Advice for Conquering Cancer
|Tarah with one of her nurses on a
tough chemo day. (May 2013)
Hopefully you will never be or have someone close diagnosed with Cancer, but f you find yourself in that position focus on these silver linings; Cancer affords families with perspective, and allows for insight into the futility of things great emphasis is often placed. For example importance of houses, cars, status, and appearance, but when fighting Cancer hopefully you can see how in reality these things are insignificant. Cancer brings with it realization that stress; conflicts, bad drivers, running late, work woes, and other problems, are moments we long for, along with health, but not things deserving the stress we have given them.
|Sisters, Mom and Tarah
celebrating being together and
Tarah’s graduation with her MSW (2013).
This, however, is not the attitude or priorities conducive to fighting Cancer. My advice for the fight is to learn to let go of valuing yourself based on the amount of tasks you can accomplish or complete, but instead learning to reach out for help when needed, while valuing the community established from connecting with others. Underlying social norms tell us reaching out for help shows weakness, but I am here to tell you asking for help is a sign of strength and maturity. Not asking for help is as fear-based a decision a human being can make, and can lead you quickly in the wrong direction.
For those reading this who know someone battling Cancer, and are onlookers of the devastation, don’t wait too long before you take action. Feel free to take it upon yourself to do something for someone who is struggling, because you are mindful asking for help is not always easy. Be thoughtful in how you proceed in helping patients and families, but don’t be pushy, or feel accomplished by the simple extension of, “Call me if you need me”. Patients and families don’t need words or sympathetic smiles, they might just need a hug or a kind gesture.
Something I have learned the hard way in my Cancer battle is to not let myself sulk or feel depressed for too long. We all need a couple days every now and then to be sad, and rightfully so, but allowing despair to go too long opens opportunity for darkness to consume an individual. I suggest reaching out to someone before you start day three shrouded in despair, and combat dark days with a game plan by asking family or friends in advance if you can call them when the roads gets weary, because weariness is a guarantee.
|Tarah and her husband, October 2013.
Kept fighting and realize…It gets better!
If you or someone you know is struggling with a Cancer diagnosis please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will cry with you, direct you towards resources to Conquer Cancer, and most importantly I will pray for you!