Home Now what? The highs and lows of survivorship



Stoic? Why? Venting

SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
I'll say straight up that this is a vent.  I don't think it would go down well in other places and might not here, either.  I'm sick of hearing how strong and stoic those with cancer are, or are expected to be.  If someone has cancer and is suffering pain, etc from it or from treatment, and not complaining, they are held up as some shining example of how to be.  To the point that it feels like talking about the cancer or the side effects is somehow bad form and you are letting the side down.  Bullshit!  I'm sick of it.  I don't know if it's because people are scared of the disease or find it distasteful or boring to hear about but I'm not playing that game anymore.  And I don't care if such and such was so brave and never said a word about their suffering.  Maybe the reality needs to be seen and understood.  No, I can't do that because it hurts too much due to treatment.  No, I can't manage that because I get too bloody tired due to treatment.  Etc.  And I'm sorry that I can't do what is expected of every other parent or worker but stop trying to make me feel guilty or difficult.  I'm not whingeing and I'm weary of feeling that I am just because I'm being honest.  I'm not expecting anyone to be able to sort it (except hopefully, the researchers).  But I do need people to recognise that just because I'm back in the real world it does not mean that the fairy godmother has waved her wand and made it all disappear.  And I do know I'm not the only one.  

So, maybe let's stop holding the stoic up as some sort of shining light.

Okay - vent over.
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Comments

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,430
    We're all different!
    A general comment when people meet up is how are you!  It's a greeting that they don't necessarily expect a response.
    I'm stoic and it is who I am. 
    Vent away at how you feel but don't put down stoicism 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,335
    I’m all in favour of a good vent, saves time and sanity. But the cruel, cruel truth is that some of us aren’t being stoic, we aren’t in pain. It isn’t just our personal difference, or even preference, although @iserbrown is quite right, we all deal with things differently. It’s that the disease and the side effects of treatment are different too. Just as no-one should be expected to be ‘over it’ when they are wretched and dealing with debilitating side effects, those of us who drew a much luckier outcome aren’t trying to model behaviour, we’re all too conscious that it’s a lottery! And no amount of sympathy makes the side effects any easier to live with. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,477
    Vent away, @Sister - we hear you, we feel for you, cos many (if not most) are feeling the same.

    When people ask me how I am going .... are you OK?  I say "I'm good but my body is stuffed from the cancer meds." If they want to ask about that comment - I will enlarge upon it.

    I used to walk everywhere 'fast' .... now it is a stumble.  I find that I am no longer able to 'stand tall' - I am slightly hunched over, leaning forward, which is really annoying as it also makes you less stable.  Getting in & out of the car is an interesting activity ..... thank God no-one (that i know of) have their videos going!

    At least, since I've been on 'the good oil' my hands and feet are not as sore/stiff as they used to be from the AIs.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,335
    You are very kind to your friend. You are the one who is worse off than she is! Listening is a real skill however - should be up there with reading and writing. 
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 346
    @Sister. I hear you. 👏👏 
  • Dory65Dory65 Member Posts: 291
    Agreed @Sister. Putting a BS 'positive spin' on everything - or the nauseating practice of 'gratitude' no matter what - is just glib and superficial. Call a spade a spade. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
    edited December 2020
    I do try not to have to explain more than once.  I do try to do as much as I can (eg. happy to help with that extra event in the morning but don't put me on afternoons, etc).  I know that people don't really want to know and that's fine.  I just want to not be judged as somehow less worthy.

    Thank you for listening to my rant and for the support.
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