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-Cheryl-

....More on What not to say

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It is amazing how fast the word got out of my having cancer. I have always tried to be professional and not disclose personal information to my staff or clients about my personal life. Of course I had to clue in some of my staff about what is going on because I would be missing work due to treatment. My job entails networking with alot of community orgaizations. It would appear the entire city I live in now knows my health status. I can not go anywhere without being recognized because we live in a small community. I don't want to be recognized as "the woman with cancer." This disease takes away ones pride and dignity! I do not want people to "pity" me or "count me out" because I have cancer. I had someone at work say to me today .."How bad is "it." Well, I hope you make it!" Now this person meant well, but I went to work to forget about cancer for a while. I mean I do appreciate people's prayers and concerns, but need a break from cancer. I live with this disease 24/7, it is always there lurking around somewhere in the background.

I must pray to God to help me not be so prideful. I have decided that once I get through treatment, I will use this attention to voice Lung Cancer Awareness in my area and an Anti-Smoking Campaign with the youth that I work with. I just pray that God sees me through this tough period coming up with treatment. I am ready to take it on already! Hate the wait!

Cheryl

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Unfortunately, our society is such that one does get labeled "the one with cancer" and they automatically think your days are numbered. I am an 8-year prostate cancer survivor and I still get the "are you okay?", "Are you feeling alright?", even though I never felt sick. I was tired from the radiation but that was pretty much it. Of course, this is most of our society, who have not been touched by cancer. I don't know what the "cure" is for these comments. Hang in there, Cheryl. Don

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I cant remember if I mentioned this in a previous post when we discussed this before but when my father had lymphoma, the response would either be:"oh Ive heard thats very curable" or "what is lymphoma anyway". But now when I say he has lung cancer its "Oh Im so sorry". It makes me feel the need to go into the whole explanation of all the success there is with lung cancer lately. I go on to explain he will have 8 rounds of chemo and then surgery and how Ive read about all these survivors. In other words I feel like I have to explain that he has a wonderful chance of surviving this as he survived lymphoma. Im sure half the people are not interested but I dont want people thinking my father is going to die, because HE IS NOT!! I also tell them how much prayer is going up for him.

Sometimes I feel like they think Im in denial,but I know from being part of this community that I am not in denial.

A woman at my school handled it best, she just came up to me and said "I heard about your dad, Im praying and let me know if I can help you in any way" and she walked away. Aside from your best friends and family that you can really lean on, I felt this woman handled it best.

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