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Myths About Living with Cancer

Posted 1/10/2013

Posted in

  There are so very many myths about living with cancer, most of them spoken and even believed only by people who have never had cancer. Or who have never even known someone well who had cancer. Most of the popular myths seem to come straight out of Hollywood with laugh tracks or built in tears. A few weeks ago, I received an email that I assume was sent to hundreds of health care providers around the country. It was from a TV producer who seemed to think that I would recognize his name (I didn't) and described a new reality show about people living with advanced cancer. The planned theme is reconciliation and healing of old hurts or wounds. The email asked if I could suggest people in this situation who would be willing to be filmed as they were reunited with someone who had hurt them badly in the past (think absentee fathers or estranged siblings). Can you believe this? I did not respond at all, but I wanted to send a scathing response about incredible intrusion and voyeurism and sadism (a little strong, maybe, but not much).

  These thoughts were stimulated by this posting by Ann SIlberman on her great blog, But Doctor, I Hate Pink. Her title is myths about living with terminal cancer, but I think they apply easily to living with cancer at all stages. My experience strongly suggests that we all might make some small changes, rarely make big ones, and just try to live the best we can. Here it is:

Source: http://www.butdoctorihatepink.com/

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Posted by Ann

Myths about Living with Terminal Cancer

MYTH: You realize the importance of life and set about making dreams happen.

REALITY: You play “The Simpsons Tapped Out” for 8 hours a day.

REALITY: You play “The Simpsons Tapped Out” for 8 hours a day.

MYTH: You make sure your insurance/retirement/SSDI/IRAs are set up properly for your death.

REALITY: You chat on Facebook about how cute your greyhound looks with fabric antlers.*

REALITY: You chat on Facebook about how cute your greyhound looks with fabric antlers.*

MYTH: You leave stories of your life for your children, complete scrapbooks, and do all those things

that you always thought you'd finish in your free time.

REALITY: What free time? A Hoarders marathon is on.

REALITY: What free time? A Hoarders marathon is on.

MYTH: Cancer causes depression.

REALITY: Your only depression is because you can no longer aspire to be on Survivor. You know in your heart you would have Outwitted, Outplayed and Outlasted. Well, maybe not outlasted.

REALITY: Your only depression is because you can no longer aspire to be on Survivor. You know in your heart you would have Outwitted, Outplayed and Outlasted. Well, maybe not outlasted.

MYTH: You are more understanding of the faults of others, and a lot nicer to people who annoy you.

 You are every bit as exasperated as always, but now people feel guilty if they upset you.

 You are every bit as exasperated as always, but now people feel guilty if they upset you.

Bonus: You can use their guilt to get chocolate.

MYTH: You downsize so that nobody will have troubles dealing with your stuff upon your death.

REALITY: Isn't that iPad/cappuccino machine/sweater just darling? You can never have too many.

REALITY: Isn't that iPad/cappuccino machine/sweater just darling? You can never have too many.

MYTH: You travel to all those places you always wanted to see.

REALITY: Airports suck. Let's just go have a double tall mocha. Your treat.

REALITY: Airports suck. Let's just go have a double tall mocha. Your treat.

MYTH: You become more focused, organized, and spiritual.

REALITY: You are the same disorganized, sloppy, easily amused, distracted....

REALITY: You are the same disorganized, sloppy, easily amused, distracted....

Okay, I’m bored now.

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