Cancer Lesson #1 : The Jug

This whole Cancer thing is enlightening!  Honestly, from the get go you start to look at things differently.  It’s kind of like the reward you get for having Cancer… “here’s this super sh*tty thing…but we also have this great new way of thinking to give you and it’s absolutely free!”  A girl I know actually was misdiagnosed with Cancer, but in her time waiting for her actual diagnosis she managed to learn this lesson and it has stuck with her.

First of all…the little things don’t matter any more.  And for the biggest worrier on the planet, that has been so liberating.  I used to not be able to put a thing out of my mind, it would fester and become a HUGE deal.  Rarely anything would come from these small things, but I still never learned my lesson.  Until now.

Secondly,  I mentioned this in a video diary, you feel LOVE.  You feel SO SO much love.  I’ve have experienced such kindness and support from complete strangers.  I have felt ALL the love from my family and friends.  And although the love was always there (I know my family has of course always loved me) I never would have known it the way I do now if this hadn’t happened.  So, as sh*tty as it is to have Cancer and to go through chemotherapy…there’s a silver lining there too!

Having said that, not EVERYONE shows you this love and support.  Before I started my treatment my sister used a really good analogy to explain to me how important it was going to be to spot these people and give them up – even if only temporarily – for the sake of my own well-being.  Explaining that in life there are givers and takers, she talked about having a jug.  There are going to be people who add to your jug and people who take from it.  I honestly didn’t fully grasp the concept until after I started chemo.

My advice to anyone undergoing treatment for cancer is to take this message on board.  It’s not about people GIVING you things.  It is the support with kids, cooking, cleaning, transport…BUT ALSO the kind words, the lovely comments, the well wishes, the hugs from strangers… that’s the giving I’m talking about.

You do not need to keep people in your life who not only DON’T give you anything… but actually TAKE from you too.  If you are in any way confused about who these people are….here’s some examples:

  • People who are Me, Me, Me…I, I, I.  You know this person – everything is about them and no mention of a ‘we’ or ‘you’.  I have dumped all of these people from my life they are not worth it.
  • People who never contact you.  And I mean… NEVER.  (I’m not asking people to contact me the whole time at all, the people in my life are in contact with me more than enough!!)  I mean people who have never once asked how I am since all this started… people who really, really should have.
  • People who never reciprocate.  There are people I know who have experienced hardship, people I helped in as many ways as I could in their time of need.  From looking after their children when they left the country, to helping to care for ill members of their family.  I haven’t heard from them and I didn’t hear from them in any of my previous times of need either.
  • People who don’t have your best interest at heart.
  • People who do not respect you.
  • People who are saying ALL the wrong things.  I’ll talk about this again maybe… but people who say things like ‘maybe you should try herbal treatments instead of chemo.’  Never, ever mess with a chemo patient’s head like that.  These people are dangerous and I have also ditched them.

Let me just say again, for the most part…everyone has been SO AMAZING.  People are so lovely, people who you would never have expected it from in a million years.  Kind words mean more to me than anything at the moment.  I don’t have any place in my life for hate… I don’t hate these people I’ve talked about I just can’t have them in my life.  I can barely read a newspaper because I don’t want to see the ugly parts of life!  That makes me sound airy-fairy but I’m telling you Chemotherapy and staying sane during it is enough to be dealing with!

I hope I get my point across here.  I am lucky to have a sister who was able to explain this to me…to tell me I was within my rights to drop these people and not have to feel guilty or rude about it.  So if you are going through the same experience as myself or you know someone going through treatment for cancer – let them know that it is OK to look after themselves and think about their own well-being!  It might seem obvious, but it’s not!

Ok, that’s all for now. x