* Don’t Waste the Hurt

Cancer hurts. It hurts your body and causes pain. It hurts your mind and causes you to doubt. It hurts relationships by causing exhaustion and stress. It hurts financially because the cost of treatment is simply mind boggling. Cancer just hurts. Now that I am a cancer survivor, I don’t want to waste all that hurt.

I always call cancer “the gift that keeps on giving”. It’s been 12 years and my body still hurts from some of the treatments I received. I’ve had to go outside the box sometimes to find ways to alleviate that pain. I’m a researcher by nature because of my librarian background so if there’s a problem, I am determined to find a solution. When I find one that works for me, I can share that with others, especially with things like massage therapy, yoga, muscle salves, etc.

I learned during treatment that sometimes your mind can be your enemy when it comes to worrying about worst case scenarios. That’s where journaling helped me and it’s because of that journaling that I now write this blog. If I felt fearful (and still do sometimes), I bet others do, too and need to hear that it’s normal. It would be a huge waste of the hurt though, if I hadn’t found a way to let that go.

As for the financial hurts, that’s a tough one. I do know there are organizations out there who want to help with this issue, but you have to ask. The American Cancer Society has access to lots of information about what type of help is available in your local area. Call them!

As for relationships with caregivers, my response is simple. Let them help you with the hurt. They may not have cancer but they are hurting, too. 

You’ve either been through a lot or you are going through it now. Don’t waste all the things you’ve learned about yourself. Use your hurt to make yourself a better, stronger version of you.  Don’t waste the hurt.

Blessings, Cindy J

* Caregivers

It’s the season of Thanksgiving and a time when we stop to be thankful for the blessings in our life. For those of us who have been through a season of illness, that thankfulness should include our caregivers. If someone asked me to define the word caregiver in just one word, I don’t think I could. What I can tell you is that caregivers are the unsung heroes of the cancer world and they come to our aid in so many different ways.

First and foremost are our family members; especially the ones who live with us and our cancer day in and day out. They’re the ones on the front lines of the battle. They watch the sickness change us into a different person for a while, listen when we vent and hold us when we cry. They become our voice when we are too tired to deal with the outside world. They are our ears at doctor appointments when the words are just too overwhelming to hear. Simply, they take care of us.

Then there are our friends who do what they can to ease the burdens we face. They are the ones who send cards, clean your house, do your laundry, prepare meals and act as your gatekeepers to give out information to others who are concerned. They take care of us, too.

My message for this post is quite simple. To all the caregivers who put their lives on hold to take care of the loved one in your life who is battling cancer, I just want to say thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings, Cindy J