• Do you believe that your attitude will help you to become a survivor?

    Asked by Carol-Charlie on Friday, March 1, 2013

    Do you believe that your attitude will help you to become a survivor?

    I was told by my regular doctor, my oncologist, the chemo nurses and my doctors PA.. that my attitude got me through this battle against cancer. I want to share what strength I received. My faith gives me strength. I truly believe that God wants only the best for His children for he loves us deeply. With this in mind I followed where he led me. He put a fabulous doctor in my life... I did everything the doctor wanted me to do. You should have seen the smile on the doctor's face when I told him I wanted to fight this killer... that I had more to do in my life. God then gave me the strength and stuborness to keep going. This verse was on my Daily Bible Quotes for today. I think it says it all.

    " So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 -

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think attitude has a lot to do with just about everything. But I think that non-Christians can have just as much attitude and strength.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      I totally agree Nancy. I was not saying only Christians can have a good attitude. I totally agree with you Nancy! I've re-read my post and I'm confused as to why you feel I was saying only Christians have attitude and strength? I did say that God gave me my strength!

      over 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Carol-Charlie,

      I agree with your contingent (i.e., docs, Pa, etc.) that a positive attitude will definitely help you through your battle against Cancer. I think for those people who belong to a religious community (and I'm one-I'm a Conservative Jew) that your clergyperson and all the people in that community (whom you have attachments to are indispensable in helping through difficult times. The Bible passage you quote, i.e., Isaiah, is in Prophets and is not only Christian in nature (i.e., is not from the New Testament). Jews also believe this. However, I like generally to keep religion on the fringes of my discussions with people on the site and just tell them that belonging to a religious community is important for 1) the support they'll get from their Clergyperson and 2) the support they'll get from their fellow Congregants and 3) the comfort they might derive from reading the Bible (whatever portions are meaningful to you).

      I'm a BC patient, had early State (I), had a mastectomy, was found not to need chemo (through genetic testing) and only need to take hormonal treatment. I've been cancer-free for 2 1/2 months so I think I'm doing pretty well. I'd like my energy level to be higher (I'm also a Lupus patient) but all in good time. I also want to be 19 again and attending Harvard (I'm 54) but somehow think it's not going to happen...;)

      I'm a retired trained Medical Librarian and often refer people to information they might find helpful or recreational. If you enjoy reading and want to join a bookgroup but there isn't one in your area, there's on online called www.goodreads.com. You can keep track of the books you've read, write book reviews, join books groups in genre lit, meet people from around the country virtually, get other titles in a particular genre, and red others' reviews. I believe I read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamont and may have reviewed it there. If not, it's excellent.

      If I can do anything for you, let me know. You have a great attitude! Keep it up-it will stand you in good stead!

      Warm wishes,

      over 5 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I think attitude not only helps you heal faster, it also makes you much less of a pain in the whutzit to your friends and family! Cancer is scar---off-putting to many people because it reminds them how fragile life is. Why have a negative attitude that pushes others away from you when you need them the most?

      I get my attitude from my sense of humor. A day without a good belly laugh is a day not worth living! Am sure that Tickling Cancer will agree with me on that one!

      over 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Attitude can be important. I've sort of taken an incredulous "how dare you invade MY body" tact in dealing w/my cancer. And I agree, a sense of humor has been imparative to me. I've used my humor w/my oncologists, the nurses, even my nurse case mgr -- she's said that my emails always make her laugh. I'm going to stick w/the idea that in my case this is just a major inconvenience and it needs to get shoved back in the gutter where it belongs 'cause it does NOT belong in me! That's my story and I'm sticking to it! PS -- I'm non-Christian, too, but I'm all for wherever and however people can find the strength and motivation to take each step in their journey.

      over 5 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      You inspire me. I needed your message. Love your spirit. I had a horrible experience.getting.my port today. God Bless you. XOXO

      over 5 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I completely agree Ydnar2xer!! You could be having the worst possible day and all of a sudden, you see something that makes you laugh. Even if just for a brief moment, when your laughing, you're not thinking about what put you in that mood. A positive attitude gets a lot of people through a lot of trials!!

      over 5 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I think attitude is so important in getting anyone through dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I get told all the time that it's hard to believe that I've not only been dealing with ovarian cancer but a heart problem as well. I look it as doing what is needed to be done to survive. I never have defined myself by my body parts but rather by my heart, spirit, and determination. I am a sore loser so I will never give in to a disease without a fight. If I go down, I will go down swinging.

      over 5 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      That should say I'm a sore loser. Not quite sure where the xxx came from.

      over 5 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I certainly agree with the tenor of your post Carol-Charlie. A good attitude is the strongest weapon we have. If you feel your faith helped you get through this, then who is anyone else to tell you differently.

      But I agree with nancyjac.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yes I truly believe a positive attitude and a sense of humor has been critical to my emotional and physical well being. I get up and dressed every day. Stay as active as I can. Focus on what I can do, and try to to dwell on things that I can't. I told my oncologist that most of the people on both sides of my family live into their late 80's and early 90s (I had one Aunt who passed away at 99, and another going strong at 96) and I have every intention of doing the same.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Another thing I did from day one... still do today 7 years later - Is I wake up... I get up - I get dressed up and put on my hair and makeup. I do my work around the house.. Lots more than when I was on chemo... but lots less than I used to do. I'll blame turning 70 here... but my life on line may have something to do with it too. Tomorrow I'm bringing Spring into the house. First week-end in March. I have silk tulips, and lilacs, and other things Easter related. Bunnies and chicks. Spring.... a time of new life.... new beginings. I've got great recipies for dinner with the family... I did color eggs each year... for the grandchildren... some were just colored... no design... no names... But I made my standard Bunny Cake. I think I make it more for my sons than the grandkids at times. I have pots and pots of tulips in the garage waiting to be put outside but have to wait till the snow melts. It's life I want to celebrate... and have for years. Two months after completing my two years of chemo. Maybe three.. I had both my knees replaced completely.. (six weeks apart due to having had cancer)... Then I had a check up with my oncologist. He laughed... when he saw my bandage from the second one and the scar on the first one. He said.... "why does this not surprise me?: I told him... since I was going to live. I was going to walk. I just wish I could get my cats to walk on a leash.

      over 5 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1 (Best Answer!)

      I am a person of very strong faith ( Orthodox) however that being said I think attitude does help get you through the treatments however attitude cannot AND DOES NOT KILL CANCER. We have clinical trials to prove this.

      This attitude thing is out of hand in my opinion because for those of us who don't make it we feel guilty that we didn't try HARD enough. Or we are not worthy of surviving. I have actually had people say to me: I think Cancer is caused by a BAD attittude or, I think people can think their way out of cancer. My responce is: Really then why do children get and die of cancer every single day? Are you saying they had a bad attitude?

      Its this kind of thing that has harmed cancer funding in many ways. Some people will give tons of money to AIDS or Heart research but will say that cancer is brought by life style choices and attitude. Really? And AIDS Or Heart disease isn't? Many Doctors would dispute that.

      When we are in remission its easy to say what got us there but i watched my sister, my best friend the funniest and strongest person, the most generous and kind in this world die of cancer. Her Doctors all said what a fighter she was. She fought for her life for 8 years at MSK becuase her sons were only 6 and 8 yeras old when she was DX. She felt so much guilt that she wasn't trying hard enough that she didn't have the right positive attitude. She had been given just 6 months and she fought and fought.

      The treatmet that she took I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Even her Doctors said she was one of the strongest people they ever met. In mind, body and soul. And never ever complained about anything. She was really an awesome person

      I stood by her side the whole time and just a few years later my Mom and then me.

      I have been through a regime that most people couldn't take incliding radical surgery. Yes my faith is with me, and yes its in Gods hands but I also think that if its my time to join my sister then its my time. I am not afraid.
      God did not give me this cancer and he is not going to take it either. He will be with me on the journey. He will hold my hand.

      Attitude can help you get through the treatments but it has nothing to do with cure or remission and I won't put this on anyone fighting cancer.

      I won't perpetuate the guilt that people dying of this beast can feel. I won't make anyone feel that their faith, attitude or really much in their power ( other than taking the treatments and exercise)has anything to do with
      remission or cure..On the other hand if a positive attitude gets you through..by all means...But be careful how its used as someone else might not be so lucky and those without being touched by cancer can not understand.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      CAS1... What a perfect posting. Thank you. As the doctors were chatting on the phone about who would tell me I had Stage IV Ovarian Cancer.... I'd figured it out myself... come on it didn't take a genius to know what tests they were doing. As they started the tests. I said a simple prayer... "Lord I'm terrified of this cancer... Please take my hand and lead me to where you want me to be!" I was instantly calmed. Not joy filled, but calm and capable of listening and understanding the words I was about to hear without breaking down. Looking back, I don't think I ever broke down and sobbed. Tears yes... I had three sons, five step children and at the time 7 years ago... almost 17 grandchildren. The doctors told me I had a very high pain threshold... They said I was strong and determined. If you read some of my posts, I went from Stage IV to Cancer Free. I Know that God led me here to healthy for now... planning a son's wedding and planning to dance at his and a grandson's wedding coming up this year. I know He gave me the strength. I am trying to let people know that. I would never say it was MY attitude and strength.... I wrote this back then when I had been told I was cancer free... after two years of chemo to smash the straggler cancer cells. I hope if you read it you'll understand the weight of being a survivor when many friends have passed on. I so mean the words Thank God!

      Why Me?
      by Carol Notermann

      The tech had said excuse me. I’ll be back in just a bit.
      I lay there with my hand in God’s, and hoped this wasn’t it.
      A man walked in “to take a look” and it was then I knew
      That this cancer that I feared, was now in my life too.

      “OH GOD! WHY ME? I’m so not brave.”
      I screamed inside my brain.
      My family, my life, came rushing by –
      Like a loud and speeding train.

      I turned to God, still holding tight the hand that held to mine.
      And then the Lord did answer; His answer was sublime.
      “WHY NOT?” He said - as he still held tightly to my hand.
      “I’ll never let you go! See there are my footprints in the sand.”

      And together we did walk through those next two busy years.
      He gave me a special doctor. A doctor without fears.
      I listened and followed the doctor. His smile was warming to see.
      He and the staff at that clinic, were smiling always at me.

      And soon came the words I had prayed for, the words that filled me with glee.
      “You Carol are a “survivor”. All tests show you’re still cancer free.”
      I smiled and I laughed and I hugged, this doctor who God blessed with skill.
      There are no good words to thank him, but I know in prayer that I will.

      Then my mind went to the others, the ones who fought till the end.
      They fought quietly, valiantly - then went home to the Lord in the end.
      “OH GOD! WHY ME?” Why have I been so blessed? Why me?
      “WHY NOT?” was His simple response, and His Glory was all I could see.

      over 5 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      CAS1 you couldn't have said it any better and I appreciate your response. Just yesterday someone said to me to stay positive that attitude is everything. Its like some people dont want to listen to the reality of our fears. I think it's just easier on the body and not as draining if one has an attitude of acceptance. I also feel its important to acknowledge the bad days, as long as one doesn't get stuck there for too long!! Your answer makes me feel okay to not feel positive every day and its still okay.

      over 5 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Dear Carol,

      Thank you, I hear and understand you completely. You are a real hero to many. Your contributions are really great. I understand because I too put my hand in his because it was the only way for me to survive and not feel angry for this diagnosis. I had taken the best care of myself to avoid putting my family through another cancer journey.

      But I also know how painful I find it when people..People who have never even been touched by cancer say " "Keep a positive attitude" and I also know the guilt my sister felt that she "wasn't doing it right".
      That about killed me..

      Not this cancer that could be killing me but the hurt in my sisters eyes when people would say that.

      Cancer is a disease of cells not dying and causing a blockage in an organ. Some cancers are many cancers in one and thats why some people are cured or respond and some don't.

      If any of us are cured it is due to the advances in medicine and other personel benefits from each of our bodies. Its that simple.

      My prayer is: " Dear God give the Doctors the tools to find the cure for cancer not just for me but for everyone"

      And I push our legislators to fund more dollars to cancer research to fund our Universitys because this is where the majority of cures come from and to push through breakthrough medicines for cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • ElizaM's Avatar

      Absolutely - no matter what you believe in - attitude is everything. The quality of life is based soundly in one's attitude. No matter what you believe if you are positive and move forwards with a healing attitude as opposed to a defeatist attitude, you stand a much better chance of overcoming just about anything.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      CSA1... Yes.. we agree... I too thank God for my wonderful Specialist... The young Gynicologic Oncologist Surgeon Specialty.. bounced into practice in January of 2006... There were only six in the state of Minnesota back then... Two at Mayo, and two at UofM and 2 at Minneapolis Clinic where I was sent. I sware Dr. Boente looked like Dougie Houser MD. I thankful for people who donate to research and those working hard to find cures and treatments. I know when Gilda Radner died from it... many of the tretments I received were not available. I love this site for the reasons I've told many... because we are here to help... give tips, share laughs at things one not touched by cancer woud cringe at. To push pull and pray for each other until all can declare CANCER IS GONE!!!!

      over 5 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      My mom told everyone that it was my will to live that got me through. I made a little speech at Thanksgiving dinner 2010 when I had finished treatment. I thanked everyone for helping me and supporting me. Then my mom spoke and said it was all me. She said even though I was thanking everyone for helping me, it was me. I didn't know she felt that way. It felt good because I had tried to lighten everyone's burden by being strong and upbeat during my journey. I wasn't always successful because sometimes the illness go the best of me, but I know they all saw how hard I was trying. I am fighting again with a recurrence.and I hope I can be as strong this time.

      over 5 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar

      There are so many wonderful responses here and I am inspired by all of you. The only thing that I will add is that I believe that my positive attitude not only helped me through, but it also helped my family and my friends to deal with all of this. Even through all the tough times of chemo, there was a deep sense of peace and inner strength in the midst of the pain. I can't explain it, but I believe that my husband and my sons felt it too, perhaps because they saw how I was dealing with the circumstances? I believe that my faith is my source of strength and hope, and helps me through this journey.

      over 5 years ago
    • JulyzBride's Avatar

      most definitely attitude is EVERYTHING!

      over 5 years ago

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