May 31, 2015: What Some People Think About Cancer That Isn’t Quite True

Stage 4 means terminal, AKA you’re going to die. Nope, not necessarily true. Some staging is just off the size of the tumor. If the cancer is totally contained to that tumor and it’s removed, you’re considered cancer free. That’s a lot different than a type of cancer that is staged based off if it can be treated or not. In that case, stage 4 might mean untreatable and will probably be considered terminal. 

Everyone who has cancer has to go through chemo or radiation. Nope. Not true. Some people simply have their tumor removed and return to life with just a few more yearly checkups than everyone else. 

Chemo is only given by IV. No. Sometimes it’s given by pill too. 

When your hair falls out, it happens all at once. Don’t we all wish it worked that way. Not even close. It was painful physically and emotionally. It went from shedding a little more than the normal few strands of hair, to falling out every second one strand at a time, to clumps falling out anytime something touched it, and then some of those hairs refused to let go – ever. You’d think that would be good, but it wasn’t either. Nasty process. Probably one of the hardest things to go through after telling my family I had cancer. 

Cancer is cured by _____. (Vitamins, oils, supplements, shakes, pills, chemo, surgery, water, grapes, and the list goes on) All of them probably cured somebody’s cancer. But none of them cured everyone’s cancer 100% of the time. By the way, don’t prey off cancer patients. If you truly believe in what you’re selling, give it to them. If it works, they will make you a whole lot more money than if you just take advantage of us and it doesn’t work. 

Getting fake boobs is a nice reward for having breast cancer. Ugh! If only you truly knew what reconstruction was really like, you’d never make this comment. Plus, if you’ve been here, you’d never wish this on your worst enemy.

You must be serious around cancer patients. Please, no! We’d rather you make us smile and laugh. 

Don’t visit or call people with cancer. I read this on another person’s blog. Please don’t do this. You might want to text them first or talk to their caregiver, but shutting me off from the world and people would have been the worse thing in the world for my health. I did have days when I didn’t want to see or talk people, but most of the time phone calls and visits kept me from falling into a depressed state. 

Everyone with cancer loses a lot of weight. True for some but not for all. Many of us are on steroids. Steroids puff you up like a puffer fish and you pack on pounds in places you’d rather not. I can’t wait to get off the steroids and get rid of the extra pounds I’m carrying around. 

After treatments your cancer is gone forever. False again. Some people have what is called chronic cancer. They will be fighting it for the rest of their lives. That doesn’t mean they are constantly going through chemo though. Other people have to be concerned with it coming back in a different place. This is why cancer patients often have more checkups than others. Most importantly, we have to know our bodies really well and be able to communicate with our doctors if something changes. 

Cancer isn’t painful. I see this even on medical sights. This is one reason I didn’t go to the doctor right away. My tumor seemed to be on my rib bone and not my breast. It hurt, or at least created discomfort. I told myself this had to be a bruise or a cracked rib or something else because cancer doesn’t hurt. Maybe the cancer didn’t hurt, but it created discomfort. “Commonly” doesn’t mean “always”. 

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About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
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