Being the cancer patient is hard, but not nearly as hard as it must be to watch someone go through treatment. I was busy with appointments and treatments; I didn't have time to notice the circles under my eyes, the gray pallor that had taken the color from my face. My family had to witness my transformation from a healthy, physically fit woman to a weak, tired and frail one. I definitely had the easier time.


Date: Sat, 19 June 1999 07:24 AM EDT

From: QueenReg

G, I have often said that I feel like I was the lucky one in my family. I cannot imagine what it would be like watching someone go through cancer treatment. My husband was so sad, but he was wonderful and my kids were scared but supportive. My son worried a great deal and had a simply rotten semester at college, and my daughter not only feared for my life, but her own as well. I think the thing that got us through was our ability to cry together, and, more times that not, laugh together. Sometimes, cancer treatment can be funny (we are a sick bunch here). Validate their fears and remind them that it is YOUR cancer, not your dad's or anyone else's. It is different; your prognosis is different. Look around at the thousands of survivors. You are one of them. When we had our gathering in West Chester, someone commented that she thought that the hotel was expecting a bunch of sick ladies with IV poles to meet in their room. HA! We surprised them. Cancer doesn't have to look like the images Hollywood or our childhood memories conjure up. Remind your family and yourself of that. True, treatments can be rough and can make you look like cancer, but the improvements are so great that survivors are no longer the exception, but the rule. Some days, you'll find yourself being the comforter. Sometimes, you'll be comforted. That's the blessing of family. My family became so much closer because of my diagnosis. I wish that for your family too.


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Cancer and the Family
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