24 comments on “I’m Blessed? Really?

  1. Well said. While most of us become more reflective and appreciative of life (one form of blessing), we would all give it up in an instant not to be confronted with cancer, its treatment, and increased risk of early mortality.

    I found the expression ‘count my blessings’ more helpful, as it allowed me to situate what is ‘crappy’ in a broader perspective of where I was lucky (e.g., good healthcare, good benefits plan, loving and supportive family), and help keep the depression at bay.

    We all grapple with the balance between being depressed and enjoying what we can, which changes as we go through our journey.


  2. In the beginning of my diagnosis and cancer hell I would often times ask myself “why me??” It became a question that rang through my head quite often. I am 37 years old. I am just completing the education I have dreamed of and beginning a career I have wanted my entire life, I have been a single mom for years, my kids are all grown but one who is almost there and they are good successful people.

    Why now?? all the hard times I have been through and fought through and now that I have reached what I thought was the “happy” time I get sick!!!! I was livid and hated the world and I asked everyday WHY ME>????? One day it hit me….Why not me? Who would I wish it on if not me??? For a while this was a game for me. As I watched the poison tick into my vein knowing how miserably sick I was about to be, I would think of all the people I would put in my place.

    And honestly and truthfully there was no one I could even wish this hell on, not even my worst of enemies…Now that being said… I have been a completely noncompliant patient for 6 months now. I feel great except for the bugs I still pick up from the rotten immune system. In March I was told I had a month to live….Today I am told I am 9 percent away from remission…which diagnosis do I choose to listen to??? None of them…. My mind is stronger than this body and quite frankly pardon my language, but I have shit to do. I feel I was led on a path that almost killed me out of greed and what is made off the chemo poison they pumped into me. I don’t know if I have a higher power to thank or the fact that I am just stubborn and demand to do things the way I see they need to be done, but for whatever reason I am grateful. Would I use this story to make money? Hell no. would I use it to help someone I hope so. I can only try.

    I know the pain, fear, wretchedness, weakness, destruction and general complete annihilation this disease causes. There is no right answer to the questions you have. The right answer is the one that brings you joy and makes you smile today. because that is what matters TODAY. Tomorrow is never promised and for us it is almost guaranteed not to arrive, right? so I say to hell what everyone “says” I should feel or say or do or be…..Guess what today I am what will make me happy, give me time with the ones I love, and allow me to fall asleep knowing that if they do get their way and I truly do cave under this damn disease I did what I could to make today count!

    Many heart felt blessings to you my friend and if “they” say you should count them then well here is a few to take a ticket and a number. I hope today is a better one for you


  3. I have seen great personal growth since my diagnosis. In my world, that is a blessing that came out of a bad thing. Bad things are bad things in my book, and pretending they are not does not help me in any way.

    When I talk to other people, especially other people in hard situations, I do my best to keep my comments to what I have found works for me, and not to generalize. I think it would be brazen of me to do otherwise.

    (Like Andrew, I find that listing or naming things that are good in my life, things for which I am grateful, puts the rest in perspective. But again, that does not mean calling a bad thing “good”.)

    Good post, my friend. Keep them coming.

  4. I completely agree with your view. It is nice she had a method of coping in which she found comfort. However, in the grand scheme of life I’m sure she would have rather never had to deal with the disease. I really enjoy your blog and am keeping you in my thoughts.

  5. I have a hard time thinking of cancer as a blessing too. I didn’t think I was such a horrible person before I got it, but apparently it’s supposed to make me “better” somehow. There are easier ways to achieve that :\

  6. There is no way I can see any of this as a blessing. I have to fight to not go completely into self pity – I feel like after all I have already gone through this is a cruel way to have to live. If anything, it is helping make me a more bitter person I am ashamed to say. I am also ashamed to admit that there may be one or two evil people that I would rather see in my place. There, I said it – the unthinkable!

    To be making money off the ‘blessing’ makes me feel physically ill, but I guess to each their own. I just hope that more good comes of this than disillusionment.

    • She would say that you simply aren’t looking hard enough or you’re looking in the wrong places.

      Planet, I am very sorry to hear how difficult this is for you. I can almost feel the anger welled up in you from here. For me it was fear. Regardless, you have to find a way to release it, take away its power. You, your dogs, and your loved ones deserve more of the real you being available. Talk with a minister, psychologist who specializes in medically complex diseases or gerontology or grief, or a social worker. You need outside help, just as I do. Our family and friends don’t know how to effectively diffuse these feelings. With the proper help, they can be diffused, and while it’s not painless, it’s easier than what you’re going through now. At least think about it.

  7. The only thing I found ‘positive’ about having leukemia is that it was the only thing I’ve got that can be cured…. I’m stuck with the epilepsy, dysautonomia, lung scars from blood clots, diabetes that’s getting worse (from the chemo), arthritis, fibromyalgia, limited mobility, chronic pain, yadda, yadda, yadda…..

    If someone’s life is blessed by something that is potentially fatal, I see them as either having a REALLY lousy life, complete denial, or some sort of psychosis- LOL. Whatever- good for them for been so chipper about going through physical and emotional hell during cancer. Maybe they got the fun strain of cancer ! Most people I know who have or have had cancer weren’t all that thrilled- except for the chance to live. But they weren’t ‘selling’ their canc-o-rama experiences. That’s just weird.

    A cancer coach? Oy… I appreciate support from others who know what I’m talking about- but if they get too cheery about the whole thing, I want to get some sort of disinfectant after being around them. JMHO šŸ™‚

    • She wasn’t selling herself as a cancer coach, this was just an example how positive and uplifting her view of life can be. That super positive personal coach kind of thing (I can find blessing in any adversity).

      • Ah- I misunderstood (and must have been in a really ratty mood that day-LOL šŸ˜€ ). I can generally be thankful that my life isn’t worse- as I know it could be. But I do get annoyed at saccharin sweetness. šŸ™‚

    • Amy, I am so honored and greatly appreciate your thinking of me. The whole award thing doesn’t feel right to me for this blog, though. If I were a superhero, it would be a natural of course. But I’m not. I’m much more comfortable being Peter Parker’s friend.

  8. Good post. I appreciate your honesty. I also believe that having Cancer has not been a blessing. While I have experienced positive things since my diagnosis, I would never have wished for the pain and suffering or for the physical and emotional losses I have endured. Or for the thoughts that haunt me every single day because of it — i.e. my little boys are going to lose their Mom and there is nothing I can do about it. No child should have to grow up without a mother. There is nothing that will ever justify that in my mind. This hideous disease is not a blessing.
    Thanks for telling it like it is. We appreciate your candor.
    And I’m sorry you had such a horrible day.
    I hope the coming days are better. Warmest thoughts…

    • Thank you. Just a few short years ago my candor would never have allowed me to freely reveal so much personal weakness, pain, and despair. I’ve always been a very private person.

      Then I developed stage IV cancer and realized it was a horror larger than any kind of horror I’d ever imagined. Cancer stopped being a bunch of happy people running around with pink ribbons pinned to cute pink Save the Ta Tas t-shirts chanting “Kill Cancer” or some such slogan. It became a lot more like Sally Struther’s Save the Children ads, the ones showing emaciated, starving children with flies buzzing all over them. The ones that are real and leave us with an deep hopelessness that defies description.

      After a couple months, I decided to start telling my story. I didn’t want to slant it to be uplifting or depressing. I just wanted it show the impact of cancer on my life in as raw and unvarnished terms as possible. I wanted to create a record where someone could get a hint of an idea of what it’s like to have cancer. My greatest hope is that people can take away something of value for themselves in this record.

  9. Yapcab, I remember once, after my friend’s fiancee and love of her life left her, I simply told her “sometimes things happen for a reason.” She was furious with me, and I quickly learned my lesson. Now, I don’t mean to imply this is in ANY way at the level of seriousness of what you are going through but I use this example to simply illustrate that these simplistic “silver lining” responses to terrible things are not one-size-fits-all.

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