The Bright Side of Cancer

Too tired to even punch the wall, but I know I’m not alone. My Mom is fighting cancer, with courage, and a bad attitude.

I read this over the phone to my mother while she was in the hospital and she laughed. I can’t tell you what a blessed relief it is to know we don’t have to be all chirpy about it.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The idea that a woman’s personality traits can make her more prone to breast cancer appears nothing more than a myth, according to a Dutch study.

Women who were unemotional, depressed or anxious were no more or less likely to get breast cancer than any other women, the study found. Nor were women who were optimistic, angry or understanding, or had any combination of personality traits…

“Moreover, women with breast cancer should not worry that their character might have contributed to the development of their disease.”

Bleiker noted that some researchers in the 1980s had advanced the idea of a “cancer-prone” personality with such traits as stoicism and difficulty in expressing emotions.

Years ago I went on a pink ribbon march as a public health thing, and I was amazed and shocked by the enormous crowd of people who were there because they or someone they loved was living with breast cancer. It’s an ordinary kind of trouble, and now we too are facing it.

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8 thoughts on “The Bright Side of Cancer

  1. So sorry!
    I can appreciate the bad attitude part. I’ve always found that a loud voice with extended, creative cussing accompanied by entusiastic arm waving to be extremely therapeutic. I instruct anyone close-by to ignore me,”shut your ears,” and I’ll be better soon- or at least quieter.

  2. I wish your mom the best. Many people beat this, or have years of decent quality life in the battle. I hope that is her situation.

  3. What does one say to news of a cancer diagnosis? That cancer has or will impact virtually all of us directly or indirectly, has not lessened that first reaction of denial or just wanting it to go away. How patients and families react can be a determining factor in accomplishing treatment goals. That “cancer” is a maze of dseases under one rubric, or that remarkable progress has been made in the last decade in terms of diagnoses and the availability of a wide assortment of treatments, is an understatement. Cancer is no longer an immediate death sentence and is becoming a management issue. It seems to me that the two unifying results of the disease that cross all lines of gender, age, income are the enormous impact to the lives of cancer patients and their families, and the costs involved in treatment. Just as important as having capable and aggressive oncologists is the determinationl of the patient to overcome the disease. Of equal importance is the need to accept the cost burden that comes with the treatment “package” and that may include chemotherapy, radiation and surgical procedures along with frequent testing. A diagnosis of cancer poses a challenge to patient, family and the care delivery system and all need to mesh so that the best goals, whether they are short term or long term are accomplished. The disease and the response can be seen as combat, in the heroism of patients and will to endure, can be viewed as no less remarkable that that seen on other battlefields.

  4. thank you. it’s a tough time, and i’m still in the ‘wishing this wasn’t happening’ phase. it seems to be the disease of our times, maybe future generations will be free of this.

  5. Not that it matters much, but it may be interesting to know: “cancer” has been around for a very long time. The disease in some form is preserved in the fosil record. There are know instances of bone cancer in dinosaurs, perhaps 100 million years old, and prehotoric humans. It would seem that being a vertebrate (having a boney skeleton) brings with it a set of diseases that may well be the result of mistakes in how individual cells control growth and reproduction. It would seem that the longer we live as individuals, the more likely some “error” in a cell can occur and that the increasing number of cases diagnosed may well be a product of better diagnostic techniques and a lot more people living longer. It was not that long ago that the average American life span was 48 or so for males and perhaps 52 for women. Our medical care delivery systems are still struggling to catch up wih all of us living so much longer. The hope of course, is on the management side of care. I suspect our notion of “cure” will also change as we learn more. It is likely that many more cancers will be managed just as diseases such as diabetes and others are managed and not cured. None of this diminishes the need for individuals to have a positive attitude and determination to win the struggle.

  6. it’s always something. right now it seems like people close to me are dropping like flies. just one of those hard times.
    i’m in daily contact with people whose troubles are much worse than mine, so like the buddha said, suffering is unavoidable, misery is optional.

  7. I am reading a great book: “Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar.” The following is from the book.

    “An optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears that this is so.”

    “The optimist says, ‘The glass is half full.’
    The pessimist says, ‘The glas is half empty.’
    The rationalist says, ‘This glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”

    I guess we need to accept the world as it is. I will finish with this quote–get the book!

    Two cows are standing in the pasture. One turns to the other and says. “Although “pi” is usually abbreviated to five numbers, it actually goes into infinity.”

    The second cow turns to the first and says, “Moo.”

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