World Cancer Day 2021: What We Wish Others Knew
Last updated: February 2021
Over the years, we have had countless conversations in our community about what we wish people knew about life with cancer. We have talked about the things others so often misunderstand about our disease. We’ve even revealed some of the challenging comments we have heard. But we have also shared about the importance of the cancer community – a group of people who truly get what we are going through in a way that simply no one else can.
LungCancer.net has 5 sister cancer communities:
Despite each cancer being different in so many ways, many of the things we want others to know about cancer are similar across different cancer types, stages, and experiences.
So, to honor World Cancer Day this February 4, we are sharing a few of the things we have talked about across our cancer communities.
Life with cancer is filled with uncertainty
It is impossible to know what our cancer has in store for us. Each visit, scan, or test can bring new fears that cancer may have spread or crept back in. New treatments may bring new side effects that we must navigate. Today could be a good day, while tomorrow might be filled with crippling fatigue. One community member from AdvancedBreastCancer.net captured this feeling by saying that living with metastatic breast cancer is “a rollercoaster you never get to get off of.”
Looking okay does not mean feeling okay
We may not always lose our hair or look the way people expect a cancer patient to look. Cancer and its treatment can sometimes be invisible. Our LungCancer.net advocate explained, “The old stereotype of a bald, sick-looking elderly person in a wheelchair is not what all lung cancer patients look like!” Even when we look like ourselves, “Your body is fighting its biggest battle with this evil invader,” said our BladderCancer.net advocate.
No cancer is a “good” cancer
Have you been told that your cancer is a “good” cancer to have? It is always shocking how many of us have heard this. While our loved ones often say this with good intentions, we all know that no cancer is a “good” cancer. Our community members shared that they wished people knew that “skin cancer is more serious and deadly than what people think it is,” and that “prostate cancer is not cancer light.”
Finding strength in our cancer community
Time and time again, the members of our cancer communities share the importance of connecting with others who have cancer. Connecting with people who truly understand what we are going through because they too are living it. From support groups to online spaces, we find strength in our cancer community. As one Blood-Cancer.com community member put it, “We may not know one another, but we are connected.”
What do you wish people knew about life with cancer? Share in the comments below.
Beside manner matters! What has your experience been?