Community Views: What Would You Say To Your Cancer?
At some point during the journey with prostate cancer, many people find themselves talking to their cancer or wishing they could give their disease a piece of their mind. In many ways, it could be empowering to speak directly to the thing that has taken over so much of your life.
To open up a discussion about this topic, we reached out to community members on the ProstateCancer.net Facebook page. We asked you to tell us: “If you could talk to your prostate cancer, what would you say?”
Here is a look at some of your thoughtful responses.
Wondering what I could have done differently
It is incredibly difficult to be in the place of asking yourself ‘Why me?’ When we go through tough times, it is natural to look back and try to make sense of it. Sometimes we question ourselves and want to know what we could have done differently. There often is not a satisfying or helpful answer to this question, but this phase can be a natural part of working through the emotions that come with having cancer.
“What could I have done differently to prevent getting cancer?”
You turned on me
Many people shared that anger was their first reaction. It makes sense that you are mad about being forced to upend your life because of prostate cancer. Anger can be a very empowering emotion because it often gives us energy to fight.
“I am so disappointed in you! You have been treated so well, then to turn on me like this!”
“So this is how you say thank you for all the years of care.”
“You took away my spirit.”
Please do not kill me
For most people with cancer, grief is a normal part of the journey. Typically, grief occurs in 5 stages, with 1 of the stages being bargaining. It is common for people to plead or bargain with the cancer itself, or with God or a higher power of their understanding, to ask to survive the ordeal.
“Please do not kill me just yet. I have still got things I need to do, and I do not think it is quite my time yet.”
It is time to fight
Some people shared that the only message they had for their cancer was that it is time to fight. These words can be encouraging for some as they imagine themselves going through treatment. Strong words can help find the motivation to keep going on the journey, even when things are challenging.
“I chose to fight you.”
“That I will fight and I will win.”
It can be a good sign when people tell their cancer that it is time to get out. Taking charge like this can show empowerment and the ability to picture a life without cancer. For some people, it can take time to feel other feelings first – denial, sadness, anger – before they are in a position to feel this bold.
“It is my body. Get the hell out.”
“Get the heck out of my body, and you will never be welcomed back!”
At first read, this may seem like an unusual answer, and in a way it is. However, it shows acceptance. Acceptance means you are no longer fighting what is. Acceptance also means recognizing that we only have so much control in the process. We can control which doctor we see, which treatment plan we sign on for, the foods we eat, and how well we take care of ourselves along the way. There is power in those choices.
“Thank you. I have accepted this and already processed it. I am dealing with it right now to ensure that everything is going to be OK without controlling the process of treatment and healing.”
We want to say thank you to everyone who shared for this story. We appreciate hearing such a variety of responses.
At what age were you diagnosed with prostate cancer?