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

13 Responses to “What I Wish I Knew about Cancer part II”

  1. Cancer Says:

    Thanks for sharing this post…

  2. Liz Kinchin Says:

    I hear you ….and I hear Ursh ….she is my twin. And yep I don’t envy you writing a journey about Cancer its pretty hard. I expressed Ursh’s journey through a video …called Don’t Judge a Book By its cover.

    The main thing is keep positive, have faith and most of all have love ….as love conquers all.

    Kind Regards
    Liz Kinchin
    Ursula’s twin sister

  3. Liz Kinchin Says:

    You Tube … Ovarian Cancer …Don’t Judge a book by its cover ……..

    Hi this is the You Tube video I made as for me it was the reality of the true emotions of families confronted with Cancer ….

    have a superb weekend,
    Liz Kinchin

  4. Liz Kinchin Says:

    No problem. Have a fantastic week. Liz Kinchin

  5. Sharon Says:

    I wish I knew what to say and do when someone you love to bits gets cancer…. like Ursula who is the very bravest person I know. What incredibly blessed people we are to still have you here with us Ursh.
    Marti God bless you with the book! It will help us family members and friends to support our loved ones more effectively

  6. Sharon Says:

    Oh This is going to be a good book

  7. Allie Harvey Says:

    Hey Marty,

    I can understand how you don’t know what to cut out. Ursh is my Mum, and I don’t even know where I would start on things I wish I knew! There are thousands! I am looking forward to your book, it sounds like it will be so interesting to read. 🙂 Thanks for including my Mum!


  8. Liz Kinchin Says:

    I cant wait to read your book its going to help sooooo many people and their families faced with this dreadful disease, God bless you and your gorgeous family this Christmas Kind Regards
    Liz Kinchin

  9. Marty Wilson Says:

    Thanks Liz, very plenty bestest to you and yours also.

    Stay well

  10. sharon Says:

    I hope you are writing Marty and not having a holiday! Have a wonderfull blessed Christmas

  11. sharon Says:

    God bless every person affected by this terrible disease family and friends alike with the most amazing Christmas and 2011

  12. Warrick Try Says:

    Hi Marty, I thought I would give you a story which really
    happened to me and illustrates a common attitude to people with
    cancer. I started a transport service for disabled people in 1975
    with small buses (initially) and spent most days taking wheelchair
    disabled people from aged care or seniors groups on outings of
    various types. When I contracted Lung Cancer in 1998 I told most of
    my clients of this and told them that I decided to sell my business
    because I was unsure of my future. Some years later, I was
    prevailed upon by the purchaser of my business to drive an outing
    for a seniors group that I had previously driven on a regular
    basis. Some of my former regulars were still participating,and a
    couple of them remarked on how similar I looked to that nice man
    Warrick that used to drive them but unfortunately died of cancer
    some years ago. The point I am making is that so many people who
    learn of a person with cancer almost immediately rule them off and
    essentially commit them to the grave when they are in fact alive
    and well and living a useful and productive life. Don’t

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