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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The C-word

Someone I care about has been diagnosed with breast cancer…again. I sent her a note a couple days ago hoping it would help. She indicated it did, a bit. It is hard for anyone to address the C-word with someone they love.
At times friends have asked me what to say in that situation. The answer is not forthcoming because everyone reacts differently to life-threatening illnesses. Having said that, this is some of what I wrote to my friend:
The scary part is not the mastectomy surgery but the not knowing what the results could be. Good news the doctors don't know either. That means it is where it always has been...in God's hands. 
You are suffering from the past stress you endured.  But it can get better. Your cancer center will have a nutritionist that has read and understands the principles in "The China Study" and "The Cure" and other books that will help you with good food and rest.
 Having been through just a bit of your tribulations, might I suggest a few possible ways to make it better.
1. Avoid talking about the C-word unless you are talking to your husband, doctors, or God. When you talk about cancer, people will tell you the most horrible stories about this friend dying or a surgery gone wrong. For every bad news story, there are five or more good news stories. Unfortunately we Americans have been trained by the media to speak the negative. You should only listen to the positive from well meaning friends and family. Walk away from the rest.
2. Get joke books, comedy tapes, videos of puppies, and fun movies--laugh as often as you can.  Laughter is the best medicine.
3. Hug the stuffing out of grand-kids, kids, hubby, and friends. Hugs fix blood pressure and stress better than any pills.
4. Knowing that if you are satisfied with your life—blessed with those you love—each day will get better no matter what the clinical statements may be.
5. MOST IMPORTANT It is okay to be mad, angry, depressed, weepy, grumpy, difficult, or unresponsive. This is your body and your reaction. So yell, scream, cry, beat your pillow, and pout if you want. But remember your smile will melt those around you—even strangers—into loving support every time.
God bless you and everyone in your world. I pray for the best possible life for you and your family.