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Well meaning friends...?


KatieB

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How do/did you deal with friends who try to persuade you to look into different cancer cures (alternative or organic) , diets, religions, or therapies?

I remember when my dad was sick my sister kept pushing Noni juice and wheatgerm grass. She swore it would cure him and I think to this day she STILL believes that. :roll:

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I, too, ignore it. I have a friend who is always pushing second and third opinions although I have complete faith in my oncologist. She has done this with other people and other doctors.

Maybe it's because she's a doctor herself -- a shrink. If I ask her who she would recommend she usually can't come up with a name.

I then tell her that she's not being helpful and that stops the suggestions for a while

Linda

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There's a young woman whose mom I was friends with and the mom died of cancer a few years ago. The daughter keeps pushing a tea her mom drank that she claims made her feel much better. I just try to politely duck it saying I stay away from supplements unless my oncologist approves them.

Judy in Key West

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This has been a hard thing for me to deal with because it's my wonderful husband and his side of the family that really push alternative stuff. My husband just wants me to try anything and everything that may possibly help. I have tried some supplements and the tea and the noni juice, but not during chemo. My oncologist made me promise not to try anything during chemo. It's difficult when my mother in law insists she was cured with her positive attitude, and my brother in law has a friend who insists she was cured through healthy eating and supplements. I feel like if I don't try, they will feel I didn't fight hard enough. My husband has backed way off on all of this for the time being thank goodness. I am a scientist at heart and don't believe in anything that doesn't have studies that back it up.

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Anne, you hit it with that flip side of the positive attitude. People tell me all the time that my attitude will pull me through. What happens if it doesn't? Did I fail? What about all those people with positive attitudes that don't make it and people without optomism that do make it? It's a tricky business relying on any one thing to kick this disease.

Judy in Key West

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  • 1 month later...

Katie,

One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with this disease is the well-meaning "advice."

There are people who have a better doctor, a better hospital, a better nutrition regimen, and in the end, leave one with a less-than optimistic feeling.

As one member mentioned in the past, "lung cancer sucks." If there were a definite answer to curing it, we would all be at that well, drinking from it.

Barbara

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I think what now what bothers me the most is when people say "oh, she'll be fine". That can be so dismissive!

I'm also tired of people asking "what can we do to help". You tell them, then they don't do it. My sister had a hemmorghic stroke 2 1/2 years ago. People were contstantly asking what they could do. I told them. What I wanted most was simple things...say someone recording a cd of them talking to my sister or a dvd of them on a vacation...something that she could connect to. No one ever did. Then after she died (2 years ago), they asked what they could do again. I just blew them off. I would really prefer it if people just said "I'm really sorry this is happening to your family" and leave it alone.

Now I am getting sort of crabby. When people say "what can we do to help", I want to say, "well first, do you intend on following up on it if I tell you"?

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My wise friend (a breast cancer survivor) counseled me not to get mad at friends who say dumb things - you just end up with no friends.

I've couched my diagnosis with "so much for not smoking and healthy living" - it stops the alternative offers flat in their tracks. Only a couple of people have pressed the what did/ didn't you do stuff - I think they are scared. If it can happen to us, it can happen to them.

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I thank them very kindly (and sincerely since their intentions are great), then explain that in all cases, I am studying "legitimate" research sites in order to properly evaluate all options, so that I can make educated decisions as to which remedies to add to my "repertoire."

I don't at all mind the recommendations... no matter how far fectched they may seem... because they are always given with the best of intentions and lovingly. I do, however, resent those who try to tell me that "positive attitude" is the key to survival, and I am never reluctant to tell them so.

If positive attitude is all it takes, most of us would be "cured." Instead, those who tell us that "positive attitude"is all it takes are also pushing the message that if we're not instantly cured, it's our fault for not being positive enough.

Not only is that bulls--t, but it is guaranteed to reduce the quality of life of our final days. Ergo, they can just take that one and shove it! :)

I do believe strongly in 'tude, but there's a gigantic difference between having a positive realistic attitude designed to meet our goals (which are not limited to survival at any cost), and positive but unrealistic attitudes that just wast our time and make us feel like losers!

With love and affection,

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--George Carlin

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If positive attitude is all it takes, most of us would be "cured." Instead, those who tell us that "positive attitude"is all it takes are also pushing the message that if we're not instantly cured, it's our fault for not being positive enough.

Bravo Carole, I have been saying this for years--on behalf of others even before I was dx'd myself.

Judy in Key West

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I have a good friend whose daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She swears her daughter was "cured" using MonaVie (even tho her daughter was also on REAL drugs at the time). She has pushed me and pushed to try it. I also have friends who have been pushing me to try some daily supplement that they take that they claim makes them feel "wonderful".

I politely thank them and then the next time I see them I tell them that my onc says there are ingredients in there that could interfere with my chemo or with the coumadin I am on.

Don't we all wish that curing cancer was as easy as drinking a glass of something every day?????

Hugs - Patti B.

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My cousin wanted me to go onto Mona Vie (acai berry juice, which costs about $25 a bottle--more expensive than my favorite wine), and initially I told him I wouldn't because it could interfere with my chemo.

After I went onto hospice (ceased treatment) last summer, I told him I'd be glad to try it (there are some positive anecdotal studies). He started sending it to me regularly, but at one point my taste buds went goofy and I couldn't even think of drinking it without getting nauseous. In the meantime, cases of it started piling up in corner of my dining room and I finally had to tell him to stop 'til I caught up (which hasn't actually started happening yet).

His intentions are 100% honorable (he loves me and doesn't want me to die). And if my taste buds make a comeback, I'll start up again. Now that I'm not on treatment, it can't hurt me and who knows? It might even help. (I'm game for anything that isn't going to bankrupt or kill me... and I might even be willing to accept bankruptcy :)

The truth is that I've been doing so well the last three months (in general) has me at least half-way convinced that my Vitamin C infusions (75 mg 2x weekly) and oral Vitamin D (30K daily) are the reason the progression of my cancer has slowed so drastically.

The nice thing about the C and D is that they do NOT interfere with either chemo or radiation and they can NOT hurt and some studies actually prove that they can HELP slow or halt progression, so my attitude is--as usual--if it can't hurt, why not? (The Vitamin C infusions are expensive, but the Vitamin D is probably the cheapest "best buy" out there).

I would never, however, push anyone to do anything. Each of us has our own path to follow based on our own basic personality and if we respect each other, pushiness should never be part of the program. :-)

With love and affection,

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--George Carlin

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