Any of us could die any day …

Posted: January 18, 2013 in Breast Cancer

Please!  I just wanted to write about this kind of comment because I have reached my limit with it.  Of course we could all die any day.  Duh.  But there is one helluva difference between staring down the barrel of a loaded gun every single minute of every day, and the random thought that you might have a random heart attack.  And you can just say, “Naaah,” and move on.  Not so with us Stage IV cancer types.

We face our adversary, the very thing that is trying its damnedest to take us out of here, all the time with no relief.  And people really think that is how they spend their days?  Being that I used to know what it was like to be cancer-free and not worrying about dying every single day, I can pretty much guarantee it is not how any of them spend their lives.

And let me tell you what that does to a cancer patient when you say something like that … it completely invalidates their experience.  So when you are dealing with cancer patients, perhaps keep that in mind.  It will help us know that you are at least giving consideration to what we are going through and not just trying to make yourself feel better.

Ok end of tirade.  Thank you and hope you won’t be offended!

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Comments
  1. Martine middamMartine says:

    I hear you Melissa!!!been fighting for 14 years and heard all kinds of comments.

    I find solace with other cancer fighters and speak of it not or little with others.

    Hugs !

  2. methenandnow says:

    I think it’s mostly about deflection. You take it personally (how could it be otherwise) but I think when people say things like that they aren’t trying to minimize you or your experience because it’s insignificant – they are trying to flatly minimize (in their mind) the entire experience of dying. It’s an attempt to feel safe in the face of something that is genuinely terrifying and a unimaginable.

    • But when someone is terminal, is it really about making the healthy person comfortable?

      • methenandnow says:

        No, of course not. I don’t know the circumstances – I can only tell you that people are clumsy and stupid and careless. This can’t be news with or without cancer. But I also believe that most people (most, not all) mean well and they just can’t fathom your experience for whatever reason. You have a lot to be angry about but the fish that swims free really can’t comprehend the struggle of the one who’s been hooked. Not really. I’m sorry for whatever was said that hurt you.

  3. Donna says:

    I love you Melissa! I’m sorry for any comments that have been disheartening when really we should all want to encourage you & be there for you every step of this battle I wish we were never engaged in. We will fight with prayer for you & help you in any way possible. May God continue to strenghen you & breathe new life into your sweet spirit everyday. May your heart be comforted with the warmth of His Spirit living, moving & glowing through you as He carries you daily through this warfare. Thank God that He will have the victory. The Lord bless & keep you, may He make His face shine upon you & be gracious unto you & give you His perfect peace which surpasses our understanding.

  4. Meg Patterson says:

    Thanks for posting this. Hear, hear!

  5. Dianne says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Always good to hear from you. Although the “comment ” is true, it is not helpful. I know first hand what it is like to be thinking about life’s end every day. John did not talk about it very much, but I’m guessing that it was on his mind alot. I know that he was not afraid to die, and at some points I think it was something he looked forward to. Of course his life here was very difficult and he knew it was hard for me as well. I guess we need to be gentle with people who don’t understand and don’t know what to say. I , on the other hand look forward to heaven, as I am missing my husband like crazy!! It’s the process that is so scary. I will continue to think about you and pray that you will find as much peace and comfort as possible. How are you doing medically? My daughter cancelled all the cancer sites I was on, so I don’t know how anyone is doing. She thought it was stressing me out and not good to continue after John died. I agreed to a point, but I want to keep up with people that I connected with. Let me know how to pray for you. How is your husband holding up? I’m sure it is difficult for him too. God Bless, Dianne

  6. Clint Matthews says:

    You should write a book! Clint

  7. Thank you for articulating what so many of us who suffer with chronic illness deal with all the time….insensitive words from others. Sometimes, people don’t mean to be insensitive, sometimes they just are. A neurologist once said to me it’s hard for people to look at someone they know or whom they care about who is ill, because it forces them to confront their own mortality…it scares them…so they shut down–

    I’m sorry to hear about your passing, and I hope you’re enjoying your seat it heaven 🙂 Thank you for spending so much of the time you did have left sharing your thoughts and feelings in this blog. Hopefully, your family will find a way to save it for others like myself to find. I was just doing a google search on Orgain today, and it sent me to an entry that you talked about it…then I found so much more…

    I found courage and strength reading your words today, and they inspired me to do more with the time that I have left. The fact that you thought some much about others when you yourself suffered so much is an inspiration to us all. Thank you–

    Tara

    • Hopeforanswers,

      Too many times people make another persons sickness or illness more about themselves then the person who actually has the sickness or illness. Unfortunately, happens every day. Also, I’m so glad you found help and inspiration in Melissa’s posts.

      John

  8. Thank you for articulating what so many of us who suffer with chronic illness deal with all the time….insensitive words from others. Sometimes, people don’t mean to be insensitive, sometimes they just are. A neurologist once said to me it’s hard for people to look at someone they know or they care about who is ill, because it forces them to confront their own mortality…it scares them.

    I’m sorry to hear about your passing, and I hope you’re enjoying your seat it heavan 🙂 Thank you for spending so much of the time you did have left sharing your thoughts and feelings in this blog. Hopefully, your family will find a way to save it for others like myself to find. I was just doing a google search on Orgain today, and it sent me to an entry that you talked about it, and then I found so much more…

    I found some courage and strength reading your words today, and they inspired me to do more with the time that I have left. The fact that you thought some much about others when you yourself suffered so much is an inspiration to us all. Thank you–

    Tara

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