Last updated: November 2021
When you are on a cancer journey, your family and friends, and acquaintances will convert you into experts on everything from science to financial gurus. It seems as though everyone has an opinion, but they don’t seem to understand or even ask your thoughts before they are spewing their ideals.
Here are three things that I have personally experienced from those in my corner.
Three personal experiences
- Nutritional Experts. Raise your hand if you’ve had people come at you from all angles to tell you what to put in your body? From the supplement experts to those selling the supplements that really don’t truly know their efficacy but claim it’s the best. I have researched everything from Keto to the Mediterranean diet to supplements and the list goes on.
Here are the real raw facts of the matter. Most of us can’t eat. Most of us on this journey don’t have an appetite; therefore, we don’t have to justify having ice cream for breakfast if it is the only thing we can hold down. Don’t even get me started on the whole sugar ideal. There’s so much research out there and I have found that you can find research out there to argue either side. There are so many restrictions on our life it seems. I say we find what works for us and our bodies and take it away from there. Zero justification is necessary.
- Fitness Fanatics. Our friends that love to go to the gym and work out and exercise are great, aren’t they? They really are. However, I mean no disrespect, but I want to ask them to load that bar as heavy as they can possibly stand it and then walk around. That’s how we feel most days. While we understand the importance of moving our body, someday just merely getting out of bed is our greatest personal achievement.
We had a sweet friend in this community that could hike the highest mountains and did so until he couldn’t. It’s not impossible in the least, but I need my friends to understand that me lifting 250 pounds isn’t going to take my cancer away. It will definitely make my body stronger and able to withstand a bit more than my body might have to go through, but most of the time it’s just not in the cards and we don’t have to justify a thing.
- Work or Not. I have personally chosen not to work at this time. I have chosen this for me. I know plenty in this community that works full time as hard or harder while on their cancer journey. We all make these decisions for ourselves of course. All of our journeys are different as well as all of our choices. I don’t think it’s necessary to have to justify to anyone why we work or why we don’t.
I have someone that is constantly saying they don’t have the “luxury” of not working. I assure them that a cancer journey is not a luxury in the least. We have to make choices for ourselves and sometimes they are difficult for us. I enjoyed working. I enjoyed a routine. I enjoyed feeling fulfilled in my work. In the beginning, I felt the need to justify to them my reason for my choice, but I quickly realized that I never presented justification anymore before my lung cancer and I certainly don’t have to do it now.
Daily life with lung cancer
There are so many decisions that go into our daily lives on a cancer journey. Some of them are difficult decisions like whether or not to keep working, treatment decisions, choosing the right care team to simple decisions like what to eat, getting dressed for the day or not, and being quite honest to get out of bed and move or not. We make so many decisions in a day without cancer and it seems that number grows tremendously when on this journey. At the end of the day, we must make the very best decision for ourselves regardless of the opinions of others—even our own family members.
Zero justification needed
It’s always difficult to go against the grain sometimes, but at the end of the day, it is what makes us comfortable, what gives us a sense of contentment and peace (if that even exists on a lung cancer journey) and do what is best for our lives and our bodies. No matter what you face on a cancer journey or not, you do not have to justify a thing, our lives require zero justification.
Is there a lung cancer metaphor that bothers you the most?
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