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More on the 'put on a happy face' myth


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In reference to the original topic, I can only say "Amen!" The research on "fighting spirit" and people like Bernie Siegel,MD, whose ideas were popular 10-15 years ago, did a lot in my opinion to send the wrong message. People began feeling guilty for being sick - the last thing anyone needs.

Attitude is something, but it's not everything.

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That was awesome Val. I am only sorry that I sent the summer update on the "lioness" last week to our family/friends (my mom is a lioness since she seems to have 9 lives with the lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, brain anyerusm and triple bypass recently). I would have loved to include this link to get people to shut up :)

I am sooooooooo tired of being scolded for my attitude. I never was a positive "all will be well" type of person and I never will be that way. If I were, I wouldn't have insisted my mom get a chest xray for a cough. I got into quite a few debates/arguments about my attitude. So I am glass is half empty type person most of the time, big deal, it is who I am, take it or leave it.

I bookmarked the link so I can send it to people when I am in a bad mood and tired of hearing about my "attitude" and how if I thikn positive things would be different. Like when someone says my mom is cured, I feel compelled to remind them that remisssion is not a cure b/c I dont like to jinx stuff.

Ok, babbling. Thanks againi for the link!

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I actually have this book!! When I got to this particular chapter, I felt relief. I got tired of being told to "stay positive" by people who had never had to deal with cancer and its treatment. Even though I know people mean well, that kind of attitude does place a tremedous burden on the patient who is already dealing with so much.

I was told in one day that I had an aggressive cancer, would have aggressive treament, and never be able to have children of my own (and I had just gotten engaged 3 months prior!), and people were saying "OH, you gotta be positive!" Well, excuse me for feeling low, anxious and overwhelmed! My mom, bless her heart, was actually the worst culprit, but she also did some reading and now tells me I can feel like crap whenever I feel like it :lol:

Anyway, like I said, I have this book and am done reading it. If anyone would like it, I would happily send it to them.

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I still gag when I hear from non-cancer people how "amazing" and "inspirational" I am. And then I put my happy face on. John Q Public doesn't get it until something hits them personally. Even my own mother didn't know what to say.

Since hitting the 5 year mark with my lung cancer (thank you God), I have decided my mission is to educate, one person at a time. I do not stand in front of my parents on back to school night and announce I am a 3 time cancer survivor, but do tell on an individual basis when I feel it is appropriate.

I think what this thread shows us is the importance of this group. Here is a very safe place where we can go to have our meltdowns and are able to vent.

I will never forget the day, (but I don't remember the crisis-of-the-moment) when I was at school, and waiting for some results, and starting on a full blown panic attack, when I looked up and saw the computer. I knew I had several thousand people at my fingertips to tell me to take a breath, they would support me.

And you guys did.


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