a man shown split in half. One side of him looks healthy, the other side is bald, pale, and tired looking.

But You Look So Good

I bet a great many of us suffering from prostate cancer have heard, “But you look so good!” I know many people only have the utmost positive thoughts and concerns for our well-being. However, this is a really tough sentiment to receive as we battle both day and night against our evil enemy, cancer. We live in constant pain, depression, and doubt. Often we spend two or three days a week at never-ending doctor appointments. We suffer from numerous side-effects caused both by the cancer itself and the medicine we must use simply to survive the cancer.

Those who know us watch us change

Nonetheless, I can honestly see where people are coming from when they make that statement, “But you look so good!” Most know us from what we looked like before cancer invaded our lives. Then the majority of folks see how we look as we undergo radiation and the dreaded chemo infusions. We transform before their very eyes from a healthy individual into someone clinging to life as we lose our hair and most of our weight. Witnessing many of our sickest moments as chemo and cancer ravages our bodies.

If we are one of the very blessed and lucky ones, they witness our body’s slow return toward some resemblance to our former selves. The daily struggles remain internally as we seek new ways to combat cancer. I always tell those who will listen or care, “I know one thing for certain, when I awake tomorrow, the pain will still be there and the daily battle for life will as well!”

Don't judge a book by its cover

I never judge a fellow cancer warrior by their outward appearance. Many may seem to be doing better with their treatments or side effects, however, that may simply not be the case. I am always happy to sit and listen to someone else’s cancer story. To put it simply, I may be able to share something with them that may help them through their struggles or they may be able to offer me some wisdom or encouragement.

Meet people with compassion and understanding

We must remember to never jump to anger when we hear that statement, “But you look so good!” Some may be at a loss for words as to how to best approach us concerning our battle with cancer. A lack of knowledge may also bring about that most dreaded statement of all statements. Many who have not experienced cancer, and I hope they never do, have not been educated on the effects of cancer and the treatments for cancer.

"I am battling every day, but I am blessed"

When my loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and family members look at me saying, “But you look so good!” I give them a great big smile replying, “Yes, I am thankful for that. I am battling every day, but I am blessed!”

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