Even though Stage IV cancer is generally terminal (yet even at this stage, there is a possibility of remission or living with cancer), and I was diagnosed as Stage IIIB, I nonetheless received my death sentence from some doctors, as you know. So I do feel like a walking miracle.
Despite all the continuum of circumstances, like the attention I must put on maintaining my weight and health, finding efficiencies in order to preserve the most energy, dealing with the possibility of an early death, accepting life-style changes, and having had great stress for several years caused by the insurance litigation, I am appreciative to my surgeon, chemo and radio oncologists, team of nurses, family, and friends for all they’ve done for me. Their support was immeasurable, and I hope I never forgot to say thank you.
One of my doctors outside of the cancer group asked me how I dealt with it, and what one would say to someone who has cancer. In fact, several people asked me similar questions.
There is no right answer. But we all have to understand and respect the ones who suffer from this illness and its dreadful treatments. If you have someone in your life that has been diagnosed with cancer, don’t just let them know you will be there if they need you. Even small gestures won’t go unnoticed, so offer the help that you can.
Take them for a walk, accompany them to a treatment or two, or bring takeout or something they like to their home and spend some time with them. Some may not feel well enough all the time, but keep trying. Can you offer to do some chores for them, or take them some place they need to go but too sick to get there on their own?
What do you see yourself offering someone in dire circumstances?