There is a huge misunderstanding that cancer survivors are a bunch of helpless individuals. I’m here to break down some of these misconceptions as those theories are a bunch of crap, for lack of a better term. Again, if I could say one thing about multiple myeloma, it's that it's has taught me that I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’ve spent most of my life proving people wrong, and just when you think I’ve thrown in the towel, I prevail, finishing and standing tall in what I have going on at that time.
Having cancer does not make you a charity case
Upon your diagnosis, did people talk to you differently? Did they assume you couldn’t function? I’m here to say that a cancer diagnosis by no means indicates a charity case. Many just need an ear and a co-partner to go along the process with. So what are some of the thoughts we need to de-bunk when it involves cancer patients?
- Cancer means invalid- not even!
- Cancer means I can’t work- that depends on each person’s situation, but there are plenty of people who maintain and continue their employment or businesses.
- Cancer means I can’t enjoy life- Nope, as I always say... live until the wheels fall off!
Cancer does not mean you are invalid. It’s crazy how sometimes people assume the worst without truly understanding the plight. So what is it we can do, even if we don’t want to? We hang strong and get it done.
Taking back power: Squashing misconceptions
Choosing to go forward with chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, or other treatment options is not an easy decision, like many might think. Yes, the treatments may allow you to survive this, but on the other hand, you may be thinking, "Man, these drugs are going to make me weak, and possibly even sicker." It's a misconception that treatment choices are easy decisions but they aren't. Decisions about treatments are ones made with great thought.
The misconception we can’t process things fully is totally inaccurate. Now I admit it takes some adjusting to process the technical and semantics of cancer in question, but once everything sinks in, I think it’s fair to say we move forward from there.
Though we may slow down having fun, by all means, we do not stop. I remember clearly asking my doctor “I can’t have a glass of wine any more?” But it's not about having the fun we used to have, it’s about having some wisdom in the choices we make moving forward.
There's no rulebook for handling cancer
Though misconceptions are unsettling in truly understanding what it takes to beat cancer. There’s no special rulebook because we’re all so very different. We process and we react and we beat this in the best way we can. Though these mix-ups can be unsettling, it’s the least of our worries. We pick out heads up and move along with our decisions and prep for the long road ahead, and that involves truth, fight, and dignity.
The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it
How long did it take to be properly diagnosed?