Why you should stop telling cancer patients to be positive.
This has been bothering me for a while. Telling a cancer patient to be positive. Be positive that you will get violently sick? Be positive that you will be constantly nauseous? Be positive that you will have a headache that no pill helps for? Be positive that you lose feeling in your fingers, which makes working difficult? Be positive that you will be so tired that waking up and staying awake feels impossible? Be positive that you have had surgery that leaves you feeling less than a woman? Be positive that you will lose your hair? That same hair that YOU spend so much time on washing and styling? The hair that makes you want to hide at home when you have a bad hair day?
All that must make a cancer patient feel positive?
Do you sit back and think how much pressure you put on a cancer patient when you say that? It makes it difficult for a cancer patient to admit that she is having a tough day. That she is not feeling so good. It makes that patient feel she has to smile so that no-one tells her to be positive. Even healthy people feel down some days right?
I can tell you that I appreciate it when someone says I am so positive. I am. I mostly feel this is a page in my book and not even worthy of a chapter. I have days where I feel it is a separate book though. I story on it’s own. Where I’m strong, fearful, thankful, angry … all at the same time.
This “be positive” thing didn’t bother me so much when it was just me. Now it’s my mom though. My mom having to go through what I’m going through. My mom having to get chemo to fight a horrible disease. Not flu. Not bronchitis or a broken leg. Cancer. Cancer where you feel so darn well but then end up making yourself sick by going for chemo. No, I don’t expect her to feel positive.
Yes, I get where everyone is coming from. It is always from a good and caring place. Should I see my mom lying in bed for days on end because emotionally she can’t cope, I will get a professional person to help her. I would not tell her to feel positive. I would tell her to be strong.
Yes, being positive makes it easier to cope. It does! If I had to sit in a corner and cry it would kill my kids. It would hurt my parents and Tommie. It would not be good for our family. It would make working difficult and generally life would suck. I know this is why people tell you to be positive. I get that. Please don’t think that I’m not thankful. Again, I know it comes from such a good and caring place.
Just sit back and think how it affects a cancer patient though. Someone who normally does feel positive and thankful for what they have and how “healthy” they actually are. It makes it so difficult to admit that some days are just really crap. That emotionally it feels too much.
I am thankful. Hugely thankful. It could have been so much worse.
Today though, today feels crap. I didn’t want my mom to go through this. I’m proud of her for choosing to give herself every possible chance there is to fight this. She is one strong woman. It’s okay when she’s not as well.
I’m not a hero. Just a normal person, fighting for my life.
I’m gonna love you through it
I remember when I went for my mammogram and sonar thereafter. I was waiting in the doctor’s office. Alone. I didn’t have to be alone. My mom badly wanted to go with me but I wanted to face it alone. I remember sending my mom a message “The doctor thinks it is cancer”
I cannot image what she must have thought. She wanted to drive to the doctor’s office but I said that I was fine.
I remember going for the biopsy. Alone. I didn’t want anyone else to worry or go through that.
I went back to the doctor when he got the results. Alone.
Again, not because I had to but because I handle tough situations like that.
I was alone when the doctor said he had bad news. That it was cancer. I was calm. Listened to his thoughts and what we needed to do next.
I walked out of his office and saw my dad in the waiting room. We know that lady who works there and he phoned her to hear what the results were.
All of a sudden I wasn’t alone and I didn’t want to be. My daddy was there.
I’m a proud person and I don’t think that is such a good personality trait to have. I needed to see my dad there.
I have since learned that so many people want to be there. So many people want to love me through this.
Tommie takes time of from work to go to appointments with me. The children go way and beyond. My brothers, sisters (in-law). My friends. People who I hardly knew have fast become close friends. People want to help.
They want to love me through this.
I heard this song and cried. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks ago.
I want to love her through this. I understand now how important it is for me to allow others to love me through this.
Mom, I can’t fix this. I can’t make it better. I can’t take it away but I can love you through this.
I took control
I have a sweet but also very honest oncologist. She told me exactly how I will feel during chemo and what will happen. For example that my hair will fall out. 10-14 days and my hair will start falling out. I have had long hair for ages. Last time I had short hair was in matric. The boys only know me with long hair. I always joke that “I may be fat but at least I have great hair”. Well, soon, no more. So I made the decision to cut it short and donate my hair to cancer..ironic I know. So today was the day. A day I thought would be emotional though, turned out special. Our hairdresser (aka friend aka angel) has supported and helped me non-stop throughout this while thing. Finally the day came that I was going to cut my hair. We got there and it turned into such a beautiful, emotional, special morning. My mom and I were treated with gifts, flowers, cupcakes, shampagne. The whole works. A toast to us, our path ahead. I wish I had thought of taking a photo. To all our friends there, this meant so much to us. You have no idea. Thank you for your support and prayers. You are amazing.
I have been wanting and meaning to write this for the longest time but I had to wait until a day that I’m not too emotional about it. If I had to write my absolutely true feelings there would be many a swear word and that is just not proper.
My mom and dad are very involved at the SPCA. They are not employed by the SPCA. They do it out of the love for the animals. Love that most of us (including me) don’t understand. We all love our animals. We all take care of them. (Hopefully. I you don’t you are a podex)
They care more. Do more. Most of us sit on Facebook, saying how horrible animal abusers are but do we do anything? Most of us don’t do anything. We just sit and comment and while we DO get upset, we don’t DO anything.
My mom and dad do. They are amazing. My dad does physical work that most young men won’t. My mom is constantly busy trying to find homes for the animals dropped off there to die. They put their money where their mouths are.
Yes, that’s why some people drop them off. The dog is old and they want the dog to be put to sleep. REALLY! Do you really think your 10-year-old dog will be better off in a cage, hoping that you will come back to fetch it and then be put down without you? Really? You must be some kind of special stupid.
Yet, my mom and dad spends time with those dogs. Take them out into the husky run so that they can stretch their legs, feel the sun and get some love.
They are not alone in what they do. You do get others who are angels and help as well but they are extremely few and far between.
I’m thankful that in a small way my children are a part of it as well. They will help over weekends. The homeschoolers go to give them treats of take them out to play. They know each and every dog and it breaks them to pieces when after months and months that dog has to be put to sleep. PTS because a puppy was chosen, instead of him. PTS because his owner didn’t want him anymore. PTS and not knowing what he did wrong. PTS and my children’s hearts break just a little bit more.
But yes, please continue breeding. That R6 000 you make out of your dog every six months must make you feel good. Oh you love your dog so much. You take such good care of your dog. Well, I’m happy for you. Also for your dog but do the maths. In a year’s time there will be 48 dogs. 48 dogs from just one mom in one year. That is IF every bitch has only 3 puppies. Will all of them be loved or will they end up in the shelter because wake up call, they DO end up in the shelter. Pure bred Yorkies, Pekinese, Jack Russel, Labrador, Boerboel….all of them. They end up in a shelter. So YOUR dog may be loved but I can tell you now that along the way one of them will end up at a shelter. Yes, you choose the perfect homes for the puppies of YOUR dog but do those new owners do the same? Or the owners of their dog’s puppies? Stop being so idiotic. Go to the SPCA. Get involved. Have your heart broken and that of those poor innocent dogs and then decided to breed.
I actually wanted to say thanks. Thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you for being the amazing people who you are. Thank you for teaching my children to love just that little bit more than most people do. Thank you for being there for those animals. Thank you for trying so hard to find them new homes.
Just thank you.
You are amazing.
Sorry if you were on the road and saw two white vehicles way over the speed limit. It was us.
After getting a heart-stopping call from my mom with her crying and screaming that she was in, we didn’t know if she was being attacked or fell or cut herself or bleeding to death. We did not know.
We had to get there immediately. That’s all we knew. (I beat Tommie BTW)
It took us two minutes.
My poor mom fell in the bathroom and hit her head against the corner of the wall. Fell on her elbow as well. Stitches in her head and elbow and sore all over.
I’m just glad it wasn’t too serious.
Glad she is okay.
I have often mentioned how lucky my boys are to have my parents as their grandparents.
It is clear from the photos that they are always there. Be it for rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis, choir or awards evenings. They miss nothing.
On Wednesday Jason and I were driving to his cricket game when we spoke about Oupa who is on his way to join us and poor Ouma who can’t due to her excruciating neck pain. We were talking about their support, when Jason said :
You know Mom. They will support anything we do…. Even if our sport was to count grass. Oupa would be “No Jason, that’s a weed! Don’t count it” and Ouma will say “Go Jay, only two thousand to go!”
Is true. They will be there regardless of what they do.
Indian Myna and Tonie Meiring
This is an amazing story that should have been told a long long time ago. Now it is with sadness that I do it.
Someone found a little Indian Myna in the street. Probably hit by a car (or so it seems). He/she was still very much just a baby. This person took the little bird under their wing, so to speak.
In time though the little one flew over the wall and just “adopted” my mom. He was free to go where he wanted but preferred to sleep inside the house. Eventually he made a little nest for himself in my mom’s bathroom.
The relationship was so special. He would come and go as he wishes but once every hour of half an hour, he would fly through the house, looking for my mom. He would sit on her arm like a bracelet. She could move her arm and he would just hold on. His food was here, he knew when my mom called Sophie to give him bread. He would fly straight to the kitchen.
My mom loved him and the feeling seemed very much mutual. My mom is such a caring person and he was a part of the family for almost a year. He didn’t like me though and would constantly tell me to “stop it”.
Unfortunately three weeks ago, he went missing. He was still in my mom’s house at 4 pm and just never came back. We don’t know if he was killed or if he is now being kept in a cage.
My mom would be okay with him being dead, since he really did have the perfect life for a year. However if he has to be in a cage, it would kill her (and him) He is used to being free and was petrified of even just being closed in the room.
My mom put flyers up and even advertised in the newspaper. We had some people offering their Indian Myna’s for her to take care of. People worried about Myna’s being kept in cages.
However, my mom got one sms yesterday from Tonie Meiring that was so upsetting. He basically told her that they are pests and he hopes that Piet went back to India with his whole family. That if she had any knowledge of birds, she would now that they kill our own birds.
Well, he just doesn’t get it. It’s not about the fact that it’s an Indian Myna. It’s about the fact that the bird that she loves is now missing. Her knowledge about birds (especially since my dad is involved in bird atlassing) is probably more than his anyway. Still , her ad in the newspaper was not about saving the Myna race but the fact that she was looking for her bird. Regardless of what type.
I sent him an sms (cause no-one will upset my mother like that) and in the end he call me trash. Lovely. For someone who is a DA counsellor that’s pretty sweet.
No-one calls me trash, Tonie. I don’t care how involved you are in the community. You have no regard for someone else’s feeling. She is already upset, no need for you to make it worse.
I was raised with “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.” Maybe you should look into that.
School athletics day
So many things came to mind this morning.
The one thing was that my boys make me proud in so many different ways.
Quintus was willing to run the 800 meter race with his friend, so that the friend wouldn’t have to worry about running at the back by himself. They decided to just do it together.
Jason ran the 1 200 meter and was last right from the start. He never stopped though. Never gave up. So many kids weren’t even willing to run. Or would have given up. He didn’t. He makes me proud.
Zander gave it his all this morning. And did it with a smile. Unfortunately a little boy ran into his lane on the second race and totally upset him. He finished though. Still giving it his best. Only crying once he saw Quintus.
The other thing is how blessed we are.
My mom and dad came to support the boys. They sat on those hard pavilion even though my dad hurt his neck and my mom is going for a hip replacement next week. My brother and sister-in-law stayed to watch each if the boys run. We have the best family.
This is the life
When you are 5 years old and don’t feel too well.
When it’s very cold outside and you don’t want to go to school.
Where’s the best place to be?
In Ouma and Oupa’s bed of course!!!
It’s the adults!
So we are on holiday. We decided that we’d still go away. Bella is in hospital being taken care of VERY well.
I wish I could be with her every single day but in reality I cant’
The boys are loving it. We have a flat where you can hear the waves break on the shore and better even SEE them lol
We are very close to the actually main beach and go up and down all the time.
I had to laugh at Jason when he spoke to my mom last night.
“Ouma. I don’t know what it is but I think it’s once the adults get out of the sea, the waves are bigger!” So cute.
Zander was really upset last night. He missed his brother (cried for a long time after we left yesterday morning) and then he missed his Ouma. Thankfully, with Skype, he spent an hour or two talking to my mom and then finally he had Ouma sitting at the computer, with the laptop facing him, so that he can fall asleep with Ouma close to him. Shame ….
and isn’t my mom just amazing!
Thank you for the thank you
My mom had a shoulder operation but was very hesitant to have it done. One of the reasons was that she wouldn’t be able to drive and would have to rely on someone to drive her. Also she won’t be able to do her hair, so she’ll have to go the hairdresser more often.
I told her many times over that I will drive her around. That we’ll just schedule around whatever she needs and we did just that.
We all survived (hey mom!)
Today, my mom took me to a spa all morning! to say thanks.
OH MY WORD
It was awesome!!! Feels like I’ve been a small vacation.
Thank you mom. It was great. Even more special to share that with you. 🙂
House of sick and injured
Zander has flu and has had flu all week long. It’s pretty amazing that he never shared his germs with my mom, who just had an operation done on her shoulder yesterday. Her muscle had torn loose from her bone and the whole operation just sounds extremely painful to me.
This morning Zander woke up with tooth ache and by now he has a swollen cheek from it. Our dentist / friend has not been answering my calls and frankly I might have to kick him when I finally get hold of him.
Then tonight, Quintus’ hamster broke his leg. Yes…you read that correctly. He broke his leg. His little tiny bone has pushed right through his skin. We did take him to the vet and we tried to get it back in it’s place and bandaged up. Unfortunately it didn’t last that long. Tommie though, managed to redo the bandage later at home and it seems to be holding.
I must say that seeing my husband (already in his pj’s after taking an early shower) rush out to the vet, was very sweet. (not to worry…he stayed in the bakkie when we got out) The vet was so sweet. I honestly didn’t think he would be that soft and caring towards a hamster but he was.
Quintus was in tears and even my ‘tough’ little Jason couldn’t handle it. He walked away, crying.
When we got home, the little thing just slept in my chest for hours. Felt so sorry for it.
Tonight before bedtime, Quintus said that he now believes the old people were right. Friday the 13th is a bad day.
Friday was a tough day. We were at a funeral of one of Tommie’s friends and it broke him. It was so painful for me to watch this big man, my husband, cry like that. The way we stopped trying to wipe the tears. It was just a constant waterfall of tears. It was horrible. The pain was raw.
We were to go to a concert of Steve Hofmeyr that night with friends, but our local rugby team played a game in honour of this friend and Tommie wanted to go. I told him to go and say goodbye to Johan, the way he would want his friends to do.
So instead it was just us women. I know my Mom loves Neil Diamond. Since this was Steve who was going to sing Neil Diamond songs, I asked if she wanted to go along with us. My mom was dressed and ready in 15 minutes. I had another ticket and Quintus asked to go as well. After Jason said it was not a problem, Quintus went with for his very first concert.
It was such a pleasure to watch him. To see the excitement in his eyes. The experience out there for us all to see. Steve even came to shake his hand. He loved that.
After the show we stood in the line so that Quintus could get his signature.
I got them to smile for a photo and my son was beyond happy.
We got home and Jason wanted a signature as well. So we rushed back. It’s just fair. We found him still standing there, giving out signatures, smiling his face into a spasm. Jason got his signature and a photo as well.
It was so sweet to watch them star struck and all. I remember the very first time I went to see a show of Steve. Ag shame, we were just a handful of people. I have many photos of us lol We were both much younger. I think that was also before he started with his collection of woman and many children…
Interviewing my parents
- What is something I always says to you? " Go for it"
- What makes me happy? Having a good time out with the family
- What makes me sad? To see anyone suffer
- How do I make you laugh? You are very witty. I love it ( got that from me ) haha
- What did I like to do as a child? You loved playing ball with me and playing school school
- What was my favorite thing to watch on TV? Heidi
- What do I do when you’re not around? Playing with the boys and on the computer blogging
- If I become famous, what will it be for? Being good to others and being a great Mom
- What am I really good at? Helping others
- What am I not very good at? Handling stress
- What is my favorite food? Chicken Casserole I make hehe
- What makes you proud of me? Being such a good Mother and daughter
- What do you and I do together? Go out shopping and having coffee and when there is time watch a movie
- How are you and I the same? We both do everything for our kids we can and then some
- How are you and I different? You give your boys more freedom than I gave you kids I was and still am a real worry pot 🙂
- How do you know I love you? Because you are always there for me when I need you.
- Where is my favorite place to go? Hartbeespoort
- What is something I always says to you? Lief vir Dad (Love you Dad)
- What makes me happy? Your children when they are happy
- What makes me sad? Bad fights with you and Tommy
- How do I make you laugh? When I am away on a trip with you
- What did like to do as a child? Watch Heidi/ Het jou katvis
- What is my favorite thing to watch on TV? Rugby?
- What do I do when you’re not around? Work/work/play with the kids
- If I become famous, what will it be for? Being a mother
- What am I really good at? Lots and really lots – much more than you think you are good at
- What am I not very good at? I have thought and thought – I dunno
- What is my favorite food? Wimpy Coffee (loved this answer)
- What makes you proud of me? Working/leaning/mothering so hard. Taking the blows of life on the chin and working through them
- What do you and I do together? Too little lately – talk.bird.hike
- How are you and I the same? Patience/ work hard
- How are you and I different? I really do not think we are
- How do you know I love you? When I look at you and you look at me and a book passes between us
- Where is my favorite place to go? Wimpy or House of Coffees