The awkwardness of surviving

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    May 05, 2010 2:14 AM GMT
    I've learned today that I am pretty much in the clear from my cancer. Now this evening I am feeling some awkwardness of surviving. I have buddies in my live and online support groups. We all pretty much were diagnosed at the same time or have come to know each other since. Some of the others are having a much harder time of it. I have posted my good news, but I feel a little awkward. How does it sound to someone with not so rosy a prospect before him? I know that they will all say good things. But I feel like we are the Class of '06 and I am graduating and they arent. ... It's awkward.
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    May 05, 2010 2:20 AM GMT
    You shouldn't feel poorly for having beaten the odds, Cas.

    As for sharing the news with your fellow cancer-surviving buds, I'm sure they will be happy for you and see your successful beating of cancer as a beacon of hope....so long as you don't come across as rubbing their noses in your success (which I know you wouldn't do).
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    May 05, 2010 2:26 AM GMT
    Caslon14000 saidI've learned today that I am pretty much in the clear from my cancer.

    My memory is like a sieve. Did you tell us before what kind of cancer you had? Obviously I'm delighted you overcame it. My partner also beat cancer 6 years ago. Surviving is not a shame, but an example for others that cancer can be beat. Not everyone will beat it, but so long as some do, others can hope. Far better than if no one does, yes?
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    May 05, 2010 2:30 AM GMT
    I can understand how you feel, Caslon. As a person who has survived and thrived with HIV for nearly 26 years, I am often in the same situation.

    Sometimes when something good happens for me, like my regularly great lab results, and I know that it might be difficult or even painful for others to be happy with me, I just keep it to myself or just share the good news with others who can be happy with me.

    It's bittersweet when things like that happen, but for me, I tend to downplay my own win for the sake of others' feelings.

    It's especially difficult if I'm not sure if my good news might give hope to the other person, or if it might bring them down. I do share my good news if I'm pretty sure it can give some other person hope.

    We can live a week without food, a day or so without water, a few minutes without oxygen, but not a moment without hope.

    I pray that you keep getting good news!

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan


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    May 05, 2010 3:15 AM GMT
    zdrew saidI'm sure they will be happy for you and see your successful beating of cancer as a beacon of hope....so long as you don't come across as rubbing their noses in your success (which I know you wouldn't do).

    I am thinking that this will be the last blood test I will post to the online support group. It would become "non-news" to keep telling them every 6 months "I'm cured."

    They just recently increased the testing time from 3 years to 5. I cant help but think to soak the insurance companies...who really dont mind, cuz they just charge us all in our premiums. ... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • HOTWEILLER

    Posts: 347

    May 05, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    Just show u can win this "war", noticing it and having u by their side they will feel stronger to continue fighting.
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    May 05, 2010 3:22 AM GMT
    Caslon14000 saidst blood test I will post to the online support group. It would become "non-news" to keep telling them every 6 months "I'm cured." ...

    But never stop sharing your experience, strength, and hope. icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 05, 2010 3:25 AM GMT
    GAMRican said
    Caslon14000 saidst blood test I will post to the online support group. It would become "non-news" to keep telling them every 6 months "I'm cured." ...

    But never stop sharing your experience, strength, and hope. icon_biggrin.gif

    I keep telling them to eat their broccoli, but none of them takes me seriously. ... harumpf! ... icon_evil.gif
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    May 05, 2010 5:20 AM GMT
    damn lucky your test time is so long apart... my mothers is every 3 months for the rest of her life... the joys of blood cancers... but congratulations on the good news, and a word of hope to your friends isnt gloating or anything... its showing them it can turn out well, even if it doesnt look like it will.
  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    May 05, 2010 5:36 AM GMT
    I'd imagine you're giving at least a few of them hope . . . and a placebo helps. And maybe they'll listen to you about the broccoli.

    Congratulations on the fantastic news and best of luck with your new guy!
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    May 05, 2010 5:41 AM GMT

    Another moment in life that will bring great pause and appreciation for the value of life. A thin line between joy and sorrow. Best wishes to your buddies but I rejoice in your good news!
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    May 05, 2010 9:39 AM GMT
    First off, I am happy to hear that you are essentially in the clear. That is GREAT news. I can see how you may feel a bit ackward about sharing the news though. At the same time, think about how it might give hope to some of the others in your support group. I agree, no need to keep posting updates there that you are still cancer free but I think it would be a wonderful thing if you continued to participate in the support group and be an example of how some people do beat this thing. Really happy for you man!
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    May 05, 2010 10:38 AM GMT
    sashaman saidFirst off, I am happy to hear that you are essentially in the clear. That is GREAT news. I can see how you may feel a bit ackward about sharing the news though. At the same time, think about how it might give hope to some of the others in your support group. I agree, no need to keep posting updates there that you are still cancer free but I think it would be a wonderful thing if you continued to participate in the support group and be an example of how some people do beat this thing. Really happy for you man!


    ^ this

    I'm sure you know this, but you're dealing with a group of troubled souls in various stages of recovery and/or acceptance. Some in the group will look upon your news with great joy, while others will see it as nothing more than gloating. If you want to remain in the support group, you must conform to the group's etiquette.

    It's all about positioning.

    Don't tell folks in your support group that you are cured. Simply stating that your cancer is in complete remission is good enough. Remember, you aren't cured because you're never cured of the human condition ... Gaea knows I'm not cured, and probably won't be for another dozen lifetimes.

    The support group needs you, so stick with it.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    May 05, 2010 11:36 AM GMT
    It's natural to feel a smidgen of guilt, like acing an exam that all your schoolmates failed. But you're not being malicious, you're sharing the good news with friends. Don't sweat it, you're likely inspiring them to keep fighting.
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    May 05, 2010 12:30 PM GMT
    im not too sure about the ackwardness BUT I'm glad ur in the clear! icon_smile.gif

    icon_razz.gif
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    May 05, 2010 12:53 PM GMT
    Congratulations!

    A friend visited NYC with her family recently and we talked about the same issue. She is a survivor of breast cancer and still participates in a support group. She noted how several members passed away who were diagnosed in earlier stages of breast cancer. The members meet in person and help out those whose health is deteriorating.

    I think it's important to encourage others and give them hope by sharing your good news while being sensitive to their individual situations. Can you ask the group members how they feel about sharing positive news?


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    May 05, 2010 1:33 PM GMT
    At this point in time, you take on a new role in your support group- as a survivor. Take a lesson from the ladies who have survived breast cancer that continue to encourage and support their comrades in the cancer battle. Individuals who are newly diagnosed need to hear a voice that has "been there before" and survived. They want to know what to expect, tips on dealing with treatment/medications/side effects of treatment, and will need some encouragement along the way. Congrats on beating cancer!! Use your success to continue to help others.