Saturday, March 10, 2012

C is for Courage

Recently I volunteered to substitute lead at a cancer support group.  By connecting with close family members, friends, and others spanning the globe, I have heard their stories.  Throughout my life, one message has always been clear to me: Never give up!  Following are some findings discovered during my session.

Success is measured differently by each individual.  However, attitude is everything!  The attitude to Want to beat the demon inside of us, to succeed in beating cancer. Granted, everyone has different experiences, side effects, and treatments.  One thing stands out in my mind…people’s attitude.  They want this thing inside of them to go away!  Some lie back and let nature take it’s course, while other’s take a stand with a different attitude.  They want to succeed in surviving and connect on deep levels with family, friends, and community at large.  Remaining healthy in mind, body, and spirit, they face cancer with courage. 

For patients, positive attitude was defined as optimism for the day and getting though everyday events of the journey by taking control rather than focusing on the future. Factors that affected patients' positive attitude were their relationships with their specialists, people around them being positive and supportive, and having a pleasant environment at home and at the treatment center. Patients found expectations of them to be positive as being detrimental.

People need to inspire and support patients' positivity while undergoing treatment for cancer. Do not force their own value system on them nor treat them differently if they do not conform to societal expectations to be positive and optimistic for the future.

For as long as I can remember when people used the phrase, the C word, they were referring to cancer. However, since kicking cancer's butt, the only thing the C word stands for in my eyes is COURAGE!