If you have cancer.

If you had cancer.

If you know someone with cancer.

If you want to talk about cancer.

We won't pray.  We won't blame gods.  We won't give credit to gods.  

We face the diagnosis and know, it is what it is.  

To the extent that we can, we will define our own course.

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Latest Activity: Jan 17


Cancer changes lives.

We have to deal with medical profession.

We have to deal with medications.

We have to deal with new discomfort and pain.

We have to create dignity, where there is indignity.

We have to deal with family members, friends, coworkers, and strangers, in a changed way.

We resolve to go forward with strength, resilience, purpose, pride, and integrity.

We define ourselves. Cancer does not define us.

Discussion Forum

Peanut protein spreads cancer

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by James M. Martin Dec 19, 2014. 2 Replies

Peanut component linked to cancer spread... a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and…Continue

Tags: cancer, peanuts

Metastatic cancer killed man 4,500 years ago.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by sk8eycat Dec 7, 2014. 9 Replies

I found this story moving.  This poor man, riddled with pain and misery, died of cancer 4,500 years ago…Continue

Tags: cancer

Comment Wall


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Comment by Daniel W on January 19, 2014 at 9:09am

6 month CT scan was yesterday.  Report likely back tomorrow.  Keeping myself occupied.  It will be nice if it's clean.  When I have bad days, sometimes I think it wouldn't be bad if the cancer just does its thing.  That's not every day.  I try to keep my mind focused on "It is what it is".  The Zen attitude of not being too attached, including to life, but also to the idea of leaving life.   In a couple months it will be a year since "before cancer" became "with cancer".  So, it is what it is.  

Comment by booklover on January 11, 2014 at 11:46am

Joan, my son hasn't seen this guy since they were kids.  They have no contact at all.  The guy has TONS of friends on FB, and almost everyone posting to him is religious.  Although they are not baptist, he and his sister went to a baptist school.  I don't think the mom and I will ever see each other unless we bump into each other by accident again.  Their world is filled with people just like them, and I'm sure we are not even on their radar, which is fine.  I just look at the young man's FB page to see what's going on.  I certainly wish him all the best!  They are nice people.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 11, 2014 at 11:42am

Mindy, well, be prepared for the inevitable. You may get a call or a knock on your door, or a requests from your son for advice on what to do. Being prepared is the best strategy. Be ready to respond when doubts, questions, fear in the form of anger, appear in anyone.  

Daniel gave me a bit of good advice a week or so ago when I was dealing with neighbor children of my great-grandchildren; use Socratic questions. My little ones were hearing bible stories at christmas time and were full of questions. The one that stumped me was how many different species of crocodiles and allegators did Noah put on the arc? Daniel advised to ask them; it worked. My great-grandchildren decided Noah couldn't put them all on. 

So easy! Thanks Daniel!

I think, when it comes right down to how to live a healthy, happy, and productive life is to be as real as humanly possible. Get rid of all delusions, be honest with oneself and with others. 

Well, I could be wrong; show me. 

Comment by booklover on January 11, 2014 at 9:38am

Actually Joan, he and my son lost touch long ago when they moved away!  I did run into his mom at Target, and we hugged and had a nice conversation, but we're not in their lives.  Truthfully I don't think I could spend any amount of time with someone so religious, nor would I want to.  And she seems so sweet and delicate, I think if she found out I was an Atheist she'd faint!

I love the way you talk about life Joan.  You make me want to do more in life, and not be in bad moods, because life is too short!

Daniel, I will have you in my thoughts and I hope to see good news posted on here after your next CT scan.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 10, 2014 at 11:22pm

Mindy, if the young man begins to question whether faith and belief continue to be justified justified, given all the evidence that he will encounter that supports skepticism, you will be there to discuss the matter with him. Or your son will undoubtedly be a source of searching and seeking. That is where my hope lies. When the truth begins to knock on doubts, there are better ways of being alive. Trained to obey, not question, sacrifice oneself, follow as a sheep, gets very old very quickly as one matures. There are more enlightened and satisfying ways to think. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 10, 2014 at 10:56pm

Daniel, you are on my thoughts. I hope things improve. Each day holds so many opportunities to care and participate in life. The turning of the seasons offers a nice chance to hunker down, without extra chores beckoning one out of a comfy chair. Getting ready for another season of engaging with the elements of life enriches in very many ways. Warmer days, more daylight, the greening of the Earth all invite us to take on another season. 

I feel very encouraged that there are growing numbers of people who embrace the reality of being free of promises and threats of dogma of all kinds. We are becoming a nation of non-believers, with all that implies. The numbers joining A/N encourages me that we don't have to be silent about our thoughts. More people accept differences of gender orientation. 

There continue to be rapids to maneuver, and individually we become stronger. It feels so good to be able to be open and honest about who we are and not motivated by fear of damnation and hope of heaven, neither of which were ever real.

Take good care dear friend. Congratulations on the fine start of your new site, Food. It is taking off with very good participation.


Comment by Daniel W on January 10, 2014 at 10:12pm


"I am absolutely certain there is a plan for his life. He interprets it as a plan created by god for him. I say to him, the plan already exists inside of him, he is the author, the creator, the definer of his plan."

I really like that.  Often we don't know it, and often life intervenes with disruptions of whatever conscious or unconscious plan we have write.  But we are the authors of our plans.  Now, I need to have a talk with my editor.  :-)

They didn't PET scan me.  Just CT scan.  Next one is a week from  Saturday.  That's the 6-month point.  I've been sicker than usual lately, but no weight loss.  I suspect the "sicker" is work and exposures, and the "no weight loss" is a good thing.  Then again, I didn't lose weight while growing a 2 pound tumor in my belly.  I've been faithful taking the adjuvant therapy.  We'll see.  :-)

Comment by booklover on January 10, 2014 at 9:02pm
Unfortunately Joan I don't think this young man will ever figure it out. His mother is EXTREMELY religious, the rest of his family is very religious, including his girlfriend. He works at a religious camp in the summer... Oh well. I just hope his PET scan shows no more cancer also. I am sorry about your friend Ed!
Comment by Joan Denoo on January 10, 2014 at 8:34pm

Oh yes, that wonderful PET scan. It is what tells the professionals if any cancer cells remain after the treatments. If the PET is clean, then the assumption/hope/passionately desired verdict of "free of cancer cells" may be true ... or there may be some hidden little devils that the scan didn't see. Or new ones just waiting to spring into being. 

My closest friend, Ed, the fellow who sends me all those funny pictures, and cartoons, had testicular cancer, went through all the protocols. Just this week he let me know that the cancer has spread to his bones. He is now in radiation trying to keep the pain down. Prognosis is not good. 

I hope the young man is free of cancer and can resume his life in a normal fashion to old age. Perhaps he will have to face the fact one day that he is not clear, that he has more rounds of whatever protocol they prescribe, and he can rest on the good work of his god or faith or belief.

Meanwhile, the doctors, nurses, technicians, all those people who sit with those who throw up in emesis basins, or who cry out in pain, faithfully care for and provide what comfort is available. 

Their god sits serenely by, not giving a hand at cleaning up the messes, or holding hands, or giving comfort to family who suffers a different kind of pain than the patient.

I am absolutely certain there is a plan for his life. He interprets it as a plan created by god for him. I say to him, the plan already exists inside of him, he is the author, the creator, the definer of his plan. His life is in his own hands and he needs no crutch to hand him a plan on a silver platter.  No god can provide the kind of comfort, certainty, confidence and competence that comes out of his own wisdom.

Well, I hope he doesn't have too hard of a time figuring that all out. Delusions are a dreadful thing to overcome. I wish him well.  

Comment by booklover on January 10, 2014 at 7:27pm
Well I saw on FB that that childhood friend of my sons with the testicular cancer had his last chemo today, and is going back to school. A while ago he said something about having to have a PET scan when done? Today he acted like the whole thing is over. He also reiterated that god has a plan for him. So I guess god thought he should have cancer, miss a semester of college, then go back having learned some kind of lesson. I certainly hope it IS over for him, but if he hasn't had the scan to see if the tumor is gone? I don't know. I guess I will see on FB. I certainly hope his scan is good!

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