Seanty's experiences with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma.
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I still look at a couple of cancer boards, and what strikes me as being one of the hardest things about dealing with cancer which has not been confirmed to be terminal is the uncertainty.
So many postings are about scanxiety, about what happens next, about what our chances are, about how it will affect us and our loved ones.
We want to make plans, but all at once, everything is uncertain. We may not even be able to bank on being alive from Xmas- how can we plan for it? I'm a planner, and I have found this very difficult.
I made my plans, made my will, funeral plan, financial arrangements, and so on. I did all of the practical things which it was possible to do. It kept me busy for a while. Then I waited, and I got used to the uncertainty somewhat. I'm better at it now than before I was diagnosed, simply through practice.
Others favour the whistling in the dark of "positive thinking" to cope with the uncertainty. I saw an episode of "loose women" whilst I was at the gym yesterday, in which one of the harpies who they have on the programme was plugging the power of positivity by telling another panellist with a history of depression that bad things happened to her because she wasn't positive enough. "If you put out a positive vibe you'll get one back"- or in other words "cry and you cry alone". The closed look on positivity woman's face told you what was really going on: "don't bring me down with your problems".
This is what you get from a lot of the PMA pluggers. It isn't enough that you let them delude themselves (or more usually their husbands, as they are usually the wives of cancer patients). You have to actively support them in their delusion, or you are letting their cheerleading team down. Some of them will even tell you that bringing the patient down will break the spell which PMA has cast on the cancer and they will die. That's the problems with PMA (other than of course it being groundless nonsense)- it is virtually never assertive, it is almost always aggressively evangelical.
PMAers have however done me some good. Back when so much seemed uncertain, I knew for sure than PMA was "don't bother me with your problems" with a smug false smile on its face. Pointing this out, and the overwhelming evidence that it is at best of no use to cancer patients gave me something to do whilst I was waiting to see which way things would pan out for me. Thanks PMA pluggers! You gave me something to live for for a while there - outliving you.
Labels: Cancer, Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, PMA, positive, power, thinking, uncertainty