This message has been doing rounds on facebook for some time now.
"Stupid cancer... we all wish to have a new car...new phone...to lose weight...a person who has cancer only wants one thing...to fight their cancer...I know that 97% of you guys won't put this on your wall...but 3% of my friends will....Put it on your wall in honor of someone who died from cancer or who's fighting against it now".
“What a lie?” I exclaimed but let it be. It came back to me, twice in the morning, once in the afternoon and again twice in evening. Then it got on my nerves. I had to shout ‘STOP’.
Like every other thing happening on facebook, once something picks up fancy of facebookers’, it keeps coming back to you. We earlier had women posting about their bra colors without telling the men about it; it was meant to support cancer. Yeah! I know that. Making men wonder what is about the color women are talking about is really going to save women from having breast cancer and dying of it. Then another wave hit, which was about the purse. ‘Where do you usually like keeping your purse?’ or something like that, again with men being kept in secret. Women posted messages like, “I like it on bed”, “I like it on table” etc. It was fun, with men wondering what the women liked on bed, sofa, table and many such places. Naturally it helped many women from getting cancer and dying of it. These services are what we need to help those going through cancer! (Don’t take it seriously people; it is filled to the brim with sarcasm)
Not only having to fight cancer, but watch helplessly as loved ones lost their lives to it, I have been feeling very strongly about this issue. Cancer is no fun. It takes away so much from a person. If you really want to do something, go out there and really do some service to people who are going through cancer. Clean up their homes, cook for their kids or do a bit of shopping for them.
Playing secret games are not going to help those going through cancer in any way. It has not helped me in any way.
Where the message tells us that cancer survivor does not want to have car, new phone or something like that , I laughed out loud. Honestly, being a cancer survivor and being constantly in touch with many more survivors, I know this is not true. I don't want to surrender my life to cancer and live with the sole purpose of fighting and surviving it. I know that I want to study, work, be myself, enjoy my life, and, I would be more than glad to own a car, buy a smartphone or lose some weight. I love my kids and want to be there for them. I had to give up on my standard quality of life to survive cancer but I did it grudgingly as my children were my priority. But, just because I have been through cancer doesn't make me any different from rest of the people out there, other than the natural differences we possess. I have all those wants like any of you according to my individuality. I don't mean to hurt anyone's feeling by saying this, as I know you meant support for us ... Just want to let you know the message is misleading. Cancer is a serious condition to deal with. Until one has been there, there is no way to understand how a survivor feels.
• I guess that the people who put it on their wall are well -intentioned. I remember feeling that way once. I was in the swimming pool and a very superficial woman who has never worked in her life and only talks about what new material thing she has gotten, was talking about whether she should get the necklace with this size diamond or that. She was fretting over it, while telling me about it. I felt like saying ,"Gee, I am trying to decide between a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I think that might be the intention of the status update. But I get where you are coming from.
• I think there should also be something in there about.... Although we know that a positive attitude is always a good thing for every human being to have - not just cancer patients and survivors - we do NOT like being told by people who've never had cancer that we need to have a positive attitude.
If you haven't walked in our particular shoes, please don't assume you know what we should think or feel. And please, for God's sake, don't tell us horror stories about what other people have gone through with cancer and how horrible their deaths were. That. Is. NOT. Helpful. Not to our mental and emotional state. What in God's name are those people thinking when they do that?!?
(My Mom told me just this morning that she admires my positive attitude because she knows how important that is in order to stay healthy. I told her I absolutely agree - to an extent. I try hard to not let cancer be my focus in life.... I try hard to make LIVING be my focus in life.... But no-one should tell me it's necessary for me to always be happy and/or positive, because sometimes I'm not and I cannot be. When I'm depressed, leave me be, because I'll come out of it eventually. And in the meantime, don't even think about lecturing me on the importance of staying positive unless you, too, have been told you have 3 to 5 years before they expect it to show up on your organs. Which I was told two years ago. So please don't presume to know how I should feel, and please don't preach to me in any way.)
Those who have real experience with cancer are welcome to share your thoughts on this topic.http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/07/19/mumbai-terrorists-attack-posts-indian-bloggers-pick#comment-394179