• Other than physically, in what ways has cancer affected your life and the lives of the people you love?

    Asked by FreeBird on Sunday, October 14, 2012

    Other than physically, in what ways has cancer affected your life and the lives of the people you love?

    It has been quite a journey, mentally, emotionally, and financially for my family. My dad's cancers have certainly focused us on what's most important in life. Everything else unimportant goes to the back burners. How have your experiences affected you and your family?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • nobrand's Avatar

      Socially! Every social sphere I used to play part in has been has modified to accommodate me, or moved away to ignore me. Basically, nothing is the same-- the conversations I have are different, the visual cues I receive are changed.. the select few that have not changed or gone away either were extremely close to begin with, or are disabled themselves.

      Thus perspective has changed as well. Now that I have entered the kingdom of the sick, I realize that I had been ignoring it all this time. I'm now sitting on the periphery as able-bodied youngins walk by chatting zealously. People are afraid of being ill, I was afraid of being ill-- and now I no longer am afraid.

      All of the people I used to ignorantly walk around-- the ones in the wheelchairs, with canes or colostomy bags-- I now know their stories and names. A lot has gone wrong since cancer came along, but this is one thing that turned out for the best, I think.

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Emotionally I am falling apart. My relationship with my DH is at a breaking point, the physical and emotional drain of treatment, tests and scans is high. and I've been seeing therapist and doing "all the right things. Managing my energy, and not being able to do many of the things I love. Going on disability -I was in such denial it took me 18 months to apply, I was looking for jobs and going on interviews while on Chemo (for renal cell) and during the initial phases of my breast cancer diagnosis. I lost my job 3 weeks before the renal cell diagnosis, so the unemployment check helped my delusion. Radiation treatment brought me to my senses but it still took another 3 months to be emotionally ready to apply for SSI.

      over 8 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      I am answering this question as the spouse.

      Emotionally and socially cancer has taken a huge toll on life in general. Friends stop calling knowing I will be busy with my husband, or my husband has just had surgery again and I can't leave him. Eevery time he is in the hospital I stay with him 24/7, sleeping in the recliner in the room with him. After the first couple of hospital stays people stop visiting. How many surgeries have I sat in the hospital alone waiting for the surgeon to come out and talk to me. I almost feel like people are annoyed that he is still sick, or sick again. Either way hurts.

      Our relationship has ebbed and flowed through the last 8 years of cancer. We had been married 2 years when we learned he has colon cancer. Suddenly all the plans we were making for our future came to a drastic halt. It felt like I had a switch inside me that changed my emtions day-by-day, hour-by-hour. I recognize it all now as the stages of grief, which I also learned don't just come with death, the come with devastation.

      I have learned through the last 8 years, and certainly wish I'd learned it sooner, that I have to allow myself to create a life that fulfills me so I can take care of my husband in the way he deserves. I am a costumer, and love attending evetns with my Jane Austen group, and my general costuming group--Regency, Edwardian, and Victorian are my favorites costume eras. Two years ago I dived back into costuming and it has done wonders for me emotionally and socially. I often wish my husband was well enough to attend the occasional event with me, and have even made him a Regency Admiral costume to wear someday.

      I think being a part of this group has helped my husband a lot; just finding and meeting other people with cancer to talk about everything with.

      over 8 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I definitly refer to it as a journey. Some people look at me funny when I say I have taken away blessings from my journey.
      I am much more laid back about things. If something happens, well, I have been through much worse! I no longer worry about the dust bunnies under the sofa, and I value time with my family much more.
      I also am very proud of how my children handled the journey. They were 15 and 7 when I was diagnosed, and I feel they are stronger people for it. We are a stronger family unit for it. We take much pride in how we handled the situation.

      over 8 years ago

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