Archive for October, 2010

What I Wish I Knew about Cancer part II

October 19, 2010
I’ve started interviewing people for the cancer book and I, as always, am getting way too much great material to fit in a book. So I thought I’d send some of the full answers out to you all.
Please read on to hear what Ursula Harvey wishes she – and those around her – knew. Feel free to send it on to friends who might be in the middle of their jousting with the disease.
I wish that other people knew it was okay to laugh with you when you have cancer.
I wish I knew that people can say the most dreadful things when they are nervous, and cancer patients make people nervous. One friend commented after my second op that I had “now been gutted like a fish.”
I wish other people knew that it’s not okay to ask really personal questions, general rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t ask a non cancer patient then it is NOT okay to ask someone with cancer. For example, the wife of a guy who worked for my hubby asked casually “So do you still have a cervix?” Seriously! WHY! What has that got to do with ANYTHING?!!!
And a cab driver was chatting away and when I told him I had Ovarian Cancer asked: “So did you have to have radiation in your vagina?” and went on to question me about sex, radiation and wouldn’t it affect a guy’s penis.
I wish I knew that it is NORMAL to be scared!
I wish I knew that being positive does not mean denying reality. Denying reality is saying “I am not in pain.” Being positive is saying “I am in pain but hopefully tomorrow it will be better.” Being positive is looking for the blessings amongst the adversity, not denying the adversity.
I wish I knew how to tell people that it is HARD when they tell you to “stay positive.” That same person who said that will probably go home and cry coz I have cancer. But I’m not allowed to cry, I have to “stay positive”. Come on give me a break, no give me a friend who will cry with me, and then help me fight.
I wish people knew that it is okay to cry! Let is all out, then put on your big girl panties and fight.
I wish people knew that when you have fought a really good fight and have lost, that it is okay. You did your best! It is up to us now and we will continue the fight when you are gone.
I wish people knew that listening is the best gift you can give someone with cancer. Listen to them talk, listen to the hurt, listen to the silence, just be there and listen.
I wish I knew how to be me again!
I wish I knew fewer people with cancer.
I wish I knew which of all the supposed anti-cancer lifestyle choices where true! Protein good. Protein bad. Be vegetarian but eat fish. No be only vegetarian. Be lacto ovo vegetarian (whatever that is). Be vegan. My fave, eat a healthy diet – but there are so many contradictory healthy diets!
I wish I knew how much it would hurt when people I loved and cared about dropped out of my life when I was diagnosed. I guess they figured I had reached my use-by date.
I also wish I had known what a blessing it was going to be in the long run, few people get to find out who their true friends are but I did and they will be treasured in my heart always.
I wish I had known how precious my life is to me!
I wish I knew what to do with this second chance at life.
I wish I knew if I will ever get the chance to see my children graduate or play with my grandchildren one day.
In May, Ursula Harvey and her hubby celebrated one year of her still being around. They went to France, had lunch in the Eiffel Tower celebrated her being alive!
Now you get my dilemma with these books. What do you cut out?
Very best
Marty