asking "why" early on -- because there simply is no answer to that question.

    Once you accept that fact, it all becomes so much easier to cope with.

    Blessings to you and your husband. Sending you positive thoughts of healing and love.

  15. I'm so sorry to hear your news. The waiting of course is so difficult.
    At such a time it is always important to eat heathily and well, and I can't think of a better person to tempt a subdued appetite than you with your home cooking. Hang on in there and try to stay positive.

  16. oh honey, i am sitting here with tears in my eyes ... sending you love and care and hope, always hope ... xox

  17. I just saw this. I wanted to share that my young daughter-in-law was diagnosed in 2003 with Hodgkins lymphoma. After treatment that lasted less than a year and other than tiredness mainly, she did just fine.

    She has been free of it since the end of 20023 and now has a beautiful little girl, 2 years old. Just wanted to share a positive cancer story with you.

    All my best to you and your husband.


  18. O! Angela! I'm sorry and I will keep YOU and YOUR Charlie and family in my prayers! My dad just found out last Friday he has melanoma! We are waiting for results of his mole being biopsied/((((Angela Marie))))

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